Published on October 3, 2008
Week Four Writing For The Web Wayne MacPhail
Overview • A History Lesson • Inverted Pyramid Revisited • Online Voice • MicroContent • What Eye Scans Teach Us • Writing for Navigation • Writing Links
A History Lesson Or, why you should never draw a pig in clay.
From Oral to Written
Early Egyptian Writing
Time to crack open a beer. Editoral Comment
Says him. Says me. Says him. Says him. Says him.
This will kill that The archdeacon gazed at the gigantic ediﬁce for some time in silence, then extending his right hand, with a sigh, towards the printed book which lay open on the table, and his left towards Notre-Dame, and turning a sad glance from the book to the church,-- quot;Alas,quot; he said, quot;this will kill that.quot; Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
Inverted Pyramid Most Important Least Important
Write Tight Say what you want to say. Cut it in half. Cut it in half again. Write it. Cut it in half, twice. Write. Cut. Twice.
Passive vs. Active Passive There were a great number of dead leaves lying on the ground. Active Dead leaves covered the ground. Passive It was not very long before she was very sorry that she had said Active what she had. She soon repented her words. Passive At dawn the crowing of a rooster could be heard. Active The cock’s crow came at dawn.
Banish Happy Talk Hello. Welcome to our new, improved site about gardening in Canada. We’re sure glad to see you and hope this site provides you with the tips, message boards and catalogue guides every Canadian gardener needs! Enjoy your visit and thanks!!! New Message Boards Tips Catalogues
Microcontent • Heads • Subheads • Marginalia • Grabber Quotes • Captions
Heads and Blurbs
Eye Scan Reality
Key Eye Scan Findings • Upper left of page gets most attention • Dominant headlines get ﬁrst attention • Underlined heads discourage subhead reading • Lefthand words in subheads read most • Shorter paragraphs preferred • Larger pictures preferred
Writing for Navigation • Consider each button a door sign • Use the words your users use • Be consistent page to page • Don’t make your users go on a treasure hunt
Buttons Like Door Signs
Use words your users use Learn more about assistive devices Find out about our articulation agreements What accomodations can you expect? Free devices that can help you succeed. Turn your diploma into a degree. How should the college be helping you?
Be consistent Win all your textbooks Books-for-Free Contest Win all your textbooks Win all your textbooks
No Treasure Hunts Main Menu Documents Resources Key Papers Backgrounders Need to Know
Find the Free Player
What’s the Diff?
Wayne MacPhail firstname.lastname@example.org wmacphail
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