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Reviewing Your Site: Writing Visually

The expression, “Putting yourself in somebody else’s shoes” is really helpful for reviewing websites. It is all to easy to write and design for ourselves, without checking if that’s what the people we’re trying to communicate with, need. There are different ways to do get yourself into the mindset of the person you want to communicate with, but even trying to figure out who your “average” client is often quite challenging, especially if like me stereotypes make you uneasy. However, there is another way to approach this and that is to look objectively at the information you have on your website.  People want information quickly, is your information offered quickly? People want to click things. Does your information have things to click?

  • Web page communicates in the written word.
  • Web pages communicate visually (text layout )
  • Photographs and images communicate
  • Click-ability is what we’re aiming for.

Your message needs to be communicated quickly and then you need to provide detail. People might read all the detail, they might only read some of it, and quickly. Whilst they scan the page with their eyes, your job is to give your audience your message, and some the option to find out more. People will travel through your information following different routes, exploring different information in detail, and they will then choose where they go next. Your job is to guide them in to becoming a client.

Have you ever seen this text?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras adipiscing, enim ac luctus facilisis, dui leo aliquam ligula, et tempor mauris augue vel dolor. Nam blandit faucibus est vitae euismod. Quisque at neque volutpat tortor rutrum dictum. Etiam lorem nulla, tincidunt vel rutrum ac, venenatis at metus.

It’s in Latin, of course, but unless you are very well versed in Latin, it’s just a bunch of letters, that look like words. There’s no meaning. So you can ignore it. Fabulous! It was used in printers to help work out what the newspaper would look like before the articles were ready to print. Its nonsense is helpful because it means we focus on things that do make sense. And this is how people who are superficially deciding to stay on this page or go and find something more useful (or entertaining) for them.

Now look below.

 

The Essence of your message

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Cras adipiscing, enim ac luctus facilisis, dui leo aliquam ligula, et tempor mauris augue vel dolor. Nam blandit faucibus est vitae euismod. Quisque at neque volutpat tortor rutrum dictum. Etiam lorem nulla, tincidunt vel rutrum ac, venenatis at metus. Nulla urna risus, cursus sit amet egestas vel, interdum nec dolor. Cras libero orci, suscipit vitae dignissim luctus, bibendum at mi. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec non urna non nunc lobortis vehicula eu ac nibh. Etiam sed risus feugiat massa mollis ullamcorper. Maecenas gravida justo at urna semper gravida. Pellentesque velit justo, pulvinar quis sollicitudin eget, sollicitudin viverra metus. Proin consequat lacus in quam aliquam consequat. Fusce accumsan mi sed mi aliquam lobortis molestie quam eleifend. Nullam nec risus sem, id dapibus mi. Phasellus sem tellus, pellentesque at consectetur ac, hendrerit in arcu. Praesent sit amet risus sapien, eu venenatis nunc.

Is most effectively received

Curabitur quis leo vel lacus euismod semper at nec dui. Nulla adipiscing venenatis nulla laoreet laoreet. Nunc non erat in est tristique suscipit. Sed luctus tempor est ac fringilla. Duis adipiscing nisi nec lorem volutpat tincidunt. Nullam ultricies vestibulum sapien nec pulvinar. Morbi odio lacus, molestie vel laoreet ut, viverra ac neque. In venenatis, risus malesuada congue blandit, eros justo sodales mi, non volutpat justo ipsum in lectus. Praesent ac mi nisl, sit amet congue dui. Ut consequat congue erat, id fermentum felis molestie pellentesque. Duis in augue velit, elementum luctus nisl. Nam molestie faucibus tristique. Duis tempor varius cursus. Nulla elementum justo id enim ultrices tincidunt. Suspendisse non justo quis tortor suscipit volutpat in at metus. Vivamus id augue diam.

 

Through headings

Vestibulum ante ipsum primis in faucibus orci luctus et ultrices posuere cubilia Curae; In sed magna eros, id porta risus. Duis faucibus velit ut purus pretium convallis. Suspendisse sed malesuada quam. Mauris porttitor dignissim eros a feugiat. Aliquam ante elit, euismod a laoreet eu, cursus a arcu. Aliquam tincidunt, dui vel tempor posuere, purus eros consectetur urna, eget posuere dolor neque eu magna. Nullam facilisis metus in sapien mollis mattis. Pellentesque hendrerit rutrum nunc, sed eleifend risus consectetur in. Aliquam nec dolor hendrerit enim laoreet varius. Vivamus massa nibh, feugiat et luctus eget, adipiscing ut tortor. Etiam interdum orci ac sapien ultrices luctus. Phasellus sit amet orci a diam egestas hendrerit. Nulla eu metus non lorem accumsan euismod non eget risus. Pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus et netus et malesuada fames ac turpis egestas. Donec dignissim egestas elit vitae tempus.

 

Text that jumps out

There are many ways to make ideas stand out.Quisque sollicitudin scelerisque dolor sit amet egestas. Morbi neque sapien, feugiat quis ultricies ac, tempus ut purus. Curabitur eget neque vel orci tristique vehicula at eget enim. Nullam eget lectus id neque facilisis dapibus a in libero. Phasellus consectetur urna vel justo suscipit dictum. This makes sense! Pellentesque pellentesque vulputate ligula, non posuere nisl tincidunt eu. Etiam vitae diam id nulla scelerisque molestie. Mauris laoreet justo non odio tincidunt pulvinar at et sapien. Donec in feugiat massa. Cras condimentum sagittis sem quis consectetur. Suspendisse egestas diam ut nibh euismod convallis. In enim mi, pulvinar nec rutrum nec, tempor vitae ipsum. Proin feugiat hendrerit mi, et gravida augue aliquet vitae. Maecenas et nisl metus, nec dapibus justo.

A single idea

Nam auctor purus a nisi venenatis pretium nec sed urna. Maecenas gravida lobortis sem vitae convallis. Maecenas sagittis euismod vulputate. Ut laoreet tellus dui, at ultrices dolor iaculis non. Suspendisse potenti. Aenean et laoreet purus. Phasellus laoreet pellentesque urna, ut semper sapien. Integer elementum elementum urna, quis cursus eros bibendum nec. Sed tortor lorem, euismod et condimentum nec, laoreet sit amet mauris. Suspendisse tempor dolor ac ornare consequat. Sed sodales imperdiet enim quis porttitor. Nunc varius sapien nulla, ut auctor magna laoreet congue. Aliquam sit amet magna a velit pulvinar volutpat vitae at lorem.

Becomes

Multiple

Sed nec sapien erat. Donec vel pretium diam, sit amet rutrum diam. Ut pretium massa augue, molestie imperdiet lacus tempor eu. Donec adipiscing vehicula molestie. Praesent id lacus risus. Sed volutpat nisl sed convallis semper. Integer mattis vehicula felis at cursus. Vivamus malesuada non mauris in ultricies.

Nam vulputate vel tellus ac ullamcorper. Integer quis ante dui. Fusce sem quam, cursus sed nulla consequat, rutrum rutrum leo. Sed at velit eget sapien rhoncus tincidunt ac nec justo. Donec a laoreet felis, quis fringilla tellus. Praesent malesuada nisl in odio malesuada, ac lacinia orci eleifend. In sollicitudin blandit sagittis. Mauris leo est, condimentum nec leo a, fermentum elementum turpis. Cras hendrerit mauris in nisi malesuada, ut ultrices lorem pretium. Quisque id purus dignissim, viverra quam in, porttitor elit. Nulla pulvinar leo ac augue imperdiet dictum. Sed vulputate pharetra nulla sit amet interdum. Quisque accumsan tortor vel leo rutrum pulvinar. Cras quis urna purus. Phasellus dignissim scelerisque risus ac tempus.

Clear

Phasellus convallis, ipsum non varius sagittis, quam arcu pharetra massa, eu pulvinar orci ligula non velit. Ut ac euismod velit. Nam purus tortor, feugiat id porttitor in, fermentum vitae lacus. Curabitur sit amet nisl sagittis, tincidunt lorem vitae, imperdiet lectus. Sed ultricies, metus in venenatis vehicula, magna sapien placerat nunc, non laoreet velit sapien in nulla. Morbi faucibus ultricies nulla, ac egestas erat dapibus eget. Etiam et volutpat nunc. Fusce sit amet lacus est. Mauris dictum nisi sed metus condimentum faucibus. Etiam condimentum erat turpis, nec scelerisque nisl aliquam quis. Nulla facilisi.

Ideas

Suspendisse sodales rutrum orci ut pellentesque. Etiam ac orci arcu. Mauris quam ipsum, congue in mauris eu, sollicitudin suscipit risus. Nulla auctor tempus orci, vel sodales magna aliquet eu. Nunc dictum ipsum diam, at eleifend neque rhoncus sit amet. Nulla in sapien feugiat, dapibus massa a, viverra urna. Aliquam ac tincidunt nisl. Sed interdum nibh dui, vel convallis purus dignissim eget. In hac habitasse platea dictumst. Etiam neque magna, iaculis ut arcu non, suscipit sollicitudin lorem.

 

And when your message is loud and clear. You want to…. Click me

 

So?

Start writing your webpages by using headings. Use clear language in your headings, you can give more complex detail in the paragraph. Think visually and use the functions that your theme offers you to highlight important information. Hide information that only some people might want to explore more deeply. At the end of your post or page, think about what someone might want to click next. Giving a few clear options is so much better than giving 10.

For example to end this article on reviewing your website, I would want you to either

Sign up for website support (this page can be found here)

Go and read / listen to a free  English lesson about writing for the web.  (I have put this on my to do list).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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