Writing For The Web

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Slides from a panel presentation for the IABC Indianapolis on 11/18/08

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Writing For The Web

  1. 1. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE AND WHY DO I NEED TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THEM OR ADAPT TO THEIR NEEDS? A Psychologist’s View on Writing for the Web
  2. 2. <ul><li>What do you know about them? </li></ul><ul><li>How are they looking at your content? </li></ul>Who are these people?
  3. 3. Young Female Outside
  4. 4. Older Adults
  5. 5. Unexpected Locations
  6. 6. Children and Other Devices
  7. 7. Mentally Challenged
  8. 8. Very Young
  9. 9. Unmotivated
  10. 10. Stressed
  11. 11. Disabled
  12. 12. Geeky
  13. 13. <ul><li>Age </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Reading Level </li></ul><ul><li>Disability </li></ul>You are not your reader!
  14. 14. Age <ul><li>How old are the people who will be looking at your site? </li></ul>
  15. 15. Gender <ul><li>Is your content something that appeals to one gender more than another? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Education <ul><li>Do your readers have more than a high school education? </li></ul>
  17. 17. Computer Skills <ul><li>Can your readers do more with their computer than send and read email and use Google? </li></ul>
  18. 18. Reading level <ul><li>Are your readers always at the same reading level? </li></ul>
  19. 19. Disability <ul><li>Might your readers wear bifocals or have forgotten their reading glasses? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Why have they come to your site?
  21. 21. Purpose <ul><li>Does everyone come to your web site to learn what YOU want them to know? </li></ul>
  22. 22. Expectations <ul><li>What do your readers expect to find? </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>Off-Line and On-Line </li></ul>What do we know about reading?
  24. 24. Screens versus Paper <ul><li>Problem: Poor contrast in many environments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Glare </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Halo </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution: Enhance Contrast </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Light Backgrounds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dark Text </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Mousing versus Page Turning <ul><li>Problem: Mousing causes Repetitive Strain Injuries </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Limit scrolling </li></ul>
  26. 26. Screen to Eye Distance <ul><li>Problem: Monitors and laptop screens not at optimal distance for reading? </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Keep fonts large. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Vertical Screens <ul><li>Problem: Head held at an uncomfortable angle Squinting </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: Larger Fonts </li></ul>
  28. 28. Reading versus Scanning <ul><li>Problem: People do not read every word </li></ul><ul><li>Solution: This is a problem? </li></ul>
  29. 29. Make content easier to scan? <ul><li>Headings </li></ul><ul><li>Lists </li></ul><ul><li>Short sentences or phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Related Illustrations </li></ul>
  30. 30. Don’t Make Me Think <ul><li>We will meet </li></ul><ul><li>at 12:00 p.m. </li></ul><ul><li>three days after </li></ul><ul><li>two days before </li></ul><ul><li>the day before tomorrow </li></ul>
  31. 43. MARKETING CONSIDERATIONS
  32. 44. Marketing considerations <ul><li>Print marketing is “push”; Web is “pull” </li></ul>
  33. 45. Marketing considerations <ul><li>Print marketing is “push”; Web is “pull” </li></ul><ul><li>Match visitors’ expectations for your site </li></ul>
  34. 46. Marketing considerations <ul><li>Print marketing is “push”; Web is “pull” </li></ul><ul><li>Match visitors’ expectations for your site </li></ul><ul><li>Make the call to action obvious and easy to access from every page </li></ul>
  35. 47. Marketing considerations <ul><li>Print marketing is “push”; Web is “pull” </li></ul><ul><li>Match visitors’ expectations for your site </li></ul><ul><li>Make the call to action obvious and easy to access from every page </li></ul><ul><li>Less is more </li></ul>
  36. 48. Marketing considerations <ul><li>Print marketing is “push”; Web is “pull” </li></ul><ul><li>Match visitors’ expectations for your site </li></ul><ul><li>Make the call to action obvious and easy to access from every page </li></ul><ul><li>Less is more </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t distract with animations or other bells and whistles </li></ul>
  37. 49. Marketing considerations <ul><li>Print marketing is “push”; Web is “pull” </li></ul><ul><li>Match visitors’ expectations for your site </li></ul><ul><li>Make the call to action obvious and easy to access from every page </li></ul><ul><li>Less is more </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t distract with animations or other bells and whistles </li></ul>

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