I looked at a tech site

At the Lean Startup Circle meeting last week in downtown Santa Barbara I talked with a guy who works at Evidation. We didn’t talk about the company, but I looked at the site to find out what they do.

“Radically changing medicine” is the only thing on their landing page, except for generic menubar items.

 I looked at every page of Evidation.com. By carefully studying what they present, I am unable to figure out what they are offering/claiming.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding Evidation’s  motives for publishing a website. As a marketing guy, I assume their purpose is to expand the scope of their operation, to increase the number of people who are aware of the powers of their novel discovery engine. But they don’t provide any details except for abstract generalizations.

I’m a student of readability. If text is not readable, people won’t read it except under duress. I gauge readability using an app to measure the Flesch-Kincaid Readability Index, which gives a number between 1 (totally unreadable) and 100 (kindergarten books) and a school grade level.

     Evidation presents extremely low readability numbers for every textblock on the site, and it all boils down to empty abstract opinion and no concrete details. The headline on their “Product” page is, “New ways to measure health in everyday life.”

Then there are 63 words of text, Grade 23, Ease negative 15, that do not present a single way to measure health.

The “Research” page headline is, “Pioneering work on the behaviorome.” The introductory sentence gets a Flesch/Kincaid Reading Ease score of 9. Dreadfully low. The next sentence asks you to browse the linked articles on the page “to learn more about how the definition of medicine is changing.”

The first article is “Developing Measures of Cognitive Impairment in the Real World from Consumer-Grade Multimodal Sensor Streams.”

The 176 words of the introductory paragraph get a Reading Ease score of 0.5.

Scroll down eight pages and you finally get an example of the output of their “platform:”

Even zoomed in to the max, I couldn’t read the categories in the left-hand column. Readability is also about the visual aspects of the graphics and text.

 There are 54 other abstruse scientific articles you can link to on the Research page, but none of the ones I looked at had any mention of what Evidation did for them.

Another part of the Evidation site is ­­their “News” page with links to three magazine articles. One was in TIME magazine: “12 Innovations That Will Change Health Care and Medicine in the 2020s.” This takes you to a 2,200-word article, of which 168 words are devoted to a project Evidation was involved with. It’s up to the visitor to bull through all the other text to find out what Evidation’s involvement is.

There’s nothing on their site to make it easy to find out what they’re doing. Maybe that’s intentional. Maybe they are swamped by inquiries and are making it difficult to understand to keep the looky-loos out.

 If they want their site to generate inquiries, they should use a copywriter.

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