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Like this article? We recommend Mistake 9: Making Things Too Difficult

Mistake 9: Making Things Too Difficult

Some generalizations about Internet users that are worth keeping in mind:

  • They don't like to read instructions, and probably won't. Your site shouldn't require an instruction manual.
  • They're not all rocket scientists (unless you're launching a rocket science community, in which case your odds are better). Plan every aspect of your website to be intuitive to the least intelligent portion of your user group. If users get confused, they're likely to leave. That may not mean that they're "dim bulbs." They just may not feel like putting in the effort. If your website seems like a lot of work, an easier site is always just a click away.

Know your user population, plan for the lowest common denominator, and make using your site as intuitive as possible. By removing barriers to participation, you will vastly increase your community's activity level.

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