Several tips to better content usability
Writing website content can become a real challenge. Audience of your service, whether it is your blog, or online store or payment service, has to be able to understand and assimilate content on your website easily. When content is easy to read, users will get information you share with them without any problem. So it is recommended for websites, that want to gain popularity, to add lots of informative and fresh content.
We will provide and discuss few simple tips and techniques for increasing readability of your website’s content. The information below will be based on research and suggestions by well-known usability experts such as web content management expert Gerry McGovern, Ken Krogue, "the king of usability” Jakob Nielsen and others. Probably they will be not exhaustive but in our opinion - the most significant ones.
First of all, content usability is the result of teamwork of web designer and writer. Web design has to be performed in that way the color, print and distance have to favour the user’s perception. In writer’s turn, text must be easy for readers to apprehend. You probably heard a lot of times:“Content is a king”, so yes - that’s true!
The author must avoid writing difficult terminology or scientific texts, content has to be easy and enable readers to identify information quickly. Users usually do not read a lot. According to some surveys, people read only 28% of the whole website page, so the text must be quite laconic and interesting. Hence, the text has to be brief.
1. Brief and interesting content.
Sometimes even very interesting article is difficult to read till the end if it’s too long. If you have lots of information in the article and it’s impossible to concise it, divide it in 2 or more parts. This way you can attract users' attention. There are some websites on which you can see big articles divided in small pages, it looks like parts in one article. Visually it is apprehended very easy and stimulates users to read the whole article.
● Cut out not necessary information, also be aware of long sentences and huge paragraphs, use numbers instead of spelling them. For example, instead of “two hundreds” use “200”.
● Help user to look through text quickly: try to put sense into first words of sentence or paragraph.
● While creating a text use simple logic structure: “from general to special”.
● Use bold type to mark out the important information and consider breaking up a paragraph. It catches attention of the user most of all.
● Leave space between paragraphs or text blocks. It matters because it influences on speed of reading, consequently on attractiveness of the page.
● Don’t forget to perform a spell check!
2. Links are the main advantage of content
Set single CSS style for links on the website, user will always see which link had already been followed. Link titles have to be related to the page where user is going as much as it is possible.
Links are the main advantage of website content. Links have to be displayed prominently and clear.
3. Use pictures, graphs and diagrams.
● Pictures can be used to divide long text blocks into smaller parts. First of all it’s not so boring to read and images help to “imprint” information on subconscious level. That’s why pictures should be related to the topic of the text. If they do not match to the sense of the text, they are mostly ignored.
● Secondly, if it is appropriate to add some graphs or diagrams in addition to the text, it will improve content usability and make information more detailed. Avoid standard images which you can easily find on the Internet. It is much better to make specific pictures exactly for given text.
4. Demonstrate "how"
The notion "content" includes all the info on the website: text, pictures, audio, video, etc. You have all instruments to introduce your service (products) on your website, attract users and make them choose you. Create colorful video or slideshow to display how to use your service, for example, create video of interview with somebody who is related to your business. Also you can place video with customers’ feedback.
Eventually adding high-quality content to your website will help you to draw it closer to your audience. Website content is an extension of your brand. Create interesting content by yourself and keep it relevant!