Join Chris Nodder for an in-depth discussion in this video Writing descriptive text, part of User Experience for Web Designers.
- Like we said right at the beginning of this course, people go online mostly to find information. They have a goal in mind. They might well be comparing the information on your site to that of other sites in order to actually come to a conclusion either about a topic they're reseraching or about a product they want to buy. The last thing they want to see is useless information. In this case, useless information falls into two categories, overly complex language and marketing hype. Back in a previous chapter, we talked about the Oppenheimer study where people thought that authors of articles with complex language had lower intelligence.
This study shows that using complex language reduces your content's credibility. Interestingly, marketing hype has a similar effect. Most people can detect marketing hype relatively quickly. Once they have detected it, they find it more difficult to pay attention to any facts that might be scattered in with the hype. So, be really careful to make your content simple to read and high in facts. Also, remember that the people reading your content may not be experts.
Even if you run a site on a very complex topic or sell highly specialized equipment, the people who visit your site might be beginners who are trying to find out about the topic or people who work in the purchasing department rather than in the job who actually use your equipment. These people need factual, descriptive text to get their jobs done. That isn't to say that you shouldn't sell to an audience. Whatever kind of site you have; a personal blog, a corporate site or an ecommerce storefront, you're trying to convince your audience that your content or product is what they're looking for.
The easiest way to do this is typically to be truthful and open with the information that you have. It's also important that your detail pages provide visitors with things that they can use to sell you to their friends. In other words, you need to give them content that they can link to or even take and reuse. Things like photos, videos, case studies and fact sheets are all helpful for people who need to spread the word about your product or site. Often, even household purchases are joint decisions, and whoever's reading the detail page on your site must be able to sell their partner on your product before they can buy it.
User experience expert Chris Nodder teaches
- What people want from websites, how they search for information, how they read online, and how to structure your content to take advantage of this research
- How to use graphics to help rather than hinder visitors, how to integrate video, audio, and other media, and when to consider interactive rather than static content
- How to look at your site's homepage, forms, product pages, and content through the eyes of users to build a site that better meets their needs
- How to balance site content with advertising
There are never enough great interfaces in the world. Take this easy introduction to start making wonderful online experiences for your own users.
- Building a site visitors will like
- Using single, consistent, and standard design principles
- Creating good menus
- Working with site maps
- Adding search to a site
- Arranging content in a layout
- Writing for the web
- Creating category pages and landing pages
- Designing product pages and forms
- Using media and interactive content
- Balancing ads and content