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What we‘ll cover Web user behaviour Content for websites Some sample websites Analyse and criticise some websites.

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Presentation on theme: "What we‘ll cover Web user behaviour Content for websites Some sample websites Analyse and criticise some websites."— Presentation transcript:

1 What we‘ll cover Web user behaviour Content for websites Some sample websites Analyse and criticise some websites

2 Web behaviour Information overload – Visitors don‘t read websites, but look for the information they want. – If they don‘t find that information in a few seconds, they move on Jakob Nielsen has carried out many studies of web visitor behaviour – see his website

3 F scanning Visitors read in a horizontal movement across the upper part of the content area Visitors move down and across in a second, shorter horizontal movement Visitors scan the content's left side in a vertical movement, usually slower than other steps

4 F scanning Gray: not viewed Blue: least viewed Yellow: scanned Orange/Red: read, most viewed Source: Jacob Nielsen Alertbox

5 Visitors’ attention Attention is a limited resource with a price – product differentiation – content optimisation

6 Differentiation on the Web means providing a unique product or experience – Product that can’t be found elsewhere – Closer or more convenient access to a desired product – Better service or value – Customised and personal solutions

7 10 most hated techniques on the web Design ElementNegative reaction Pops-up in front of your window95% Loads slowly94% Tries to trick you into clicking on it94% Does not have a "Close" button93% Covers what you are trying to see93% Doesn't say what it is for92% Moves content around92% Occupies most of the page90% Blinks on and off87% Floats across the screen79% Automatically plays sound79%

8 A few things to avoid:  Making the visitor think too much  Pop-ups  Slow load times  "Teasing" links, misleading categories, and other elements that trick users into clicking  Content that doesn't clearly state the site's purpose or what a particular page covers  Content that moves around the page  Gimmicky, meaningless animation  Sound that plays automatically

9 Killer content Gerry McGovern – Avoid "filler" content – less is often more – Focus on the customer, not your organisation – Find out your customers' key words ("carewords")

10 Writing for the web v print Website visitors – Scan (quickly look over a page to decide whether they want to read more) – Skim (look closer at the most prominent elements of a page) – Read in detail (if content is identified as useful) Web content writers should – Structure pages well to aid scanning and skimming – Keep the pages short – Get straight to the point – Put important information above the fold and in the obvious content area (remember F scanning) – Pay attention to web conventions (eg links underlined and blue)

11 The web is nonlinear Visitors define their own entry and exit points There is no single path they navigate across the site – there are hundreds of them

12 Interaction Visitors pay more attention if they are given something to do – Links – Interactive features If a visitor tries to make contact through the website, make sure they get an answer

13 Tips for Web writing and design 1.Write scannable content – Highlight keywords with links, boldface, colour etc – Use bullets and lists – State only one idea per paragraph 2.Make text concise and to the point 3.Avoid nebulous marketese and buzzwords

14 Tips for Web writing and design 4. Ensure headlines get key message across – Headlines should clearly tell the visitor why the page is important – say what you do and why visitors should care 5. Get rid of welcome/meaningless text – Keep intro short and useful – DO NOT use welcome text – Focus on answering What? and Why?

15 Tips for Web writing and design 6. Write using inverted pyramid style – Sequence information according to importance 7. Allow visitors to control their environment – Avoid using javascript if possible, and do not rely on javascript (many visitors will not have it turned on) – Avoid using Flash if possible (many visitors will probably not have the right version, and search engines hate it) – Do not turn off the "back" button (this is like tempting people into your shop and then locking the door – they won't come back)

16 Tips for Web writing and design 8. Do not give visitors unpleasant surprises – Remember web conventions – Do not play long, meaningless intros, especially with music – Make sure your web pages load quickly – Make link text self-explanatory so that visitors know what will happen – If a link opens a file, state the type and size if large (e.g. PDF, 54 MB)

17 Some example sites (with and without javascript) (select a language/region, then try to get to another region)

18 Corporate Websites For ELT: Links on

19 Web writing classification-words.htm words.htm print.htm reading.htm content.htm

20 Giraffe Forum 19/top-task-performance-heavily-influences- branding 07/how-web-is-different-from-print/ 12/great-websites-do-not-say/

21 Nielsen read.html blindness.html

22 Further reading (books) Gerry McGovern: Killer Web Content: Make the Sale, Deliver the Service, Build the Brand (ISBN-10: 071367704X) Steve Krug: Don't Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 2nd Edition (ISBN-10: 0321344758)

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