If you’re writing for the web, you’re writing for responsive design. Or you soon will be. In this article, we offer some tips to get your content working well on a range of screen sizes and orientations.
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One of the great things about the Internet is the range of tools and information now available—often for free. Here are 3 free tools I recommend. They’re simple to use. And they’ll help you write better content for your organisation’s website, intranet or blog.
Want clean, healthy web content? Then you’ll need to protect it from 3 common diseases. They’re highly contagious too: if some of your content suffers, it tends to infect the rest. Style guides offer little defence—many web writers copy their colleagues, unwittingly passing on the infection.
Scientists sometimes write content for their organisation’s websites. Some resist advice to write in plain language. Others find it hard to avoid ‘scientese’. This article presents tips from science journal style guides to help persuade and encourage scientists to write more readable science for the web.
If you want to write better web content, here’s an A-Z that should help. It covers attributes of quality content and other issues web writers should be aware of.
If you want to write better content for your website, intranet or blog, aim for these 7 qualities. They’re based on the classic ‘7 Cs of communication’, reworked for communicating online.
The accessibility guidelines suggest we write content that requires only a lower secondary level education to read. Where that’s not possible, we should provide supplementary content (visuals, for example), or an easy-to-read summary.
The accessibility guidelines require that we expand or define any abbreviations we use in our content. Often it’s even better to avoid using them.
The accessibility guidelines require that we explain or define any jargon, idioms or unusual words in our content. Often it’s even better to avoid using those words.
Some web writers object to using plain language, saying their role is to educate and expand users’ vocabulary. That’s a poor argument unless you’re developing learning materials, or working an encyclopedia website. Web content needs to communicate clearly, using a style and form appropriate for the web.
When organisations’ jargon uses common words in a special way, their customers are likely to misunderstand them. This is an example from a local government website where the word ‘pergola’ is used in a restricted sense, as defined by state legislation.
I’ve long been a fan of Whitney Quesenbery’s 5 Es of usability. They’re a great way to explain usability to clients, designers and developers. I think the 5 Es can also help us explain content usability.
Should I blame journalists for the overuse of these two awful words: ‘undertake’ and ‘undergo’? They’re in news headlines and TV news stories every day. But they’re also lurking on the web. Here’s how to avoid using them in your online content.