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About this wiki
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Web writing dos and don'ts
Keep the text on your pages short and concise. You should aim for at least 50% fewer words than you would use in print.
State the obvious. If you want the user to click a link to go to a particular page or piece of information, the link should say 'click here to go to [a particular page or piece on information]', not just 'click here' or be a word highlighted in a paragraph of text.
Tell the user what they need to know first. Then tell them the rest.
Identify your key messages. What do you want the user to do with/find out from this page? Make this the most obvious part of your content.
And then? Ask yourself this at the end of every page. Where do you want the user to go from here? Can they get there? Is it obvious how?
Use images. Pages of just text are dull, intimidating and inaccessible. Let's face it, who can be bothered reading web pages? Show me the pictures.
Use bullet points. These make it easier for your skim reading user to pick out key facts/messages.
Use sub-headings, in bold.
Use the same text you used in your printed material: use these guidelines to make a web-friendly version.
Use the same text you used on your old website.
Use the same text you used last year.
Use PDF or a WORD document because you can't be bothered making a new web page.
Write 'Welcome to Edinburgh Napier University’s blah department' as the first line of your homepage. Your user knows they're on the Edinburgh Napier University site, they probably clicked on a link to your specific page and if the title of the page doesn't tell them where they are, it should do.
Make links very long. Explain what the user is linking to and then let them link to it to get the information.
Write in a flowery/journalistic/conversational/marketing style. Just write clearly and deliver the facts.
Forget about your pages. Make sure you regularly read through your website and remove/update any information that is out of date or no longer relevant or accurate.
Find out more about writing for the web
My Pension online
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