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Plain English for the web

When writing for the web, use plain English to make your content easy to read by all users. Plain English will also help your page rank higher in search engine results.

23 August 2019Accessibility Content

IWMW 2018: Let’s improve our training

Recently, I attended the IWMW(Institutional Web Management Workshop) 2018, a UK-wide conference for anyone working in digital in higher education. Roughly 150 delegates attended from all over the UK and Ireland. Every university’s digital team provides training for their internal staff to some extent. While St Andrews is a front-runner in terms of the training…

27 July 2018IWMW

Common content mistakes and how to fix them

Part of the work done by members of digicomms is ensure all content on the University’s website meets digital standards. In particular, any text on the website or in print materials must meet the University’s house style. Here are some of the most common mistakes found when the team check over content.

5 April 2017Content

5 tips for writing concisely

One of the key techniques for writing for the web is to keep content concise. Eye-tracking studies show that the longer a web page is, the less content users will read. Keeping your writing concise will save your reader time, and will make sure they get the important information they need. How can you keep…

6 April 2016Content Training

Writing for digital vs writing for print

The advent of the internet has drastically changed the way we receive and communicate information. Previously, written content could only be published as physical print, and was therefore static and unchangeable; today, content can be published online and is in constant flux. As technology has shifted the way information is delivered, readers’ needs have changed,…

30 November 2015Content

Fact-driven web content

Interesting facts make webpages compelling Web users are task-driven and looking for information. They also dislike “marketese” and “happy talk” (or, as Jakob Nielsen calls it in this article, “blah-blah”). As such, it is important to keep content factual. Users are attracted to facts, so use them in your content to keep people’s attention.

26 March 2014Content

Eliminate happy talk

On the web, context kills, speed saves Here is an article from Gerry McGovern about one of my pet peeves, happy talk. Web users are highly task driven, and they are not interested in our content attempting to set a context. You need to find the nearest government children’s center. “Welcome to our page which…

12 February 2014Content

Multiscreen; writing for the web

Windows on the web This article is about multiscreen, the increasingly common phenomenon whereby web users begin a task on one device and complete it on another. It is interesting to note that the most common device to start a task on is now a smartphone. This is a big reminder of how important mobile…

5 June 2013Resource archive