Don’t use colour alone to convey information because not everyone has normal colour vision. For most web writers, this means being careful about choosing images. But you may also need to be careful about applying colour to text.
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Don’t write instructions that rely on things that can only be seen (shape, size, screen location, orientation) or heard. If you do, some of your users won’t be able to follow your instructions.
Use HTML tags to identify certain types of information and show content structure. For instance, use heading tags for heading. In this article, we outline the HTML tags web writers need to know how to use.
When writing text alternatives for images you need to consider the role of the image and the context in which it is used.
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.
Text alternatives are one of the most basic requirements for accessibility, but also one of the most misunderstood.
Introduction to a 19-part series on accessibility for web writers, based on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0.
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 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.
Images of maps need a text alternative. This article discusses how to write text alternatives for simple and complex images of maps.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.