Web Writing That Works!

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           The Communication Circle

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HomeGuidelines > Shuffling the Big Ideas                  

 

For details on the ideas:

1.  Trim that Text!

2.  Make Text
     Scannable

3.  Cook up Hot Links

4.  Write Chunky
     Paragraphs

5.  Reduce Cognitive
     Burdens

6.  Make Meaningful
     Menus

Shuffling the Big Ideas

Here's a list of the ideas we stress, followed by a list of our guidelines. 

Try to recall which idea each guideline belongs with.

Idea #1: Trim that Text!

Idea #2: Make Text Scannable!

Idea #3: Cook up Hot Links

Idea #4: Build Chunky Paragraphs

Idea #5: Reduce Cognitive Burdens

Idea #6: Write Meaningful Menus

Guidelines

Announce the new with special links.

Beware of cutting so far that you make the text ambiguous.

Blow up nominalizations and noun trains.

Confirm the location.

Convert repeating categories of information into tables.

Create a meaningful title.

Cut any paper-based text by 50%.

Delete marketing fluff.

Design each paragraph around one idea.

Establish credibility by offering outbound links.

Highlight keywords and phrases-and links.

If you must include the context, put that first.

Insert meaningful headlines and subheads.

Let users print or save the entire document at once so users can avoid reading any more onscreen.

Make clear what the user will get from the link.

Make each paragraph short.

Make links accessible.

Make meta information public.

Make positive statements so people understand right away.

Move vital but tangential or supplemental material.

Offer multiple routes to the same information.

Provide depth and breadth through plentiful links to related information within your site.

Put key conclusions, ideas, news, at the start of the article.

Put the idea of the paragraph first.

Reduce scrolling.

Reduce the number of clauses per sentence.

Shift focus from the links or linked-to documents to the subject.

Show where we are.

Surface the agent and action, so users don't have to guess.

Tell people about a media object before they download.

Think of a heading as an object you reuse many times.

Turn any list into a bulleted or numbered list.

Watch out for ambiguous phrases a user might have to debate.

When users arrive at the target, make it obvious.

Within a sentence, make the link the emphatic element.

Write and display several levels at once.

Write each menus so it offers a meaningful structure.

Write meta-tags to have your pages found.

Write URLs that humans can read.
 

For answers, see the Job Aid, with all guidelines under their ideas.

Other resources

Job Aid

The Ultimate Challenge: Chocorama

 

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  2003 Jonathan and Lisa Price
The Communication Circle
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