Re: WWW discussion (long vs short)

Subject: Re: WWW discussion (long vs short)
From: Tom Tadfor Little <tlittle -at- LANL -dot- GOV>
Date: Fri, 27 Oct 1995 09:54:00 -0600

Wineke Schoo writes:

|I'd like to know how other companies think (or act) about this.
|How do you vote?

|1. Use brochure texts integrally, in an unshortened form. Advise
|people to make printouts if it is too LONG to read on

|2. Use easily readable texts, especially adapted for WWW in a restricted

|3. Otherwise, specifically:

I'd vote for 2, with some qualifications.

First, most good print brochures are designed to rather terse and visual to
begin with. In my opinion, many brochures can be put on line in full
without violating the requirements of #2. I think requiring that the user
need never touch the scroll bar is too restrictive, and leads to
unnecessarily fragmented presentation.

Second, the novelty of the web is wearing off, and people are starting to get
annoyed by pages where the ratio of links and decoration to content is too
high. Some of us find it refreshing to have, say, 15K of text to _read_ for
a change.

My way of looking at it is that the web offers the _opportunity_ to deliver
information in terser chunks than paper publishing. This is appropriate for
many documents, but not all. One size never fits all.

Tom Tadfor Little tlittle -at- lanl -dot- gov
technical writer/editor Los Alamos National Laboratory

also at telp -at- Rt66 -dot- com
--> on the web at

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