Keep it simple

Mobile technologies have had an irreversible effect on our lives: We communicate non verbally through texts, videos and images. Reducing sentences and abbreviating words. We no longer read at length to find something of interest. We skim, gather, scroll and filter content as we go and we do so in lightening speed until we find what we are looking for.

But the greatest shift of all is how we digest the information that has been presented to us and the speed in which we have become accustomed to digesting that content. According to a study conducted by Microsoft Corp., there is a reason Marketers are reducing this content: People generally lose concentration after eight seconds. Researchers in Canada surveyed 2,000 participants and during their study of brain activity found that since the year 2000 the average attention span has dropped from twelve seconds to eight seconds. Highlighting the effects of an increasingly digitalised lifestyle on the brain.

"People generally lose concentration after eight seconds, highlighting the affects of an increasingly digitalised lifestyle on the brain."

— Microsoft Corp

Attention Span

We live in a world of mass data consumption and as a result, the reduction of content has become commonplace. Sentences and the abbreviation of words within them has evolved into pictorial representations of the thoughts and feelings that we have towards the communication that we have received. Emoticons (ee-MOHT-i-kahn) – a pictorial representation of a facial expression used as a punctuation mark – do far more than just symbolise an emotion, they are a highly concentrated edit of a message. Rather than write what we feel we use a pictorial reference to say it on our behalf.

"Some stories are memorable because they only contain one or two core messages."

— Dan and Chip Heath, Made to Stick


Yet despite this reduction in content, many businesses and brands continue to push more content towards their audiences, than their audiences needs or have time to digest. Brands should instead define their core message and strip it back to its barest essential in order to grab the attention of the audience as quickly as possible. And then clearly label any supporting information to make a more digestible piece of communication for their audience.

But simplifying the information isn’t enough. The information must first be of interest, and to achieve this the content delivered must be relevant to the end user. We will happily read at length for pleasure, to escape the routine of life or to gather insightful information that will be informative to us, but we don’t read at length in the vain hope of finding something that maybe of relevance to us.

Keep the communication simple, make the message relevant and a more impactful connection with your audience will be made.

"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication."

— Leonardo da Vinci