My friend Chris is an elementary school teacher. This makes sense because she is, in general, a far more patient person than me. We share some common traits though, one of which is that we’re both very effective communicators to people with short attention spans.

Let’s face it. When people are on the web, they’re generally scanning rather than reading (when was the last time you curled up with a good website?). The people on your site are there because they need something. They may want to drill down and get a better understanding, but that may not happen.

So, engage those visitors! Here are three things teachers and good websites both do very well to get people to pay attention:

1. Say exactly what you mean very clearly. If your visitors don’t see who you are and what you do right away, they’ll be confused and leave.

2. Be redundant. Describe your navigation. Put the contact info in the footer and on the contact page. Use terms that your visitors understand.

3. Give out a gold star. Make sure your forms and transactions have thank you messages so they’ll know that everything went right.

There you go: three quick usability tips that engage your users a lot faster than being confusing and long-winded.