Chapter 8. Writing for the Web

254 How Poor Writing Makes Web Sites Fail

258 Understanding How Web Users Read

  • Tip: Hire a Web Writer

  • Why Users Scan

259 Writing for Your Reader

  • Tip: Know Your Audience

  • Three Guidelines for Better Web Writing

  • Use Simple Language

  • Meeting Low Literacy Needs

  • Tone Down Marketing Hype

  • Tip: When and Where to Toot Your Horn

  • Writing Samples: Before and After

  • Summarize Key Points and Pare Down

  • Tip: The Two-Sentence Test

  • Keeping It Short and Sweet

  • Tip: Writing Descriptive Labels

275 Formatting Text for Readability

  • Making Usability Skyrocket

  • Highlight Keywords

  • Use Concise and Descriptive Titles and Headings

  • Three Guidelines for Heading Hierarchy

  • Use Bulleted and Numbered Lists

  • Top Seven Guidelines for Presenting Lists

  • Tip: Parallel Phrasing Is Important

  • Keep Paragraphs Short

  • More Information

With a few exceptions, people visit the Web for its utility, not its beauty. Having a visually appealing site is good, of course, but content is golden. After all, when people enter queries into search engines, they don't type in aesthetic attributesthey're looking for information.

Good writing makes a huge difference in page views, time spent on a site, and sales. The essential rule of site usability holds for written content as much as it does for design: Customers choose clarity over confusion.

Don't underestimate the role of effective writing in creating a successful Web site. As goal-oriented people, Web users want to get to their destination, find the interesting or useful information they're looking for, and move on. They don't have the time or the inclination to wade through a sea of text that never gets to the point. Having clear, solid content is one way to attract and retain viewers, and efficient, intuitive access to that information is a major factor in their satisfaction levels.

Prioritizing Web Usability
Prioritizing Web Usability
ISBN: 0321350316
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2006
Pages: 107

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