Re: Writing for the Web

Subject: Re: Writing for the Web
From: Dan Emory <danemory -at- primenet -dot- com>
To: "Christensen, Kent" <lkchris -at- sandia -dot- gov>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 06 Oct 2000 10:59:44 -0700

At 11:15 AM 10/6/00 -0600, Christensen, Kent wrote:

The following new article covers this topic nicely, if briefly, I believe.
Has a techwr-l-relevant link, too. Have no connection to author, the
website, or any banner advertisers there.
The article you refer to is quite well-written. In particular, the following:

"The most effective Web material will keep the reader constantly initiated with interactivity through a series of structured, interlacing hyperlinks and bookmarks. We let them 'cyber-plunge' into the material to wherever they see fit, but always offer substantive information to them once they arrive. The trick is to manipulate and control (this can be a good thing) the interest of the reader/browser toward the end objective of informing him or her with our worthy prose."

Also, the article has a link to the Stanford-Poynter eyetracking, study which strongly indicates that text, not graphics, capture on-line reader's attention first, which blows away what traditional schools of design teach. The study also found, however that photographs produced a somewhat higher rate of first focus. The results of that study agree completely with my own experience on the Web. Although there are obvious exceptions, my experience has taught me that looking at graphics first is usually a waste of valuable time, hence I almost always go to the text first. The study results showing that experienced users usually focus on text first also explains the dismal click-through rates for banner ads.
| Nullius in Verba |
Dan Emory, Dan Emory & Associates
FrameMaker/FrameMaker+SGML Document Design & Database Publishing
Voice/Fax: 949-722-8971 E-Mail: danemory -at- primenet -dot- com
10044 Adams Ave. #208, Huntington Beach, CA 92646
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