7 Simple Rules of Creating a Text for a Web Site

By: Maxim Baryshev

One of the Internet gurus - Jacob Nielsen - in his book says that "the objective of visiting a site is to get some certain information". The problem is that there are lots and lots of information and sites containing this information in the Internet. And sometimes it is really difficult to find the very information you need.

Imagine: you've been searching for some information during a long period of time. At last you find the site which contains the necessary information, but the data on this site are very difficult to read. Frankly speaking, this happens pretty often. What happens then? An unsatisfied user leaves the site and the site looses a user. The reason for this is just an improper text design. So, if the main objective of visiting a site is to find necessary information, the main objective of creating a site and its design is to make the process of finding information on your site the easiest thing.

Now, there is a question: how to design a text for a site so that to help a user find the very information he needs which is contained at your site?

While writing and designing texts for a site you need to follow some simple recommendations:

1. Text should be brief and laconic. Texts of large size are very difficult to read at a computer screen. Try to avoid different parenthetical words and constructions, reasoning, which is not dealing with the main idea of the text.

2. Text should be convenient for quick reading. It is better to divide the text into paragraphs, use subtitles and bulleted lists. Information which is structured at least some how can be easier accepted by the users.

3. It is better to divide a text of a very large size into several chapters or even pages, which can be connected by links.

4. If there are any additional materials which are somehow connected to the information presented at your page, you shouldn't arrange them at the same page; put some links in the text right on the meaningful words.

To put links in the text is not so easy, as it seems to be. There is some risk of putting too much or too little of them. Try to strike the happy medium. Links should be issue-related: they should either extend the material, or should have informative character: explain or give more precise information on the topic.

5. Information should not be presented only in the form of a text, it is so boring to read plain text. Do not disregard using pictures, photos connected to the information given in the text.

But here it is also important to be very careful: 1 - 2 pictures in a large text will be not enough and too many pictures will lead to a long download of the page and the thing is that a user will not approve it.

Ok, we have discussed the number of pictures, let's talk about their size. The pictures should not be too small or too big. For instance, Jacob Nielsen advices to use pictures of 150 - 200 pixels in width.

6. Check the text, do not make orthographical and punctuation mistakes, follow elementary language norms.

And one more thing: turn to editors' help; this can be very useful. And the last but not least recommendation: when writing the text, answer the user's question "how?": How can I do this? How can I find? How can I buy? How can I check? etc. Only then your site will definitely become a useful resource.

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