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Short presentation on writing for the web. Beta version. …

Short presentation on writing for the web. Beta version.

Chris Adams Aug '09

Published in: Design, Business, Education

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  • 1. Writing for the Web Chris Adams TAFE Design & Multimedia Launceston
  • 2. To get your message across, you need to know about:
    • Accessibility
    • Searchability
    • Usability
    • Typographic rules
    • Design rules
    • Style
  • 3. Accessibility
    • Accessibility is about making it easy for ANYBODY to understand your published message.
    • Making your writing accessible is relatively easy. There are several things you need to know:
  • 4. Accessability
    • The WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) defines global standards for web publishing.
    • If you’re in the business of the web you need to know about the WAI.
    • If you’re designing web sites for government it’s essential you comply with the WAI standards.
  • 5. Searchability
    • Simple steps to search engine optimization
  • 6. Usability
    • What is Usability?
  • 7. Typographic Rules
    • How simple type design can turn your skimmers into readers.
    • Your message might be competing with eBay, Facebook, MySpace, video, news feeds, chatrooms, and customised operating systems.
  • 8. Design Rules
    • Simple steps you can take to make your skimmers read.
  • 9. Writing Style
    • Follow these steps to get your readers to understand your message:
    • Begin with the conclusion . Put the most important information, or a summary, at the start of the content - the 'Inverted Pyramid' approach - so users can quickly get a sense of what the page is about and what it contains.
    • Short sentences. Keep the sentences brief, with one main idea - but be careful to avoid the writing style becoming overly technical and functional as a result.
  • 10. Writing Style
    • Link names. Ensure link names clearly and concisely reflect the page or target they link to. Jargon. Avoid jargon unless you're certain your website's audience will understand it and expect it. Also, expand any acronyms you use the first time they're used on a page.
    • Paragraph breaks. Use a lot of paragraph breaks, because long paragraphs can be difficult for readers to scan.
  • 11. Writing Style
    • Wasted words. Cut to the chase by reducing the number of wasted words. Also, typically avoid 'welcome to the website' -style content, instead focusing on writing content that helps users achieve their goals.
    • Lists. Use lists, sparingly, for relevant information - lists (such as bulleted lists) are clearer and easier to scan.
    • Main heading. Always have a good main heading; crucial to help people assess and understand what's on a page.
  • 12. Writing Style
    • Sub-headings. Add sub-headings to clearly group related information on a page, and to make content easier to scan.
    • Keywords first. Put the important, differentiating words first in headings and links.