Welcome! I am looking forward to meeting you at our Writing for the Web course on August 14. Before the course, please complete this brief pre-course assignment.
1. Study these two web pages. At each page, the authors have used a natural, readable style to write about a technical, sophisticated topic. What writing strategies did they use to achieve this style?
- How dependent are we on foreign oil? – Energy Information Administration
- Peer Leaders Facilitate Social Engagement Among Dementia Patients in Long-Term Care Facilities – AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange
2. Review this well-written NAMI web page. What did the writers do to make this page readable and useful?
3. Review this NAMI web page: Treatment and Services: Supported Employment.
This NAMI page isn’t easy to read. It needs to be rewritten. Below, I have listed six ways the writer could edit this page to make it better. Which three of these ways do you think are most important? Why?
- Make it shorter
- Add hypertext links to other content at the NAMI site
- Add subheadings
- Revise the main title so it conveys a message, not just a topic
- Update it so it presents more current information
- Move the main message from the end to the beginning
4. Read these two usability studies that describe how people read online. Do the findings of these usability studies match the way you read web content?
- Website Reading: It (Sometimes) Does Happen – Jakob Nielsen’s Alertbox: June 24, 2013
- 2 Easy Ways to Increase Visitor Engagement Times – Clicktale’s Web Analytics & Usability Blog, post by Talya Rachel Judovits on July 12, 2011
- F-Shaped pattern for reading web content
- When content helps users focus, they switch from scanning to reading
- Aetna Pandemic Preparations
- Lobby or room? Financial Women’s Association
- Lobby or room? Federation of Mental Health Centers
- Lobby or room? Peace Corps – Learn about Volunteering
- Communication or dissemination: InterAction’s Recognizing and Responding to Stress page
- Anticipate and answer users’ questions: AAUW – How to Join
- Anticipate and answer users’ questions: NAMI – HHS Issues Guidance on Essential Health Benefits
- Task-oriented content? UCSD – How to Request a Transcript
- Task-oriented content? Chicago Bar Association’s Moot Court Competition page
- Bite, snack, and meal: NARAL – Take Action
- Bite, snack, and meal: SAMHSA – Health Reform
- Bite, snack, and meal: Department of Education – Publications
- Bite, snack, and meal: Arizona Rural Hospital Facilities and Market Study
- Scannable – CDC’s Pedestrian safety page
- Scannable – NOW’s Take Action page and Remove Prosecution of Sexual Assault from Military Chain of Command page
- Add headings – NOW’s New Student Loan Bill Needs Your Support page
- Scannable content? AIR’s About Us page
- Concise content – Blue Jay Consulting’s Approach page
- Tone – American Mental Health Counselors Association – Student Benefits page
- Tone – NAMI Protection of Research Volunteers page
- NAMI content case study: Criminal Justice > Community Programs