Your Web Content Is Hurting My Eyes and My Brain

Dear U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Usually I comment on the quality of the writing at a web site, but I’ve got to talk to you frankly today. The text on your home page is hurting my eyes: Your masthead is right-aligned Your left column is centered The labels for the main sections of your […]


Epic Fail: Art-House MovieTheater’s “How to Buy Tickets” page

We’re lucky to live near the American Film Institute’s Silver Theater in Silver Spring, Maryland, a beautifully restored 1930s theater that offers satisfying alternatives to multiplex films. But AFI’s website is a nightmare if you want to complete the simple transaction that will keep the theater in the black: buy tickets online. AFI’s home page […]


Action Buttons Confuse When There’s Nothing For The User To Do

This strident pop-up from my bank (note the huge exclamation point) has a simple message: Sandy Spring Bank is improving my ebiz reports. I’m happy. And they’ve provided me a nice little bulleted list of the four ways the new reports will be better than the old ones. Now, most web users like to click […]


Research Report: Old Writing Rules Apply to New Social Media

While updating our web writing courses, I’ve been scouring usability research to find new studies that apply to web writing. The findings from two separate research studies from the Software Usability Research Laboratory (SURL) at Wichita State University remind me that old web writing guidelines apply to new media—social networking sites. Both studies flagged common […]