Articles

Our articles cover a range of topics on writing for the web. Accessibility is a common focus because not a lot is written on the topic from a writer’s point of view.

Most recent articles

Text alternatives – a decision tree

To help you write better text alternatives for images, our decision tree asks three main questions. It guides you in choosing a short, long or blank text alternative.

Navel-gazing websites get you nowhere

What happens when organisations are too inward-looking? It soon becomes obvious to your clients that they are not your most important consideration. If this happens on your website, don’t expect them to stay long.

Content approval – is your process working?

Content management systems have made some aspects of managing web content easier. However, many organisations struggle with content approval processes. This article looks at common problems and solutions.

Language and the role of the web writer

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.

Don’t use ‘Humpty Dumpty’ words

When you use common words in a special way (jargon), your customers are likely to misunderstand you. This is an example from a local government website where the word ‘pergola’ is used in a restricted sense, as defined by state legislation.

Web content and the burden of time

If you rush to get content online you’ll find it’s nearly always longer than it needs to be. It takes time to edit out the words that aren’t doing any work. Sadly, web writers often don’t spend that time. And users simply won’t!

The struggle to publish useful content

A common question in our web writing workshops is ‘How do we stop people publishing content we know no one will ever use?’ It’s not easy, but we offer some suggestions in this article.

The 5 Es of content usability

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.

Don’t make me read (useless words)

If you’ve ever watched people read online, you’ll know they often don’t read closely. Most people scan-read a lot of the time. They just want the information they need. They can’t be bothered with the rest.