Spring’15 Class notes: Day 19 – Content & Writing; Excise

24 Mar

Learning Objectives:

At the end of class, students will be able to:

  1. Apply content strategy thinking to specific problems
  2. Apply principles for writing for the web
  3. Define excise
  4. Identify examples of excise and propose solutions for removing excise

We first tried to walk a few minutes in the shoes of a content strategist for Purdue CGT and thought how we would go about it and what it would be like.

Then, we looked at several homepages of similar products (Zotero, Endnote, RefWorks, Papers, Mendeley) and identified the following strategies they use for writing effectively on the Web:

  • Video (understandable without audio)
  • Short plain description
  • Use cases with screenshots
  • Clear & visible call to action
  • Where do I start? – CLEAR
  • Pattern: icon, title, 3 lines of text
  • Simple words, short sentences
  • Shallow structure – don’t make users click too many times!
  • Multiples headings
  • Vary layout, background, alignments
  • Minimalist color scheme

After you reviewed slides explaining the concept of excise and provided your own examples, you proceeded to think about how you would tell your story in your portfolio – and how you would write for people who don’t read.

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