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Copyright 2002 - www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Writing for the web A word to the wise web designer.

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Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2002 - www.reallygoodfreelancewriter.com Writing for the web A word to the wise web designer."— Presentation transcript:

1 Copyright Writing for the web A word to the wise web designer

2 Copyright The Greater Cleveland PC Users Group and the Greater Cleveland Desktop Publishing Users Group A presentation

3 Copyright What’s different about the web? The way readers scan a page The way readers scan a page Where readers finally focus attention Where readers finally focus attention How much time they’ll spend How much time they’ll spend How much moving around they’ll do How much moving around they’ll do How they prefer to navigate How they prefer to navigate Some things are not different: Some things are not different: What they want to hear (read) What they want to hear (read) How they want to read it How they want to read it

4 Copyright Scanning a printed page Graphics first Graphics first Z pattern Z pattern Scan headlines Scan headlines Bottom right call to action Bottom right call to action

5 Copyright Print navigation Traditional metaphors Traditional metaphors TOC TOC Index Index Search Search Browse sequences Browse sequences Related topics Related topics Hypertext Hypertext

6 Copyright Browser scanning is different Top gets quick glance Top gets quick glance Center is most important Center is most important Left and right are second Left and right are second Bottom is least important Bottom is least important And even more important…

7 Copyright Web ways Most viewers look at text before graphics Most viewers look at text before graphics True for new and experienced users True for new and experienced users Metaphors for web navigation Metaphors for web navigation Hypertext Hypertext Simple and advanced search Simple and advanced search Site maps Site maps Nav bars, image maps, hotspots Nav bars, image maps, hotspots Jump menus and other form elements Jump menus and other form elements “bread crumbs” “bread crumbs” Rich media (Flash) and DHTML Rich media (Flash) and DHTML

8 Copyright What does it mean to the designer? Center your message Center your message Use comprehensive navigation at left (and/or top) Use comprehensive navigation at left (and/or top) Use guarantees, testimonials, calls to action at right Use guarantees, testimonials, calls to action at right Minimize scrolling Minimize scrolling Take full advantage of web navigation metaphors Take full advantage of web navigation metaphors

9 Copyright What about copy? Say what you really do or offer Say what you really do or offer Avoid corporate-speak (e.g., “the power of convergence”) Avoid corporate-speak (e.g., “the power of convergence”) Say why you’re different from competitors Say why you’re different from competitors Focus on what’s in it for viewers Focus on what’s in it for viewers Why should they read more? Why should they read more? Why should they buy your product/service? Why should they buy your product/service?

10 Copyright Formatting copy Use short paragraphs Use short paragraphs Make the layout easily scannable (headlines, white space) Make the layout easily scannable (headlines, white space) Use bulleted lists Use bulleted lists

11 Copyright “Good” writing is always good Keep it simple and short Keep it simple and short Familiar words Familiar words Short sentences Short sentences No jargon No jargon Use active verbs Use active verbs Avoid passives Avoid passives Use a conversational tone Use a conversational tone Personalize, use “you” Personalize, use “you”

12 Copyright Use words that motivate You want the viewer to take action You want the viewer to take action Use language that guides, encourages, persuades, influences and motivates Use language that guides, encourages, persuades, influences and motivates Always call for action Always call for action Offer an incentive Offer an incentive

13 Copyright Web usability references By Mark Hurst – focuses on usability and common sense design principles for commercial websites By Mark Hurst – focuses on usability and common sense design principles for commercial websites By Keith Instone – human factors, user interface issues and usable design By Keith Instone – human factors, user interface issues and usable design By Jakob Nielsen. His column, AlertBox, is a treasure trove of usability principles By Jakob Nielsen. His column, AlertBox, is a treasure trove of usability principles

14 Copyright Call me if you have questions or you want help making your writing powerful and effective! Barbara Payne What a good idea! Let’s hire a really good freelance writer!


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