Writing to be read online

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Writing to be read online

  1. 1. Writing for theweb© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  2. 2. User expectations differ• Low screen resolution and scrollingmake reading awkward Hyper-linkedmedia is not read in sequence• Information is collected from many sources• Pages can be accessed in any order© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  3. 3. How people read online• Because reading is hard, users scan rather thanread in depth, most of the time• Reading from a screen is 25 percent slower• Users want 50 percent less text• Users want to construct their own experience• “Banner blindness” – ignore irrelevant things• Actionable content• Ask yourself - what does user need from thesite© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  4. 4. Writing to be scanned• Scannability• Nested headlines (use H1, H2, H3consistently)• Make subheads count, with specific nounsand verbs• Highlighting and emphasis (linking,boldface)© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  5. 5. Use chunks of information• Use hypertext to make information fitin accessible chunks• Used to pull off sections of content, NOTjust click to go to page 2• Chunks focus on specific topics• Each chunk is “Inverted Pyramid” style© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  6. 6. Use contrast on the page• Visual contrast = entry points on the page• Headlines• Subheads• Images• Lists• Lists are very helpful in presenting a set of factsin a scannable form.© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  7. 7. Use lists effectively• Appropriate and significant.• They need to introduce newinformation.• Number of items.• A minimum of 2, but optimally 3-5.• Use of boldface.• Boldface 1 or 2 of the most importantwords. This helps with scannability.Boldfacing too much hinders it.© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  8. 8. Use lists effectively• Numbered or not?• Use the numbered list when useful toshow sequence or importance.Otherwise, use the bulleted, orunnumbered, list.• Parallelism.• Same in number, tense, significance© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  9. 9. Stylistic considerations• Get right to the point• No introductions, summaries, etc.• Keep to main ideas• Helps reading as well as SEO• Use specific nouns, verbs and use consistently• Remember your audience is global• International date format• Avoid metaphors, pop culture references)© Amanda Sturgill, 2013
  10. 10. Stylistic considerations - 2• Use numerals whenever there is a specificnumber (helps scanners)• In all 50 states• There were hundreds of citizens at the meeting• Other good media writing style• Short words, sentences• Avoid clichés & jargon• Use active voice© Amanda Sturgill, 2013

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