Writing content

A series of articles on writing content that is easier to read. Covers common problems and solutions, as well as useful tools.

Most recent articles

Writing content for responsive design

If you’re writing for the web, you’re writing for responsive design. In this article, we offer some tips to get your content working well on a range of screen sizes and orientations.

3 useful tools for web writers

Here are 3 free tools that are simple to use. They’ll help you write better content for your organisation’s website, intranet or blog.

Better science writing for the web

Scientists who write content for their organisation’s websites might resist advice to write in plain language. Some find it hard to avoid ‘scientese’. This article shows advice from science journal style guides to encourage scientists to write more readable science for the web.

A-Z of better web writing

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.

7 Cs of quality web content

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.

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.

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.

Two words that need to go under

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.