Growth5 Blog

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CIGAR: The Apgar Test for Websites

In 1952, Dr. Virginia Apgar invented the "Apgar Test" to evaluate the health of new born babies. Until then, doctors assumed that new-borns were in good health and sent them off to the nurseries, where many died.

Dr. Apgar's test, which is free and easy to perform, measures five characteristics, which another doctor turned into a mnemonic that spells her name (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration). It's estimated that tens of thousands of babies' lives are saved each year because doctors apply the test all over the world.

I am pleased to report that I have developed a similar test that you can apply to your shiny new website to see if it will survive in the cold cruel world of the web. I call it CIGAR:
  • Content. Is there anything of value in your site?
  • Interesting. Is there anything interesting -- to somebody other than you and your mother -- in your site?
  • Grabby. What's in your site that will "grab" people and get them to come back for more?
  • Attractive. Is your site easy and fun to look at, well designed without too much text on each page and plenty of pictures?
  • Relevant. Is your site relevant to its target audience?
In other words, if you can't answer the question why somebody would hit your site, well, NO CIGAR.

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