@Rest: aaron rester's blog

Monday, August 25, 2008


Mapping Memory: Web Designer as Information Cartographer

My article "Mapping Memory: Web Designer as Information Cartographer," has just been published over at A List Apart, the premier online magazine "for people who make websites."

I'm ready for my close-up, Mr. Zeldman. :-)


Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Writing for the Web: 5 Guidelines

(I originally posted this on the University of Chicago Law School Electronic Projects Blog; however, I think the principles apply to most websites.)

As the Law School moves closer to our goal of a redesigned and re-engineered website, it's time for our staff to begin working on content -- creating new copy, editing existing pages, and pruning out-of-date text. While many of our staff are experienced and accomplished writers, we sometimes forget that writing for the web is different than writing for other purposes. Numerous studies have indicated that people simply read differently on the web.

To that end, I've prepared a brief set of guidelines for staff to consider as we undertake this process. These rules are synthesized from my own experiences on the web as well as from two great books: Don't Make Me Think by Steve Krug and Killer Web Content by Gerry McGovern.

1. The reader comes first.

2. Brevity + Clarity = Good.

3. Make your links a call to action.

"A presentation on this topic is also available. To download the presentation, click here."

"A presentation on this topic is also available."

4. Web content is never "done."

5. Don't reinvent the wheel.

I'm sure more guidelines will emerge as we go through the content-production process. Are there things that you think I've left out? As a web-reader, what bothers you about the way content is sometimes presented? What are some examples of well-done web writing?

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