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.
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.