Techniques

A guide to the techniques listed here.

The full list:

Write links that don’t have to be followed
Providing summary information at the link site can convey enough information to save the reader from following links they would otherwise have to follow just to find out a small amount of information.

Use heads, subheads, and summaries
Let the reader know the bottom line up front. Offer a brief introduction that lets the reader know what information is being presented.

Write newspaper style
Write in an inverted-pyramid style, with the conclusion first, details later.

Use lists
Lists are easy to skim, and work well with links.

Be concise
Write in a minimalist style, and be to the point.

Provide detail
Link to extra information. This works much better with a computer document than a paper one.

Use typography and layout for skimming
Bold fonts, short paragraphs, and borders help the reader quickly find needed information.

Use screen designs, not paper designs
Take advantage of images, scrolling, non-scrolling, and links.

Use maps
Image maps with organizing layouts can help the reader understand and use the document’s structure.

Distinguish different types of pages
Use different design layouts for different types of pages.

Place page elements carefully
The layout of a page can help or hinder reading and navigation. Use of scrolling and non-scrolling areas can keep important information and links in view at all times.

Pay attention to what is “above the scroll”
Make sure that the information and links that all readers of a page need are visible without scrolling when a page is first viewed.

Provide guidance on where to go
Use “see also” links and tours to help the reader find their way through a document.

Know your audience and their needs
Use knowledge of your readers to help design your document and try reading it in that light.

How much goes in one page?
Good question! More work needed to answer this question today.

Test new designs
Do usability testing on new designs to tune their effectiveness.

When (and how) to use frames
Frames, if understood and used correctly, are a valuable feature of HTML.

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