Make Me Think About Length Notes

"The more vital way of looking at this is to think about the connections between the (reading) length of a text and web affordances that allow writers to change length and semantic density."

Web Style Guide 3

Page Width and Line Length
-based on human eye -4 Factors: Page size & screen size, content of docs, reader browse or print/download, bandwidth avail. to aud.

Long Web Pages
-disorientation from scrolling
-home pages, menus help, long webpages= too much scrolling (super ironic because I’m at work right now taking notes with no wifi. Which means that I had to load these web-pages I’m taking notes on prior to work. This particular website has one long page to scroll on-which is exactly what it lectured against. It’s working in my favor though since I can’t load any other pages bc of no wifi
Easier for creators to org. and users to download, useful for pages that will be printed off
For Best of Both Worlds:
-Chunking (no more than 2 printed pages worth of info, hypertext links)
-provide link to separate file that contains full-length text combined as one page designed for printing
-“jump to top” buttons at reg. intervals

Page Headers and Footers
-web page is not just a visual experience- it has to be efficient for appeal to user
-efficiency determined by # of options available for readers top 6 inches of page
-use a template/ consistent with header/ easy to navigate
-header: logo/ navigation
-footer- basic data about origin, age, links to other pages, essential data (perhaps like publishing date, etc. that you would need to make a works cited)

Vertical Stratification in Web Pages
-above the fold to capture average user, print design can have the reader turn the page and see not only the whole next page but the two page spread- print design. -scrolling/ the fold is really cool. Amazing how they calculate it!

Web Writing Part 3: Cut the extra words, less really is more

-ummm apparently not with a title like this lol
-cut 50% when writing for the screen? –I don’t agree.
-Easier to scan?
-Write long to start- trim later -Simple sent. , short parag., long paragraphs encourage skipping over (idk if this is true either)
-keep related items together in parags but feel free to add breaks whenever needed
-cut transitional phrases (secondly, another point to consider, etc)
-use bullet lists
-don’t use words just to be using words (actual good advice in my opinion)

Dead Phrases
-are zombies – they eat at the reader’s brain !
-“it goes without saying” and “needless to say” … “before I get started” … “first”

Cut Any Paper-Based Text by 50%
-people read 25% slower on the computer, distracted by ads, blurry screen… Nielson suggest 50% less text
-fewer text= less reading
-people use text to put off reading. “menus, headings, search results”
-text is like signs, readers brainpower will determine if they actually consider your ideas.
-reading is tougher than text (I guess I never knew the difference before this) I thought you read text! I’m getting the feeling (oops just used a dead phrase) that text is titles/ headings/ intro sentences
-paper wants more text- on screen wants less
-take several whacks at your text. Trim off the fat- but save the meaning
-cut: really, truly, unnecessary details, phrases, pompous b.s., jargon

Audience Fit
-To have fun: 500 words or less
-To Learn: Relevant. Spiked
-To Act: Tell me what to do. Let me do it
-To Be Aware: Parables aka short
-To Get Close To People: don’t ramble it’s annoying

Long Vs Short Articles as Content Strategy
-info foraging shows how to calc. content strategy's costs and benefits. Mixed diet combines brief overviews and comprehensive coverage cost at best.
-how much info is enough? How much is too much? How much is optimal?
-Info foraging-
Cost/Benefit Metrics for Reading
-cost : easy to model: we calculate it as the amount of TIME it takes to read an article -benefit: benefit units that represent values from online info -Example: Long vs Short Articles
-Benefits of Cutting Word Counts -What You Should Do: -Hypertext Conclusion: This is a really confusing article. I have never really been good with any kind of analytical or quantitative information so this article has been hard to get a handle on- even after reading it twice!

4 Cases Where Short Home Pages Outperformed Long Home Pages

-okay first of all... this fb/twitter/other places to share tab on the side was annoying! I couldn't get it to go away and it blocked the text. Okay had to get that out... now on to notes.
-Case #1 Moto Message: To get more people to take a tour of their service (text marketing software) -Case #2: Design Boost: like Codeschool for designers (there's online courses that teach you to design kickass mobile apps, landing pages, more Photoshop)
-Case #3 Pipedrive: Sales pipeline management tool, a kind of CRM -Case #4: ConversationXL -When is Short Better?: Short pages are better when they don't ask for $ (sign up, email, free trial etc.)
-Things that affect: visitor motivation, initial level of anxiety about product/company, level of cost/commitment QUESTION:
What happens to exposition if advice about length is followed? What happens to the relation between writer and reader? In fact, when we escape the marking fluff, is the advice really followed? Or, rather, when is it followed?
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