Liz Adams is a managing editor at GTI Media and has 18 years’ experience writing and editing for online and print media. She currently heads up content for the TARGETcareers website, which provides information and advice on careers, university and apprenticeships to 15-18-year olds and their parents and teachers.
Recently, Liz conducted focus groups with young people of ‘Generation Z’ to discover what really matters to them when consuming web content. The main point that came across was that they wanted to ‘access information directly and quickly’. However, here are the specific pointers that Liz gathered.
The Gen Z focus groups suggested that subheadings are a useful method for helping students navigate through web content with ease.
In an era where massive amounts of information are competing for their attention on all internet-based platforms, they concluded that a site with clear subheadings helps them to efficiently access a website’s main points and determine what it is roughly going to be about with ease.
Yet, they also added that subheadings aren’t a saviour for long, laborious paragraphs and that unbroken blocks of intimidating text can be too daunting to read. This can effectively deter potential readers from spending their time on your online content.
Clear navigation doesn’t necessarily mean large black arrows pointing to the next bit of text, but our focus groups did explain how obvious methods of navigation can hugely benefit their experience with a site. If it is obvious how they can search for more content or interact with the website, then it increases the likelihood that a busy ‘Gen-Z-er’ will stay on your site to find out more or read on.
Liz states; “A few ways you can achieve clear navigation is through the use of easy-to-find search bars, links to similar or mentioned content, and even chatbots”. Making sure that a reader who is barraged with information can effortlessly find their way through the content is paramount.
- Liz was told by the ‘Gen-Z’ focus groups that bullet-pointed lists are a great way to get across key information without cluttering the page.
- Bullets allow an individual to quickly scan for the points that are most relevant to them.
- This means that they will not only be more likely to respond quickly to any potential ‘call-to-action’ points being made in the text, but they are also more likely to come back to the site again to regain information or search for more.
- Liz concludes, ‘A key point that I got from the focus groups was that any website that is ‘cluttered’ is unwelcome. It slows down the process of finding what they want, and bullet points are a fantastic way to counteract this’.
In summary, Generation Z hold so much information at their fingertips that they want the information that is available to be clear, concise, and easy to read.
In an increasingly busy, cyber-based world, you need to ensure your web content is well organised, easy to navigate, and clearly signposted. At GTI, we’re reviewing our TARGETjobs content formats with these findings in mind to ensure that student’s experiences with us remain central to the work we do.
Generation Z are busy, so let’s keep our websites less busy.