Is sticky content a design fail?

However you wish to define sticky content – be it content that grabs you and keeps you on a particular website, or content that compels you to return again and again – my opinion is that it is an outdated measure of success. We have always been impatient online, now we are impatient and often grumpy – especially with regard to things we are required to do, as opposed to stuff we want to do.

Nowadays, I want my digital content to be instinctive (stincy?!), to be fluid, to understand my behaviour and give me what I need, fast and without too much input required from me.

The way to head towards this is to work hard at the information we produce online, make it data driven, with intelligent delivery on a variety of platforms and mediums. Find ways to identify core, simple customer needs and work really hard at answering that one need quickly and immediately in every place your customer may be looking for the answer. Then repeat.

This is the attraction of web applications and should be the aim for text information as well.

Stincy, not sticky.

6 responses

  1. A design fail and an outcome fail, which raises big questions about metrics:
    * How to do measure success in an ‘in/out’ environment. OK for a transaction or a tool, but less easy for info
    * How to you measure consumption at all in a semantic web world, where ‘your’ content might be appearing across the cloud.

  2. Sticky website strategies are fundamentally flawed because they favour the website over the web. This may be great from an organisation’s perspective but it does nothing to benefit the user. If people are spending a lot of time on your website and returning to it regularly that may be fine, but that metric doesn’t tell you very much. Are they taking longer than they need to find the information they want or perform the transaction they desire? How much value are they getting from their visits? That won’t correlate directly with any of the usual page view/visit length metrics.

    The strategy you suggest is what I call an “inside out” approach. It takes account of “context proliferation” — that people ideally would like to engage with government in a variety of settings, situations, devices, systems and interaction styles.

    Government will have the resources and a compelling business case to build some of these. For the rest, open your data and APIs and let the rest of the world build what matters to them around your data and services.

  3. Hmm for me, this created a surprisingly BIG question around a seemingly innocuous statement. I have to be honest I agree with the points raised by your blog and by comments, yes the content you create must be interesting and relevant and yes is should have the ability to be disseminated around the web to places where people want to be so they can access it and yes the web is catching up to deliver this capability now and I do think there will be more to come.

    But that said can organisations realistically provide all of its useful online “stuff” to be available in a martini fashion? There is always, I think, going to be a need for people to go to “your” site to engage with you, online transactions as an example and in those instances it is then that your site should provide as much if not more relevance in terms of useful information.

    I guess this blog is a case in point, I saw via my iGoogle page you had a new blog, so I came to your site and while here I also read your previous blog, which I had missed before, so sticky and stincy I say :o)

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