Improving Your Website through Writing and Site Structure
- Navigation is dependent on Site Structure and is set up to provide users with an easy way to move around the website.
- One navigation item equals one top-level folder.
- Navigation and Site Structure are a helpful way to organize concepts and content on your website.
- All websites have two folders for special files:
- /docs/ at the top level of the website: For documents - .doc, .pdf, .xls, .ppt
- /images/ at the top level of the website: For images - .jpg, .gif, .png
- Having a well-organized website makes it easier to maintain.
Page: Content and Structure
- Don't "put out the welcome mat": Forget the welcome message on the home page.
- Leave out the "marketerese": "People don't want to be 'marketed to'; they want to be 'communicated with'." - Flint McGlaughlin
- Users skim a page for 10-15 seconds and "read" 20% of the text.
- Assume users know nothing about:
- Your organizational chart
- Your institution's lingo
- The program or department to which you are referring
- Understand the F-Layout in web design
Format Content for Better Usability
- Subheads, paragraphs, and bulleted items should start with information carrying words.
- Don't use special font styling or garish colors; the website design is set up to provide a pleasant, consistent appearance through "stylesheets."
- Dense text web pages without contrast and visual relief are hard to read.
- Use descriptive headings and subheadings (Heading 2, Heading 3, Heading 4).
- Use terms your target audience will look for, for example, Master's vs. Graduate when used to describe a program.
- Users expect underlined text is a hyperlink; use bold to make keywords stand out.
If you are looking for OmniUpdate support, you might tap into the following resources before contacting Help@Dartmouth.edu: