How to Design andWrite Web Pages Today Written By: Karl Stolley
The arts are made great, not by those who are without scruple in boasting about them, but by those who are able to discover all of the resources which each art affords.—Isocrates, ca. 390 B.C.1
What You Need to Know Before Reading… This book will not teach you all you need to know about writing and designing for the web Instead, this book is the base Not one single book can teach you all you need to know, but this book is your first step
The Organization of the Book “What Am I Writing?” Looks at the rhetorical situation of the Web and online identity developmentand control “Issues and Challenges” Guiding principles for making informed decisions aboutyour site Text and images on individual pages Navigation and architecture (accessibility, usability, and sustainability) “Strategies for Success” Essential techniques and strategies you need to write and design individual Web pages. Branding, textand media content, and navigation. “Problems and Solutions” Challenges surrounding construction and maintenance ofa web site Covers tracking visitors, using site statistics packages, andsocial media sharing “Resources for the Future” Extending your knowledge of writing and designing for the Web
Why Are You Writing? Writing to be found Improve your chances of receiving a top ranking position in search engines Do a Google search of yourself Website has no chance if it can’t be found Found in safe way Writing to establish an online identity Micro-blogging is first step (twitter) Twitter teaches us important lessons to take into consideration when writing Be interesting, frequent, quick to the point, published, conscious of network connections and linking to others Writing to connect to people Once you are found, it is your job to establish a online connection with people, sites and other blogs Gets your website out and keeps it interesting
What to Know When Writing Web Content: Is crucial to your site being found and accessible. No matter what you put on the web as content (images, audio, etc), it should all have text equivalents Web audiences expect written content to be direct and to the point, with plenty of headings and lists to make the content navigable. Written content should be rich with keywords that you think your intended audience might plug in to search engines.
Issues and Challenges Accessibility, Usability, and Sustainability Each is broken up into its own chapter They are “three overarching and interrelated issues that largely determine the rhetorical success of a Website.” Many associate these three with the matters of assessment and are handled prior to the creation of the site. However, each provide powerful guides to the choices you will have to make throughout the process of Web writing and design.
Accessibility Accessibility is about equitable access for all, regardless of physical abilities or means of access. Contemporary Web sites must work on fast and slow Internet connections, on ultra widescreen desktop computers and miniature cell phone screens, with keyboards,touchpads/touchscreens, and mice. Sites must also be accessible to search engines, or your content will never be found
Usability Usability is often associated with “usability testing,” where trained experts observe targeted users interacting with a Web site. But usability can also inform your approach to designing for site performance and user expectations. Usability helps you earn the good will and attention of your audience. Keep in mind: Usability is not function alone: people like things that function well, but they like fun and pleasing things even more
Sustainability A site that is accessible and usable today must continue to be so. Digital technologies change quickly but there are certain design practices and choices that will better future-proof your Web site. Sustainability is also about the access and use of a site as the site grows, or scales.
In Relation to Information Design “Information design is the most comprehensible way to present the information you have to a wide audience, despite their language or culture, and can be interpreted easily in a clear and presentable manner, establishing high integrity for such information.”
In Relation to Information Design This book pieces together two essential concepts that a person needs to utilize information design in the best possible way (rhetoric/writing & web design/ coding) Information Design Handbook: “users don’t want to think, they just want to understand.” (O’Grady 12). We need to understand another area of design and content, which is the web, in order to fully be able to master information design Think about the quote in the beginning? With the amount available online today and the ways people are beginning to access this information, we need to know how to distinguish ourselves apart from the others. Information has become so complex that we need a way to sort through it all and make sense of all of it. There is no way this could be done without knowing how to effectively create a website
Targeted Audiences PW students Lets you see first hand how information design is necessary in designing and writing websites ENGL 306, 409: This book will provide a base to understanding and learning more about web design Graduates/ job seekers: HTML experience? Everyone is producing information, how are we going to set ourselves apart? The world today is calling for multi-skilled workers Tech students/Engineering Students Already have prior knowledge of technology but lack the rhetoric This book is a clear example of why these students are required to take PW classes.
Targeted Audiences Business professionals HTML Experience is now becoming a major asset to have Give you an upper hand Scholars/ Teachers Puts rhetoric into a new form of understanding that not many focus on In a context that students will understand Anyone interested in learning more about the web or learn about writing well.
My Final Opinion Can I design my own website now? Wix.com Wordpress.com Which one more important than the other? Writing or technological knowledge? This book introduces you in the simplest way possible to a very confusing world and language Gives you a base to grow upon without