Jacob Nielsen, dé deskundige op het gebied van gebruiksvriendelijkheid, heeft jaren geleden geschreven dat men op het web heel weinig leest. Moeten we dan ook minder schrijven? Ja, zegt hij: dan wordt het beter onthouden en wordt er dus ook beter gecommuniceerd.
WEBSITE ONTWERP •
Inne ten Have
Op dit moment geeft Darwine in opdracht van OSP
een training aan het ministerie van Defensie over het gebruik van hun intranet.
Het cursus materiaal is hier
2004-03-07, door Darwine
On any given Web page, users will either...
- click something that appears to take them closer to the fulfillment of their goal,
- or click the Back button on their Web browser
2004-03-18, door Inne ten Have
Learn how to implement an effective web style guide
Gerry McGovern outlines 5 steps to building an effective style guide for your online content management:
- Definition of target reader
- Description of style and tone
- Description of key web writing conventions
- A-Z of usage
Gepubliceerd door Gerry McGovern
op Gerry MCgGovern
2004-05-18, door Inne ten Have
Content management: design for rule, not exception
When is a long document not a long document?
Change is upon us, whether we like it or not. HTML is the default technology for accessible documents online according to the W3C and most government standards.
That means goodbye to the easy solution of flinging scores of long documents on to a web site as Word or PDF files.
It's crazy to think we could all go back and reformat every old archived document as HTML. That's just not going to happen. But in the future, we will be forced to think harder about how to deal with the long documents we produce.
Most long documents in other formats (e.g. Word, PDF) are best converted to a collection of web pages, sometimes on a mini-web site.
This may bring some surprises ...
2004-08-20, door Inne ten Have
What We Saw When We Looked Through Their Eyes
News websites have been with us for about a decade, and editors and designers still struggle with many unanswered questions: Is homepage layout effective? ... What effect do blurbs on the homepage have compared to headlines? ... When is multimedia appropriate? ... Are ads placed where they will be seen by the audience?
2004-09-09, door Inne ten Have
Often there isn’t enough time to edit a document thoroughly. What do you do then? Triage!
The goal of editorial triage is to clarify the key points while eliminating the most significant obstacles to flow. Here’s how I accomplish this quickly…
CONTEXT: My suggested guidelines for length of paragraphs and sentences represent my own editorial preferences. The general process described here can apply to virtually any kind of editing. However, for length or structural requirements, follow your organization’s style guidelines (if any).
Once this triage is completed, you can revisit the document for further editing if time permits. If you’re almost out of time, do your proofreading after triage. The document won’t be editorially perfect, but it will be far more readable.
- Create short, intuitive headlines and subheads. Maximum 50 characters. Each headline or subhead should make sense if read out of context. It should not only indicate the topic, but also imply the main point (the “so what”) or that document, section, or subsection.
To test this, view only your headlines and subheads as a table of contents. If that skeletal text provide a decent summary of the key points of your document, you’ve succeeded.
Depending on page layout, present a new subhead every 500-700 words (at least once per page for printed documents). Use active verbs wherever possible. Sidebars need effective titles, too.
- Maintain a sense of flow. Review the organization of sections and subsections, keeping the goals of your document in mind. What effects do you want this document to have on the target audience? Make sure every section and subsection directly supports your overall goals.
Don’t get too bogged down in background or details, especially early on. Eliminate unnecessary details that don’t directly support your main goals. Background or details work especially well in sidebars or bulleted lists.
- Kill the gray blobs. To the reader, overly long paragraphs look like impenetrable gray blobs. These blobs can mire readers in confusion, annoyance, and despair. Layout is a key consideration. In my experience, paragraphs start to look too long if they run more than five lines in narrower columns or four lines in wider columns.
Scan through your document and note on each page (or about every 700 words) the one or two longest, ugliest paragraphs. Then, break or trim these monsters to meet the 50-word/paragraph limit. Don’t go back to line-edit the document from the beginning until you’ve killed at least one gray blob on every page.
Gepubliceerd door Amy Gahran
2004-11-17, door Inne ten Have
Designing an Intranet User Survey
It usually happens anytime from 6 to 8 o'clock; you're cooking dinner or are already in the middle of eating and the telephone will ring. You know there's going to be trouble the moment you hear that silence in between your first Hello and your second, louder HELLO! The person on the other end of the line will finally kick in and display that distinct impression of reading off a script, "Hello Mr. Chin, my name is Pam and we're doing market research on aluminum foil, plastic wraps, and other food storage products. Do you have a few moments to answer some questions?"
What follows is one of two responses on my part: If I'm not too busy, it will be a polite "I'm sorry but I'm busy at the moment." But if I've had a particularly bad day or if something's smoldering on my stove, I may be a little less accommodating and make some loud, shrieking monkey noises to drive them away — after all, it would be rude to just hang up.
This is probably the image that comes to mind when we first hear the word "survey" — the efforts of some large market research firm gathering raw data on our comings and goings to be used for who knows what. But it's high time we wash that bad taste out of our mouths because a survey is an excellent tool to keep in touch with the changing needs of the user community, and to help intranet owners gather requirements for improving and advancing an intranet.
- The Importance of Asking Questions
- Making the Questions Count
- Sample Intranet User Survey Questions
- Storing and Processing the Results
- Tips on Running a Successful User Survey
- Final Thoughts
2004-12-14, door Inne ten Have
Standards for online content authors
The standards on this page include non-technical standards relevant to all web authors and technical standards relevant to some web authors.
I suggest you pick and choose from the long list, adapting it to your needs.
The trend is towards using content management systems, which give web content authors more control and more responsibility. That's why I made the list pretty inclusive.
Which standards are relevant to your authors? That depends on:
- whether you use a content management system or other publishing tool
- if so, how the CMS is customised
- whether authors publish their own content
- which factors are controlled by your webmaster or IT team
- what is already in your regular company style guide.
Gevonden op Quality Web Content
2005-04-04, door Inne ten Have
These are just a few of hundreds of silly laws U.S. states have on the books. It's hard to know exactly why or how laws like these came to be. They must've made sense to somebody, some time.
- No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
- No one is allowed to ride a bicycle in a swimming pool.
- A person may not walk around on Sundays with an ice cream cone in his/her pocket.
- Slippers are not to be worn after 10 p.m.
The Internet is no exception. It has its share of silly (though unwritten) rules that the masses seem eager to follow.
Solid rules and best practices are great for managing well-established systems and keep social order. Online, following unwritten rules can be a recipe for rotten conversion. Here are a few of my favorite unwritten Internet rules.
Gepubliceerd door Bryan Eisenberg
op ClickZ Network
2005-08-08, door Inne ten Have
Een aantal bladzijden (zichtbaar bij Amazon) van dit leuke boekje over het ontwerp van websites door Seth Godin
2006-03-22, door Inne ten Have
10 Tips on Writing the Living Web
Some parts of the web are finished, unchanging creations – as polished and as fixed as books or posters. But many parts change all the time:
Some of these sites change every week; many change every day; a few change every few minutes. Daypop’s Dan Chan calls this the Living Web, the part of the web that is always changing.
- news sites bring up-to-the-minute developments, ranging from breaking news and sports scores to reports on specific industries, markets, and technical fields
- weblogs, journals, and other personal sites provide a window on the interests and opinions of their creators
- corporate weblogs, wikis, knowledge banks, community sites, and workgroup journals provide share news and knowledge among co-workers and supply-chain stakeholders
Every revision requires new writing, new words that become the essence of the site. Living sites are only as good as today’s update. If the words are dull, nobody will read them, and nobody will come back. If the words are wrong, people will be misled, disappointed, infuriated. If the words aren’t there, people will shake their heads and lament your untimely demise.
Writing for the Living Web is a tremendous challenge. Here are ten tips that can help.
Geschreven door Mark Bernstein
op A list Apart
2006-04-07, door Inne ten Have
I know a fair amount about evangelism and a little bit about blogging, so I've combined the two in order to provide some insights into the evangelism of a blog. Granted, I've only been at blogging for 120 days or so, but marketing is marketing, right?
- Think “book” not “diary.”
- Answer the little man.
- Collect email addresses.
- Collect links for blog rolling.
- Scoop stuff.
- Supplement other bloggers with a followup entries.
- Acknowledge and respond to commenters.
- Ask for help.
- Be bold.
- Make it easy to join up.
Van het weblog "Let the good times roll" van Guy Kawasaki
2006-04-22, door Inne ten Have
The Elements of Style for Designers
The creative act of writing is always bounded a bit by the audience: journalism is not writing a novel. The same can be said of design: it is not art. Yet the materials are the same—words and pictures—and it is no big surprise that what is good for fiction is good for nonfiction. The surprise comes when one discovers that, with some exceptions, what is good for words is good for pictures too. And thus we discover The Elements of Style is just as relevant for young designers as for young writers.
Geschreven door Christina Wodtke op boxesandarrows.com
2006-07-26, door Inne ten Have
21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic
A considerable portion of my consulting time has recently revolved around the optmization of corporate blogs (or the addition of blogs to revamped sites). As usual, I find a pattern emerging in the strategies that need attention and the pitfalls that must be avoided. So, rather than charging $400 an hour to give advice on the subject, I thought it would be valuable to share many of the most common pieces of advice here on the blog (business part of Rand fights with open source Rand, but loses, as usual).
- Choose the Right Blog Software (or Custom Build)
- Host Your Blog Directly on Your Domain
- Write Title Tags with Two Audiences in Mind
- Participate at Related Forums & Blogs
- Tag Your Content
- Launch Without Comments (and Add Them Later)
- Don't Jump on the Bandwagon
- Link Intelligently
- Invite Guest Bloggers
- Eschew Advertising (Until You're Popular)
- Go Beyond Text in Your Posts
- Cover Topics that Need Attention
- Pay Attention to Your Analytics
- Use a Human Voice
- Archive Effectively
- Implement Smart URLs
- Reveal as Much as Possible
- Only One Post in Twenty Can Be Linkbait
- Make Effective Use of High Traffic Days
- Create Expectations and Fulfill Them
- Build a Brand
Gepubliceerd door Randfish
2006-09-01, door Inne ten Have
While I was at the U of O I kept going on about how the core skill of any future creative business person will be 'being interesting'. People will employ and want to work with (and want to be with) interesting people.
And since I’d spent quite a lot of time telling them all the things they should stop doing I’d thought I’d try and teach something useful. Since I don't actually know anything useful I had to make something up. Which is below. It takes about 10 minutes to teach but it’ll take a lifetime for people to work out if it works or not, and by then I’ll be long gone. Ha!
I’ve based it on two assumptions:
The marvelous thing about tinterweb is that it’s got great tools for being interested and great tools for sharing. So I’ve used them a lot. It should, of course, be obvious that there are many other ways to be interesting. Some of them don't involve computers at all. These are just 10 things, and if you do them you’ll get more interesting. Or at the very least you’ll start practising the skills of being interesting.
- The way to be interesting is to be interested. You’ve got to find what’s interesting in everything, you’ve got to be good at noticing things, you’ve got to be good at listening. If you find people (and things) interesting, they’ll find you interesting.
- Interesting people are good at sharing. You can’t be interested in someone who won’t tell you anything. Being good at sharing is not the same as talking and talking and talking. It means you share your ideas, you let people play with them and you’re good at talking about them without having to talk about yourself.
It's sort of didactic, bossy even, but it's supposed to be instructional, rules you can follow. If you do them, and send me evidence that you’ve done them for three months, then I’ll send you a marvelous ‘I’m More Interesting Than I Was Three Months Ago’ certificate.
- Take at least one picture everyday. Post it to flickr.
- Start a blog. Write at least one sentence every week.
- Keep a scrapbook.
- Every week, read a magazine you’ve never read before.
- Once a month interview someone for 20 minutes, work out how to make them interesting. Podcast it.
- Collect something.
- Once a week sit in a coffee-shop or cafe for an hour and listen to other people’s conversations. Take notes. Blog about it. (Carefully)
- Every month write 50 words about one piece of visual art, one piece of writing, one piece of music and one piece of film or TV. Do other art forms if you can. Blog about it.
- Make something.
Geschreven door Russel Davies
op zijn welog
2006-11-10, door Inne ten Have
Improve the writing in your organisation
This is a tool that helps make people better business writers. And better communicators all round, in my opinion.
It’s nothing more than a template for creating 100 word articles. It was created by a guy called Andrew Faulkner (if I remember right) for journalists on the Mirror newspaper in the 70s.
I call it the Mirror Triangle.
Faulkner wanted his reporters to file 100 word stories, with a first line of just 12 or 13 words. Take a look at the tabloids today, they still write articles like this.
It’s a great tool because it forces you to get to the crux of the issue. So you’ve done your interviews, you’ve got your notes, your background research, your reams of documents, and then you’ve got to take all your materials and all your thoughts and tell the story in just 12 words.
It’s a great discipline for internal communicators. It’s hard work for us but it makes life so much easier for our readers.
Geschreven door Phil Turner
, gevonden bij elearningpost.com
2007-02-20, door Inne ten Have
Blogging Is About Writing
When you visit Google, do you click a picture to begin your search? Do you face a screen full of images like in a grocery store self-checkout? Click fruits, then apples, then scroll through pictures of apples before you find the Jonagold Apples you want to buy, and select those?
Of course not.
The web is about words. No matter how visual and audible it becomes, it continues to be about the words.
Blogging is about writing. Many claim that content is king. If content is king, then the army that protects and defends the king is the written word.
Here are some things to think about next time to put your army to work on your blog.
There are two ways to hold your reader’s interest. Show them something they’ve never seen before, or show them something in a way they’ve never seen it before.
- Don’t Just Show, Show and Tell
- Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
- Write Clickable Titles
- Make Your Point in the First 200 Words
- Blog Writing Is About Editing
- Make Your Words Timeless
- Don’t Waste Words
- Explain Jargon
- Use Descriptions in Images and Links
- Use Descriptions for Flash, Podcasts, Videocasts, and Screencasts
- Present a Problem, The Solution, and The Results
- Just the Facts, Ma’am
- If You Have 100 Top Priorities, You Have No Priorities At All
- Originality Will Always Win
- Move The Reader Through the Story
- Blog Paragraphs Are Short
- Use Command Verbs to Teach
- No Wishy-Washy Passive Voice
- Use Nouns and Synonyms
- Comments Are Content
- Visualize Who You Are Writing To
- Clean Up Old Posts
- Write Kinda Like You Talk
- Mind Reading Writing
- Avoid Screaming
- Punctuate Properly
- Blog Writing Isn’t About Smiley Faces
- Teach Your Readers
- Make Me Think
- Write With Conviction and Passion
Blogging that gets noticed and linked to is all about seeing things in a new light. A university advertising professor once told me there are “no new ideas, only new ways of presenting old ideas”. Present information from a unique perspective and writing with a fresh angle and you will attract attention.
Geschreven door Darren Rowse
2007-04-03, door Inne ten Have
What Are The Seven Deadliest Sins of Writing for Social Media?
From the last twelve years at Sticky Content spent writing and editing web copy for companies and organisations of all kinds, Toole reckons she knows what the seven deadliest sins are. Here's her list, in no particular order:
- Not setting a strategy before you start
“We should have a blog” says the CEO. And so it begins...
- Going for volume
(ie Myspace) Over a targeted, specialist community (ie brickshelf.com for LEGO enthusiasts).
- Ignoring the rules of engagement
Posting corporate salespeak on messageboards, for example, or ‘digging’ your own stuff. Wasting people’s time with irrelevant blog entries about your new pet...
- Not having the resource, the skills – or possibly the staying power – to maintain your content
To respond quickly and appropriately to negative comments/questions/reviews, or to participate in debates about your products or services.
- Failing to be transparent
and to fully disclose your connection to a product/company
- Expecting it to be easy
Building trust online takes time and requires brands to be both open and generous – to freely share their expertise and to work hard to create genuinely interesting and useful content.
- Ignoring best practice in web writing
Providing good quality content in web-friendly formats which is usable, easy to find through search engines and written to brand guidelines which encompass social media.
GEschreven door Catharine Toole
op Social Computing Magazine
2007-06-19, door Inne ten Have
Write Articles, Not Blog Postings
To demonstrate world-class expertise, avoid quickly written, shallow postings. Instead, invest your time in thorough, value-added content that attracts paying customers.
Een alertbox artikel
van Jacob Nielsen
2007-07-13, door Inne ten Have
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