Show instead of tell, and keep terms short
Want to make your webpage more usable?
Choose better words, suggests Jan H. Spyridakis, author of “Guidelines for Authoring Comprehensible Web Pages.” She suggests that you select words that are:
1. Concrete. Show — V8 engine, for instance — instead of tell — high performance. When you choose concrete words, readers:
- Read more quickly and accurately
- Remember more of your ideas
- Understand your message better
2. Short. Short words — those of one or two syllables — are easier to recognize and understand.
3. Familiar. Write in the language of your readers, not in the language of your organization.
Spyridakis calls out the Seattle Mariner’s’ webpage. With 5.2-character words, it’s just 39% readable:
Located in Center Field on the Main Concourse, the Moose Den provides our younger fans an opportunity to meet the Mariner Moose periodically during each Mariners home game. Photo opportunities are provided for all guests.
Get your picture taken with the Mariner Moose! Visit the Moose Den in Center Field at the Main Concourse at the next home game.
With 4.2-character words, that’s 85% readable. And that’s better web copy!
How can you increase reading on smartphones?
It’s 48% harder to understand information on a smartphone than on a laptop. So how do you make your writing style easy to understand — even on the small screen?
Learn how to write readable web pages that don't overwhelm mobile readers at Reach Readers Online — our web-writing workshop starting on Oct. 23.
You’ll learn proven-in-the-lab best practices for increasing web page usability up to 124% … how to pass a simple test for writing paragraphs visitors can read on mobile … and how to avoid making visitors “visibly angry” at verbose sites that waste their time.
Save upto $100 with our group discounts.