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Text Matters

“In the realm of content, an image can play a strong supporting role, as can a design or a video. But text is the lead actor. Text engages readers on a deeper level because text allows you to explore and communicate complex ideas in ways not possible with other mediums. In the world of content, text matters. A lot.” (Tom Johnson ~ I’d Rather Be Writing)

The Increasing Momentum of Content Strategy

“(…) the content strategist’s role requires you not only to wrangle an immense amount of content into one unified whole, but also to wrangle and guide large groups of stakeholders and other decision leaders toward the same end.” (I’d Rather Be Writing)

What Is a Plain Language Expert?

“A plain language expert combines skills in writing, information design, and usability. A plain language expert can help make instructions, headings, and other text clear to voters. This article provides help in evaluating someone as a plain language expert.” (Janice Ginny Redish ~ Center for Plain Language)

How to measure the effectiveness of web content?

“(…) I can see two issues that make this a pretty difficult task, and it’s the reason why the above three methods should not be used in isolation. In combination, they help tell the whole story. It is difficult to know what users really read on a page and it is difficult to isolate the effect of content changes from the other influencing factors on a page.” (Rian van der Merwe ~ Elezea)

Good Help is Hard to Find

“One of the most fundamental rules of user experience on the web is that developers are rarely qualified to evaluate it. As developers, we know far too much about the web in general, and intuitively grasp details that mystify people who spend their days contributing to society in other ways. For this reason, it’s all too easy for us to build websites and applications that are hard to use. Good user testing during the development process can mitigate the problem, but in many projects, the testing budget is limited if present at all.” (Lyle Mullican ~ A List Apart)

The Yahoo! Styleguide

“Writing, editing, and creating content for the digital world.” (Y!)

Designing from the Content/Story Out

“If you create a design that doesn’t build from the content, you end up with a mismatch. When it comes to add your content, you find that your content/story doesn’t actually fit the design/theme.” (Tom Johnson ~ I’d Rather Be Writing)

The Importance of Copywriting in Web Design

“Designers often neglect to focus on both well-written copy and structuring a design so that it highlights the copy on the page. Today we’ll discuss why copywriting is so important, who needs to learn it, and how to create content-centric designs.” (Joshua Johnson)

Organizating Content: A 7 Parts Series

“I’m starting a new series on organizing content. I’m not sure how many parts there will be in this series. Writing essays in a serial format is an experiment I’m exploring. Basically this approach to writing follows the agile model. I write a bit, get some feedback, write some more, get feedback, and keep going. The feedback along the way shapes the direction I’m heading. Also, with each serial post, I hope to take the issue a little deeper.” (I’d Rather Be Writing)

The Small Print: Writing User Interface Instructions

“Experts say that a person’s behavior on the web is highly goal-driven. People have things they want to accomplish, whether it’s making a purchase, finding a recipe or learning how to do something new. Inherent in many web page designs, therefore, is information to help a user perform an action.” (Understanding Graphics)

Design to Read

“Many people do not read easily. They may have a visual problem or dyslexia. They may have not have had opportunities to learn to read, or be reading in stressful conditions or poor light, or perhaps they are reading in a second language. Is it possible to provide one consistent set of guidelines or approaches that will allow designers to meet all the apparently diverse needs of these people? Or are there compromises to be made?” (About Design to Read)

Words that Zing

“To select the right words, take cues from rhetoric and psychology. I do not mean use unctuous sales language or manipulative mind control, nor do I necessarily mean use catchy words. I simply mean add influential weight to web writing based on centuries of rhetorical wisdom and a growing body of scientific knowledge.” (Colleen JonesA List Apart)

Writing for the Web: The Right Strategy

“When it comes to designing a website, content is often overlooked, but why? Very rarely do users browse the web looking for a good design or decent experience. Users come for the content. Not giving them what they want with poorly written content will frustrate users. Not only does it waste their time, but your time as well.” (Shay Howe – letscountthedays) – courtesy of destrywion

Why don’t we actually read anymore?

“This kind of reading suggests that behind it lies a different kind of thinking. And unfortunately this may weaken our capacity to develop a deep kind of reading. According to Maryanne Wolf, development psychologist at Tufts University, we have become ‘mere decoders of information’. Our ability to interpret text, to make rich mental connections that are formed when we read deeply and without distraction, remains largely disengaged. But actually we are dealing with a problem here that we have to cope with because our ancestors, like Plato, believed that writing and reading was a good thing.” (Denise PiresDancing Uphill)

25 tips for writing the user experience

“While this article tends toward copywriting for the user experience as it pertains to the online world, you can apply it to other aspects of your brand as well. The most important point being to take the user, aka the person, reading what you’re writing into account from the get-go. Communicate for them first and foremost.” (Karen Goldfarb)

50 Free Resources That Will Improve Your Writing Skills

“Effective writing skills are to a writer what petrol is to a car. Like the petrol and car relationship, without solid skills writers cannot move ahead. These skills don’t come overnight, and they require patience and determination. You have to work smart and hard to acquire them. Only with experience, you can enter the realm of effective, always-in-demand writers.” (Smashing Magazine) – courtesy of khalvorson

How to Generate Reader Interest in What You Write

“Who has not discovered to their dismay that no one wants to read their most carefully crafted, meritorious, compelling, and passionate writings? Think of all the proposals you have written that no one is interested in. Or the web pages, the blog posts, or the company brochures. Chances are, your failures are linked to an inability to connect with what your readers would be interested in reading.” (Phil Yaffe – ACM Ubiquity)