Pages can contain a variety of elements including text, images, videos, maps, quotes and audio blocks. Other styling and spacing features such as spacer blocks, horizontal rules and call to action buttons can also be used to good effect. Use these attributes to tell your story and guide the reader through the page.
Only use high quality images in your page. Blurry or low resolution photo's will detract from your message. Use images that reinforce your text and add value and interest. Image blocks can be arranged into a moving gallery with automatic transitions or individually. Images can be made to link to other sites or pages. Many websites are now offering very high quality stock photography that requires no attribution. If you source an image that does require attribution please ensure you have the owner permission to use it and provide the correct attribution on the page.
Maps can help to reinforce a point as strongly as an image when used in the correct context. If your article makes particular mention of a location it can often be useful to show this location on a map. Maps can be styled in a variety of ways by choosing to show terrain, hide or show labels as well as seeing the satellite imagery instead of the map data.
Use smaller subheadings to seperate your article. You can choose to use another primary larger heading if you wish to create a stronger impact. You can also choose to make first lines of text bolder to draw particialr attention to the content.
Video & Audio
Video and audio can be hugely helpful in expanding upon an article. The same rules of permission and attribution from images apply to these reources. Seek the owners permission before using their work and make sure they are credeted. More information on Creative Commons licences and their use can be found here. In line links like this can be used to link to other pages or websites. Often these are created to 'open in a new window' so as to not move the user away from the page. You could also use a button to create special attention to a link. These can also be used as a 'call to action' button.
You can choose to either use the thumbnail image that the image comes loaded with or select a new image to overlay on the video before the play button is pressed.
Use a form to gather information from your readers. THis could be a survey to help with your assessments or a feedback form to help critique your article.
Writing for the Web
Be mindful when laying out your content. Make use of 'white space' or empty spaces as much as possible in order to highlight your content and limit distraction for the reader. Use headings, line breaks, images etc to focus the readers eye to the content you wish to emphasise.
MAKE CONTENT SCANNABLE
It is easy to sometimes presume that a website visitor will read text from start to finish in the exact order that it has been written and presented. On the contrary, visitors will scan web content, particularly text, and pick out areas that look appealing or interesting. Keep you content clean and simple, and as a general rule, web writing should be around half the length of what you may use if the content were printed. Make use of:
- Sub Headings
- Short One Topic Paragraphs
- Descriptive links (not pasted URL's). Any word in your text can be made a link with better effect (see below).
- Sub Headings
URL/LINK BEST PRACTICE
Good: 'For more information you can check out the topic content here'.
USE AN APPROPRIATE TONE
Try not to aim your writing style beyond your target audience. Use plain speaking when possible, making the content accessible to a wider audience. Some of the most popular websites in the world aim to deliver web content at a simple yet engaging level so as to not exclude younger readers or those not familiar with the specific terminology of the subject matter.
You may compile your content from multiple sources using several people to gather and combine the information. It is important to look back on the content once it has been merged. Ensure that the writing style, tense, format, spelling and narration are consistent throughout so as to provide the impression it is 'one voice'.
Avoid faking over-enthusiasm. Readers can quickly see through an attempt to increase excitement through hype. Use key facts, data, quotes and information to engage your audience. Show the quality of your content without having to say 'is is the best!!!'.
Submitting Your Content
Provide your text and link content in an Word or PDF document with the order of your article clearly shown. When you want to link to images, video or audio please place a marker within the document to show where you want it to appear. Please do not embed images, audio or videos in your document. Please upload this media along with your document. If there are any other elements you wish to use such as styling lines, spaces, buttons etc please indicate these on your document.