To begin with, let’s focus on the main purpose of writing, that is…. reading. Jacob Nielsen – considered to be a world guru user experience – when asked how people read on the Internet, answered: “In general! So let’s look at the difference between reading from paper and reading on a monitor.
A person reading a book or a newspaper – let’s call it: a traditional reader – usually has a quiet moment, can try or lie down and while reading line by line, he or she enjoys the content. Not to mention the experience of “communing with paper”, for which many people will never “change” from book to tablet. The internet reader, on the other hand, let’s call him a web reader, is much less patient. And certainly never has time. Reading it is really scanning the text, with a glance at the highlighted fragments in the content I will write about in a moment.
Secondly, we have become accustomed to the fact that a lot of content on the Internet is worthless rubbish. We have even learned to recognize colors and icons, which should be immediately ignored. We instinctively avoid certain parts of websites that we associate with diffusers (e.g. advertisements). In this way we learned how to scan the content – after all, we had to somehow cope with this “information bomb”, which always attacks us after opening the website.
So what can you – as a creator of texts for websites – do so that the web reader does not just find your article, but reads it in its entirety and finally states that he finally found what he was looking for?
Here are some of them:
2. Attract attention with the header – it is the header and 2 – 3 first sentences that determine whether the text will be read. So don’t regret the time and creativity to create a headline for your text. You can formulate it e.g. as a question “How to do…”, “How to avoid…” or include digits that attract attention.
3. Follow the inverted pyramid rule – first of all present the most important things in the text. In the area of usability of websites, there is the concept of so-called immersion lines. This is all that we see on a website after entering it, without scrolling down. Above the immersion line there should be what is supposed to attract attention and encourage further reading.
- the active page (“I wrote” instead of “was written”);
- questions that the reader can answer in spirit while reading;
- writing for “you” – note that this significantly reduces the distance and makes reading easier.
6. Remember to be correct – there is nothing worse than spelling mistakes or disjointed sentences. A sloppy, underdeveloped text is a bad testimony to its author.
7. Use the optimal width of the text – do not make the reader read long lines on the edges of the monitor, because it will get tired of it faster than the content will get interested in it.
8. Shorten – cross out any unnecessary divagations and adjectives that do not bring anything. Avoid pouring water. The web reader really only has a moment to review your text and see if it’s worth reading. Write about specifics.
- divide text into blocks and paragraphs;
- use a friendly, simple font in the right size;
- use rather dark font on a light background, avoid large colour contrasts;
- use subtitles;
- use bullet points and lists;
- use bold and bold text (in moderation);
- use digits (attract attention);
- use interesting infographics, illustrations, handwritten inserts, etc.