The death of cutesy copywriting

I’m inclined to agree with Jakob Nielsen’s latest column, which puts another nail in the coffin of cutesy copywriting. The US Census Bureau has a big, javascript-driven Population Clock at the top of its homepage. It shows a current estimate of the US population in 18pt bold red digits. It even moves, for goodness sake. Yet a staggering 86% of users missed it. Or rather, they tended to see it, but didn’t look at it. Nielsen’s recommendation in this case: avoid ‘made-up terms or branded descriptions’. If it’s the current population of the US, label it ‘current population of the US’.