A key difference between web writing and writing for print is that on the Web you need to avoid context and instead focus on instructional, how-to, task-based content.
When we observe people using websites, one factor that continues to frustrate them is vague, general, contextual or marketing- heavy content. Let’s have some examples.
When dealing with a large, complex, old and out-of-date website, a content audit can be a waste of time and money.
Great web teams facilitate collaboration between disciplines and across organizational silos.
If you support the customer in what they want to do they are more likely to support you.
When the Norwegian Cancer Society got people to vote on what was important to them, here were their top tasks:
As a result of focusing on people’s top tasks (what people really need) and helping them do what they needed to do as quickly and easily as possible, the Norwegian Cancer Society has seen a:
Another key thing the obamacare website fiasco illustrates is the major disadvantages of the launch and leave culture.
In a great many organizations it is more important to do things wrong quickly than to take your time and get them right. These organizations have an obsession with meeting targets and deadlines.
If the HealthCare.gov website fiasco proves anything it is how critical a usable website is.
Sometimes the thing you think absolutely won’t work does work. You need to be able to accept evidence that goes against your opinion.
Reverse marketing is where the customer becomes the marketer.
Social media is an example of reverse marketing. Customers are marketing to other customers and to organizations. That’s the big differentiator between social media and traditional media, where the organization markets and communicates at the customer.
Websites should be managed on the principle of self-service, and the key driver of self-service is time.
Knowledge workers work in “decision factories”. A good intranet should help them make better decisions.
“Companies everywhere struggle with the management of knowledge workers,” according to Roger Martin, dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management.
Google is focused on reducing distractions whereas Bing seems focused on providing them.
The more transparent you are with customers the more likely they are to do business with you.
You are likely to be much more successful on the Web if you try to leverage an existing behavior.
One of the most common questions I get asked is: How do we deal with all the things we need to tell the customer?