Principle 5. Prioritize key information

Websites for crowdsourcing cultural heritage support participation by prioritizing key information.

Explanation: Key information should be prominently displayed on the homepage, using a clear visual hierarchy based on the importance of information. Key information includes a specific and challenging project goal; an invitation to participate; the value proposition, which implies a mutually beneficial exchange between the project host and contributors; and a call to action.

Key information should be conveyed in simple, concise language that is crafted for the target crowd; for example, the invitation to participate is commonly framed as helping the institution, and the call to action is presented as a direct question or imperative.

Benefits: Prioritizing key information enables new visitors to quickly understand the purpose of the website, and how and why they should participate. Clearly displaying a hyperlinked call to action also speeds up the process for returning visitors, who can start contributing immediately.

Examples of compliance with this principle: 

  • Key information is displayed in the top left-hand corner of the homepage or above the fold.
  • Project names and taglines may be used to convey the nature of user contribution.
  • Information is presented using headers, centred text, bullet lists, graphics, images, video and slideshows.
  • The call to action is commonly presented as a button, but can also be clearly identified using bold coloured text or navigation menu titles, and reinforced by repeating at the bottom of the homepage.

Examples of non-compliance:

  • Calls to action that are below the fold or obscured in body text.
  • Requiring users to search for and click to display key information.
  • Prioritizing explanations of how project output is being used over the need for user contribution.

Building Inspector homepage
Image: Building Inspector. Displaying key information above the fold on the homepage, and the use of information hierarchies, informative taglines, call to action buttons, centered text, and clear, concise explanations are examples of prioritizing key information.