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In today's world, humans are generally overstimulated. Human attention spans last less than eight seconds. That's less than the attention span of a goldfish! With all the noise and chatter from being constantly connected to the web via our phones, computers, etc. we are hardly able to digest any information at all. That means it can be a problem to compete for the attention of your non-profit audience. How do you successfully get your message in front of them and make a lasting impact? Visual storytelling is one of the best ways for non-profits to make a message stand out and to capture attention before people leave your site.

For 38 minutes on January 13th, people in Hawaii thought that a ballistic missile was incoming. The test operator selected the wrong option in the system and caused statewide panic when the ominous message appeared on everyone's smartphones. The department had no way to automatically issue a correction on the erroneous message, which lead to the time gap between the notice and the correction. The person sending out the alert wasn't the one truly at fault here. Instead, the failure to adhere to user interface design best practices led to this situation.

Today's readers have low attention spans and are highly visual learners. Digital media has made it easy for audiences to scan and absorb lots of information in a short amount of time. This trend has changed the way marketers deliver copy and communications, and should also impact how you communicate about the impact of your nonprofit. Visual storytelling can be a highly effective means of communication.