Monday, February 8, 2010

Writing for the Internet - Graphic Elements

Importance of Graphic Elements

In years past, the emphasis with writing was simply that—writing. Now, as our society has become more and more visual we, as writers, must also evolve. This is especially true on the Internet. We must broaden our horizons and become designers. Trends and statistics are clear; in less than 5 years 85% of what is viewed on the Internet will be video.

Understanding what makes a webpage readable

  • Wide margins – approx 12 words per line max
  • If your text is longer than 1-2 printed pages, try to break it up into separate web pages. It’ll be easier to read and the pages will download faster, especially if the user has a dial-up connection.
  • Avoid a busy background or frame.
  • Consider contrast between text and background. Although white is a good background color, consider a shade that is barely off-white as this is usually easier on the eyes.
  • Choose your font wisely. Times New Roman isn’t a good choice for reading on the computer. Arial, Helvetica, Verdana and Georgia are better choices. Also take into account font size.

As writers, we often view our words within a box, or at least our minds. We don't pay attention to the whole picture. We can no longer afford that mindset. When writing for the web, we have to educate ourselves. Often writers will be consulted, or at least asked to voice an opinion. Here some suggestions to make you a more savvy content writer.
  • Look at the web pages you go back to and make a list of what catches your eye.
  • Look at web pages that frustrate you and make a list of your frustrations.
  • Notice what entices you when you're reading a magazine article.
I hope this series has helped, next week we'll begin a conversation on how to build your web presence.

Don't forget to join the conversation!

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