22 October 2014
Matt Neicho, Work Experience

Top Web Design Tips to Attract Teen Audiences

Teenager web surfing

Just like all the rest I fall into the seemingly ageing stereotype of “adolescent web-surfer”. I sit there glaring at a screen all day, in a vegetable state, watching as all these awfully unattractive ads whizz by on social media sites, failing to do themselves any favours when it comes to successfully marketing their brand. So, using my insight as a teen, here are my tips, tricks, and fixes that every advertiser should take note of, if you are to grab the attention of any unsuspecting teenager!

Social Media Sponsorship

Be bold. Don’t hold back. I wasn’t joking about the sleep-state I just mentioned. The message has to come across instantly or we just keep on scrolling. As with all sponsored ads, they can be easily lost within the cluster of “stuff” thrown at us in a Facebook news feed or the front-page of Twitter so it goes without saying that it has to standout among the rest.

Things to look for are:  

Too much text: We aren’t conscious when glaring at these devices so lots of reading is out of the question. One call-to-action/question is enough.

Terrible photos: ‘A picture speaks a thousand words’ so it better be a Shakespearian photo.

No Logo: Make sure we know who you are. Maybe we’ve seen the logo before?

Links: We’re not clicking it if it’s at the end of the paragraph so put it at the start.

One of the harder techniques to pull-off is not really knowing the product until we click on the website. That sense of mystery is quite risky, but nowadays we get told enough about the product in the blurb below the title in the search engine to not have the incentive to find out more.

Also, purveying the theme/mood created by the product rather than the product itself is very gripping. For example, a poster about sunglasses showing the sun shining down on a beach (along with the logo of course) is easily more effective than a photograph of the glasses themselves as it amplifies that feeling of 'escaping reality'.

Video

This is undoubtedly the best method of capturing our attention since it is both audible and visual. Luckily, most media sites have a neat feature which allows for an automatic play of any video you scroll over, so that shouldn’t be a problem, but even still, make the title and title-photo engaging if you’re putting it on YouTube etc.

Other things to consider are:

• Keep the links going throughout the video rather than just at the end.

• Make an explosive start that just SHOUTS your product. The first three seconds are the critical selling point (as it doesn’t take long to switch to the tab with the funny cat videos).

Web Design

Wow, so I’ve clicked on your site:

Keep leading us on the adventure: As weird as it sounds, this is about as interesting as life gets at 1:00 a.m. after a day at school, so keep our minds engaged with less text and more images. A lot of popular sites – such as those who have achieved Webby Award nominations – do this very well by using a scroll method which slowly reduces the size of the images and leaves enough space for more text as you go further into the depths of the homepage.

Popups: A large popup containing current news about the product etc. is one of the more effective (yet slightly frustrating) method of grabbing our attention.

Fluidity: Animations which lead us to other parts of the page keep us reading.

So, the moral of the story is: us adolescents ARE as stupid as we look, so do please advertise accordingly.



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