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The Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS
Information & Communication Technologies


Writing for the web

  • Using the Web, users tend to scan the information and pick out the parts that interest them.
  • To make this easier, try to avoid long, scrolling pages: Keep text short and to the point. Assume that the majority of users will not scroll down so keep the most important and attractive information near the top of the page / article.
  • Do not use a 'Splash page' (i.e. a nice graphic that takes up most of the screen and which requires the user to 'Click here' to continue to the main page) for your site's home page.
  • Avoid marketing fluff or elaborate language. Use factual information.

Make your website's content easier to scan by using:

    • highlighted keywords (hypertext links; font variations and colour are others)
    • meaningful sub-headings . Organise content into logical categories
    • bulleted or numbered lists. Information in lists can be quickly and easily digested
    • one idea per paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not caught by the first few words in the paragraph), highlight the key word.
    • starting with the most important part or conclusion
    • half the word count (or less) of conventional writing
    • dividing material into page size blocks . Endless scrolling can be annoying
    • breaking content up into short paragraphs for easy reading
    • colour and graphics to create interest and visually direct focus from one topic to the next.
    • A spell-check. Native speakers should proof read all content.
    • clearly labelled links : avoid terms such as 'here is the home page' or 'click here'. They add little value . Make links more meaningful, e.g. link words such as 'list of partners' to the partners page (not"for info on partners click here')