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Writing Right for the Web... 3 ways to kill the ability to scan your web pages

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Web Writing: Too easy to find examples of pages that kill the ability to scan your site

Last week in Atlanta we had a great two day web writing conference, hosted by my friends at Academic Impressions. The people attending came from as far away as Hawaii, Saskatchewan, Cairo, and Qatar. Not to mention Boston, San Francisco, Atlanta itself and many places in between.

Great conversations, discussions, and critiques. Special thanks to the folks who volunteered their website pages for a public review. 

Looking back over the slides this week, one simple element stands out in my mind: the importance of the factors that can destroy a visitor's ability to easily scan a web page, whether in a large screen or a mobile environment. The ability to scan a page quickly in no more than 5 seconds is essential, so let's quickly review three elements that keep that from happening. 

Any one of these will kill the ability to scan a page:

If you want to engage people more easily on your site, review your website and find examples like this and eliminate them as soon as possible. Getting rid of large text blocks is easy. Controlling text contrast should also be easy. 

Ending "flip tech" is more of a challenge but well worth the effort if you'd like people to actually read your online publications. Make yours look like these examples we used last week from Johns Hopkins UniversityAlfred University, and Biola University. You don't need to be a big university with a big budget to get this one right.

Content Strategy: an important reminder

The best content strategy on the planet will not work if people can't scan and read your content.

That's all for now. 

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