Writing for the Web - plain and simple
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Writing for the Web - plain and simple

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Keynote for PodCamp London, Ontario: May 8, 2010

Keynote for PodCamp London, Ontario: May 8, 2010

Best practices, tips and research for improving the way you write on the web

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Writing for the Web - plain and simple Presentation Transcript

  • 1. W r i t i n g f o r t h e We b - p l a i n a n d s i m p l e Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 2. WRITING FOR THE WEB plain and simple Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 3. WRITING FOR THE WEB plain and simple Andrew Kaszowski (@ImpressionOne) freelance consultant, Impression One Web Producer, St. Joseph’s Health Care London Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 4. WRITERS vs. WEB PROS Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 5. my world = writers good great writers, good great web writers experienced writing great articles Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 6. my world = writers good great writers, good great web writers great stories, beautiful text Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 7. my world = writers good great writers, good great web writers we were trained to write, but not to write for web Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 8. my world = writers good great writers, writers suck good great web writers at writing for the web Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 9. your world = web pros web geeks writers suck at writing Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 10. writing for the web balance writing web Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 11. writing for the web How to balance between writing well and writing for the web: recognize words on screen are different than words on a page understand how humans look at screens (usability research): write to maximize usability (use best practices) Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 12. WEB WRITING: BE LIKE COSMO MAGAZINE Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 13. web writing: be like Cosmo magazine Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 14. web writing: be like Cosmo magazine Cosmo knows the art of keeping the reader interested teasers keep interest in a very short attention span keep the reader diving deeper to learn more: get them hooked Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 15. PRINT vs. WEB TWO DIFFERENT REALITIES Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 16. print vs. web two different realities words on a screen are different than words in print print: easy on the eyes not distracted when reading spend lots of time looking at the words Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 17. print vs. web two different realities words on a screen are different than words in print web: screens are hard on the eyes lots of distractions: might have many windows open hard to look at words for a long time Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 18. print vs. web two different realities words on a screen are different than words in print web: alive: users expect things on screen to change non-linear: not like a straight article like a magazine cover: keep your reader moving farther Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 19. print vs. web two different realities Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 20. print vs. web two different realities non-linear linear alive, dynamic page straight line-reading keeps the reader active, moving Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 21. EYE-TRACKING RESEARCH: HOW HUMANS VIEW WEB Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 22. eye-tracking research: how humans view web eye-tracking: records eye movements on a web page shows where the eye moves and how long it stays in one spot Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 23. eye-tracking research: how humans view web results of eye-tracking research: users spend 5-7 seconds reading a paragraph or document on the web in that time: either they’re engaged and keep reading, or they move on proves why writing for web best practices are key to keeping users Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 24. eye-tracking research: how humans view web eye-tracking research means: it’s all about keeping user interested no longer worry about getting user to what they need within 2-3 clicks as long as you keep the user moving within your site, you can steer them to the content they want Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 25. eye-tracking research: how humans view web get the user to your goal: tease them, steer them, move them users will stay with you if you keep their interest Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 26. 3 DIFFERENT TYPES OF WEB PAGES Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 27. 3 different types of web pages 1) home page/landing page (welcome to your site) first impression: users will spent least amount of time here, but gain the greatest opinion show snapshots of what’s going on throughout the web site teasers to move users farther into the site constantly updating: show what’s new Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 28. 3 different types of web pages 2) information pages (regular/secondary pages) meat and potatoes of your web site lots of information, so make it easy to follow don’t make the user spend too much time reading long text... break it up Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 29. 3 different types of web pages 2) information pages (regular/secondary pages) a short introduction to the page (1-2 sentences) helps ease the users into the longer information Break information into sub-sections with sub-navigation (keep the user moving) Overall, information pages can be a little longer because user has already gained interest by the time they get here Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 30. 3 different types of web pages 3) article/blog (long page of singular text) long, linear article contrary to usability research - it’s hard on the eyes to read on a screen for a long time give the reader a rest by breaking up text with headings, quotes, photos Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 31. BEST PRACTICE TIPS Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 32. best practice tips must-read info must be first ... put it where the user looks first keep things short, short, short, short, short! Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 33. best practice tips overall text: 8-10 words per sentences MAX (or less!) 2-3 sentences for first paragraph 3-5 sentences max for additional paragraphs Try to end the page with a one-sentence paragraph Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 34. best practice tips lists: lists are perfect for presenting a longer series of info: they keep the reader’s eye moving 7 items max (can’t keep interest longer than that) Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 35. best practice tips links use active, descriptive link text bad: To learn more about Andrew, click here good: Andrew Kaszowski’s portfolio Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 36. 4 TOP TIPS Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 37. 4 top tips 1) active voice is best... avoid passive voice John washes the dishes (active) The dishes are washed by John (passive) 2) brevity always wins 3) tell a story 4) write informally... it’s all about style Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 38. FROM BAD TO GOOD: TRANSFORMING A PAGE Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 39. from bad to good: transforming a page Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 40. from bad to good: transforming a page Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 41. from bad to good: transforming a page result: higher visitor traffic greater traffic to pages farther in site weekly emails from construction companies and public interest in mental health redevelopment project! Monday, May 10, 2010
  • 42. Thank You andrewk@impression1.net @ImpressionOne www.impression1.net Monday, May 10, 2010