People tend to scan Web pages rather than reading every word and prefer not to scroll, so Nielsen suggests you use the following to break up the text:
These methods of breaking up the text allow Web users to easily scan through the information. Crawford Kilian's book "Writing for the Web" adds the following guidelines:
In addition to being concise and easy to scan, Web writing should follow the five evaluation criteria for Web sources by being accurate, credible, objective, current, and have an appropriate scope of coverage.
To meet these goals ensure your Web writing follows criterias listed below.
When writing for the Web, try to find information from the best sources. Information from Web sources are not always accurate since anyone can publish on the Web. The quality of the sources you use has a direct effect on the accuracy of the information on your Web page. Always evaluate the quality of Web sources before using information found on the Web. Use a mix of printed and online resources.
Web writing should be error free and well-written. The Elements of Style by William Strunk, written in 1918 is a classic but still useful guide.
Anonymous Web pages have low credibility. Provide information about all authors and creators to give users a way to judge the quality of your information and allow them to contact you.
Writing objectively is especially important for news stories and scientific reports. Remain impartial, or state what biases you have. Show both sides of a story and present alternative viewpoints to opinions.
Web users will want to determine how current your information is. Having expired links indicates your page may be outdated.
State what your page will cover and organize it well. The purpose of your Web site should be clear — if your site were an essay what would the thesis statement be? Make your site easy to navigate and entertaining with creative content so users will enjoy themselves.
Following the guidelines listed above will give your site a higher level of usability and increase the quality of your information. Please see our Writing Links for more information.
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