[thelist] Stickiness?

deke web at master.gen.in.us
Mon Mar 19 15:14:53 CST 2001

On 19 Mar 2001, at 14:04, Bailey, Dan wrote:

> Well, a few months ago, I posted up my personal site -- www.fontosaurus.com
> -- for your critiques, approval, etc.  Now I've got a new question:  Any
> ideas as to what I can do to increase the "stickiness" of the site?  I'm
> looking to keep people coming back...  Any suggestions would be welcome.

"Stickiness" generally refers to the number of pages per visit, rather
than having anything to do with repeat visits, doesn't it?

In any case, people who come to a site once generally fall into three
     - People who arrived by accident
     - People who got too much (and don't need more)
     - People who got too little (and are too frustrated to return)

Now, I am making an assumption about your site which may not be
valid at all. I suspect that most people arrive there hunting for a font
for a specific project. They are promiscuous font-sluts, who have little
interest in font bulletin boards or font chat, but rather are interested 
only in sucking fonts off your website and onto their hard drive. Does
that agree with your experience?

In that case, I don't think there are very many who have a lifetime supply.
Yeah, there's a limit to how many can be installed at one time, but one
*never* has too many fonts.

So take a look at your site. When someone arrives at your home
page, is it immediately evident what your site offers?  No. Your site
needs to be a little more graphic about what you offer, and how users
can benefit.  Mention graphically - not in size 2 arial, paragraph format, 
but in a larger size type, perhaps bold and italic, that you have the
<a href>Downloadable Fonts</a> they are looking for, the <a href>
Desktops</a> they want, etc. 

A blog, a list of your ebay items, and an about page entitled "geek"
are fine, but put them at the *bottom* of the page, so that you
emphasize the links to the *guts* of your site. 

And then make it easy for someone to find the fonts they are looking
for. The grocery store doesn't put things in alphabetical order, beans,
then carrots, then dish soap, then french fries, then garbonzo beans,
then hand lotion, then lettuce, then miracle whip. No, they organize
by category, so it is easy to see similar items side by side, and to
find what you want.

So divide your typefaces up, by category, rather than by the first
letter of the type's name. After all, Futura, Helvetica, Swiss and
Arial are all basically the same typeface. Cheltenham, Caslon, 
Copperplate and Cooper Black have nothing in common except 
the first letter. I've been working with typeface for three decades,
and I have no idea what letters to look under for a typeface that 
clones "Architect". 

A lot of work? Yeah. But either you do it once, or your users have
to do it over and over and over again - and if they don't want to do
all that work, they'll find some site that *does* make it easier to 
find what they are looking for.

Hate to sound harsh.  It's obvious that you've put quite a bit of work
into your site. But devoting the extra work needed to make your site
easier to use is going to do more to increase traffic to your site than
anything else you might possibly do....


I got this powdered water. 
Now I don't know what to add. 
            -- Steven Wright

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