Week 5 Editing For Web


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Week 5 of Advanced Editing for Digital Media. Topic: Editing for Web

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Week 5 Editing For Web

  1. 1. Editing for Web Week 5
  2. 2. The Narrative Web • What are the components which go towards creating the narrative web? • Whose story are you telling? Your company, yourself, your product? • How can a website engage its audience/community and tell "our" story? ie The Age "If it matters to you it matters to us" • What story does www.crikey.com.au tell?  Tagline: Telling you what they won't  Free mode/member login  "Comments, corrections, clarifications and c*ckups"
  3. 3. Style • American versus British/Australian English  Spelling: color vs. colour, behavior vs. behaviour, theater vs. theatre.  Terminology: truck vs. lorry, cart vs. trolley, two weeks vs. a fortnight.  Concepts: what is football anyway — American football, soccer, or (for the truly brave) Aussie rules?  Slang: do you call this sport "footie"?  Abbreviations: do readers know that PA=Pennsylvania? Not if they're outside the U.S. • http://www.useit.com/alertbox/american-british-english.html
  4. 4. Web editing 101 • Longform versus shortform o Jakob Neilson's Alertbox (usability blog) o http://www.useit.com/alertbox/content-strategy.html  Reading benefits vary, depending on user circumstances.  Most of the time, short articles contain more value per word.  People sometimes gain higher value from complete or very detailed information about a problem.  If you want many readers, focus on short and scannable content. This is a good strategy for advertising-driven sites or sites that sell impulse buys.  If you want people who really need a solution, focus on comprehensive coverage. This is a good strategy if you sell highly targeted solutions to complicated problems.
  5. 5.   • But the very best content strategy is one that mirrors the users' mixed diet. There's no reason to limit yourself to  only one content type. It's possible to have short overviews  for the majority of users and to supplement them with in- depth coverage and white papers for those few users who  need to know more. Hypertext to the Rescue... • On the Web, you can offer both short and long treatments  within a single hyperspace. Start with overviews and short,  simplified pages. Then link to long, in-depth coverage on  other pages. • With this approach, you can serve both types of users (or 
  6. 6. Writing for web versus writing for print • Compare the print edition of today's Age with theage.com.au  and make a list of differences you spot. • Jakob Neilson's Alertbox - Writing style for print versus web • http://www.useit.com/alertbox/print-vs-online-content.html o On the Web, users are engaged and want to go places and get things done. The Web is anactive medium. o While watching TV, viewers want to be entertained. They are in relaxation mode and vegging out; they don't want to make choices. TV is a passive medium.
  7. 7. How little do users read? • http://www.useit.com/alertbox/percent-text-read.html • "On the average Web page, users have time to read at most 28% of the words during an average visit; 20% is more likely." • Obviously, users tend to spend more time on pages with more information. However, the best-fit formula tells us that they spend only 4.4 seconds more for each additional 100 words. • Top most used features on the web: 1.Clicking hypertext links • Clicking buttons on the page (ie applications and feature- rich Web pages that require users to click page buttons to  access their functionality) • The "Back" button
  8. 8. The fickle web reader • http://www.useit.com/alertbox/print-vs-online-content.html • NYT headline: "Coping With the Tall Traveler's Curse" • Why is this a bad headline for web: o no "information carrying content" in first three words -  readers often scan and won't even get to the end of the  headline if it doesn't grab their attention o SEO friendly headlines - what search terms would  someone type into a search engine to find your article?  eg keywords o headline not specific enough to sell the story (in print  version, there was a photo of a tall, cramped traveller to  explain it)
  9. 9. Eye-tracking • Web readers don't read from start to finish. They jump around, and skim read o Users first read in a horizontal movement, usually across the upper part of the content area. This initial element forms the F's top bar. o Next, users move down the page a bit and then read across in a second horizontal movement that typically covers a shorter area than the previous movement. This additional element forms the F's lower bar. o Finally, users scan the content's left side in a vertical movement. Sometimes this is a fairly slow and systematic scan that appears as a solid stripe on an eyetracking heatmap. Other times users move faster, creating a spottier heatmap. This last element forms the F's stem. Source: Nielsen "F-Shaped Pattern for Reading Web Content" http://www.useit.com/alertbox/reading_pattern.html
  10. 10. Write and edit for the scanning reader o subheads o bulleted lists o highlighted keywords o short paragraphs o the inverted pyramid o a simple writing style, and o de-fluffed language devoid of marketese. (Source: Nielsen's Top 10 mistakes in web design) http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html
  11. 11. The selective web reader • Web readers quickly learn to ignore advertising elements, or content which resembles advertising o banner blindness o animation avoidance o popup purges o ad blockers (Source: Neilsen Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9605.html • Eyetracking studies show that readers skip around the page and habitually only skim
  12. 12. Quality links • The importance of permanence o http://journalism.nyu.edu/pubzone/weblogs/pressthink/20 05/01/07/wldm_perm.html
  13. 13. When long form features work... • Click through multiple pages of a feature - means each page isn't an overwhelming slab of text, and you can check analytics to see how many people read to the last page. • Using design & layout to make a longer form piece enticing to read - eg http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/03/30/eshelman / o What tricks do they use to make it easy to read?