Ad Agency Tips for Web Page Usability

Dr. Jakob Nielsen, who has been called “one of the world’s foremost experts in Web usability” by Business Week magazine, says that people rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan a page and pick out individual words and sentences.

To make Web pages more readable through scannable text, Dr. Nielsen recommends writers use:

  • highlighted keywords (hypertext links serve as one form of highlighting; typeface variations and color are others)
  • meaningful sub-headings (not “clever” ones)
  • bulleted lists
  • one idea per paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not caught by the first few words in the paragraph)
  • the inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion
  • half the word count (or less) than conventional writing

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

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