Sunday, 27 September 2009

Writing for the Web

Writing for the web is a subject I've had some interest in for a while. Indeed, I have been writing here, with varying regularity, for the best part of two and a half years. So I had mixed expectations about spending a full day being taught just how I should go about it. Of course blogging is slightly different from writing for a more "standard" website, but it does share most of the same principles.

Our course was run by Dan Fielder from StickyContent and was very interesting (yes, I was pleasantly surprised). I have just checked their website and have noticed their logo has some cool ants on it too. Mixing invertebrates and the internet is always of interest to me!

The course was a mix of exercises based on various ideas and concepts shown to be important by research or previous experience. There has been a large amount of research into how people read the web! We had some fun dismantling various sections of theNatural History Museum website (amongst others) and coming up with better alternative structures and phrases.

There was a whole host of tips, including the inverted pyramid approach (summarise at the beginning and ensure that wherever you stop reading a page you have the whole picture). Perhaps the most important lessons were brevity and clarity. It is possible to be comprehensive, clear and concise.

I intend to make a few changes to a number of sites over the coming months, so I will post anything vaguely interesting here!