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Web Principles #3: Current and Clear Content

Rebecca Giles -


Website Principle #3: Current and Clear Content

A website is a vehicle of communication between an organisation and their audience. Effective communication is organised, logical, clear, articulate and up-to-date.

Current and clear content will not only help to deliver your intended message to your audience, it will contribute to the overall usability and effectiveness of our site.

 

Keeping up-to-date

To ensure your web content is effective and engaging it is important to review, manage and update it regularly.

Out-dated information is useless information!

You must provide your audience with relevant, useful and up-to-date content in order to communicate with them effectively.

 

What are you on about?

A web page is a platform for communication, so it’s important that your audience understands what you are saying. Use the following tips to avoid unnecessary complexity and confusion:

  • Use short paragraphs (1-3 sentences), short sentences (15-20 words max) and short words (where you have the choice).
  • Write clearly and concisely, using plain language (avoid complex jargon). Refer to the University’s style guide.
  • Only include what is necessary – try not to duplicate or create unnecessary content, instead, link to existing relevant content. Or try nesting into your page from another location.
  • Layout matters! Organise your content in a logical and intuitive way and make sure you use logical heading structures for accessibility.
  • Use your first paragraph to summarise what’s on your page and then give details in the content below.
  • Organise content under appropriate and descriptive headings and subheadings.
  •  Use bullet points where appropriate (making information ‘scannable’) and use formatting sparingly (don’t unnecessarily bold, italicise or capitalise your copy).
  • Read, review and spell check!
  • Don’t forget SEO! Metadata needs to be clear as well.

 

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