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Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works (Interactive Technologies)

Posted on December 14, 2012 by Blog Design Journal

“Redish has done her homework and created a thorough overview of the issues in writing for the Web. Ironically, I must recommend that you read her every word so that you can find out why your customers won’t read very many words on your website — and what to do about it.”

– Jakob Nielsen, Principal, Nielsen Norman Group

“There are at least twelve billion web pages out there. Twelve billion voices talking, but saying mostly nothing. If just 1% of those pages followed Ginny’s practical, clear advice, the world would be a better place. Fortunately, you can follow her advice for 100% of your own site’s pages, so pick up a copy of Letting Go of the Words and start communicating effectively today.”

–Lou Rosenfeld, co-author, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

On the web, whether on the job or at home, we usually want to grab information and use it quickly. We go to the web to get answers to questions or to complete tasks – to gather information, reading only what we need. We are all too busy to read much on the web.

This book helps you write successfully for web users. It offers strategy, process, and tactics for creating or revising content for the web. It helps you plan, organize, write, design, and test web content that will make web users come back again and again to your site.

Learn how to create usable and useful content for the web from the master − Ginny Redish. Ginny has taught and mentored hundreds of writers, information designers, and content owners in the principles and secrets of creating web information that is easy to scan, easy to read, and easy to use.

This practical, informative book will help anyone creating web content do it better.

* Clearly-explained guidelines with full color illustrations and examples from actual web sites throughout the book.
* Written in easy-to-read style with many “befores” and “afters.”
* Specific guidelines for web-based press releases, legal notices, and other documents.
* Tips on making web content accessible for people with special needs.

Janice (Ginny) Redish has been helping clients and colleagues communicate clearly for more than 20 years. For the past ten years, her focus has been helping people create usable and useful web sites. She is co-author of two classic books on usability: A Practical Guide to Usability Testing (with Joseph Dumas), and User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (with JoAnn Hackos), and is the recipient of many awards.

* Clearly-explained guidelines with full color illustrations and examples from actual
web sites throughout the book.

* Written in easy-to-read style with many “befores” and “afters.”

* Specific guidelines for web-based press releases, legal notices, and other documents.

* Tips on making web content accessible for people with special needs.

Click Here For More Information

3 to “Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works (Interactive Technologies)”

  1. Chris F. Willis "Media1der" says:

    An excellent resource for all online communication My company is a consultancy that creates interactive learning programs for large corporations. I am especially interested in blending the best practices of instructional design/performance support, technical communication, and web site design. For the latter, this book is an indispensible resource!I shared the book with our Content Director, who, at first, was too busy to really pay any attention to it. Once he cracked the cover, he immediately wrote me back and raved! The book compiles so many of the basic concepts that he and I desire our entire writing team to incorporate into their projects.We purchased multiple copies and assigned one chapter to each of our team to present to the team as a whole. These weekly presentations have been refresher for some, but new material for others, and now we are finally all level-set on basic writing/presentation concepts for online delivery. Hooray!Only negative feedback I can give is that I did hear a bit of grumbling that the author broke her own rules in a couple places – using a few headings that were too long, for example, when there is a chapter specifically on writing good headings. I should probably have docked the rating a bit for that stuff, but overall we got so much good from this little book that I feel I must give it full praise!

  2. Compay says:

    Impractical for Business Websites & Google [Update at bottom] Letting Go of the Words is a terrific book with respect to site structure and usability, but is extremely inadequate in regards to Search Engine Optimization and content that actually sells.Dr. Redish’s experience with web content is largely related to government agencies. In that respect, I couldn’t ask for a better book on the basics of site structure and usability. The author presents a solid primer on helping your visitors find the information they seek as easily as possible.The book, however, largely ignores issues that are important to business websites that wish to rank well on Google and other search engines. As an SEO guru, I was surprised that a book on writing web content completely ignores the fact that Google absolutely loves keyword-rich content. While some web purists believe in designing sites as though search engines never existed, it’s impractical to cut short the very content that would ultimately deliver visitors to your site.Government sites will generally rank well by virtue of their number of (quality) inbound links. Business owners aren’t looking to simply provide information, they’re looking to get traffic and motivate visitors to perform an action (purchase, contact, subscribe). Some of her tips (“don’t embed links” – chapter 12) are in opposition to what designers should do to encourage Google to “spider” relevant pages and categorize them better in its results.If this book teaches you the architectural skills of constructing a physical store that’s easy to get around, it does so without mentioning how to encourage walk-ins to buy your products, nor how to get them from the street into your business. Brilliant from a usability standpoint, but often contradictory to what can help sites generate search engine traffic and drive sales.[8/8/10 Update: While it doesn't emphasize SEO or sales copy, this is still the best book on usability that I have ever read. It's a must-own for designers, though I suggest you supplement Dr. Redish's techniques with other books on optimization and writing copy]

  3. Janice King "Author, "Copywriting That Se... says:

    Great for info sites, less useful for marketing content Everyone who writes web content will benefit from reading this book with its clear guidelines and extensive examples. The book is well organized and its format makes it easy to find specific ideas.However, this book will be most useful for writers working on information sites. The book presents only limited discussion and examples for e-commerce sites and does not address important issues for those sites, such as guiding customers to a sale or writing for search engine optimization.

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