Georgina has more than fifteen years' experience writing and editing for web, print and voice. With a background in marketing and a passion for words, the time Georgina spent with companies like Sausage Software and sitepoint.com cemented her lasting interest in the media, persuasion, and communications culture.
The 3 Second Copy Test: If You Wouldn’t Say it, Then Don’t Write it
Does your content “resonate” with users? Does it empathise? If your help articles, system emails, or website copy are lacking the spark of true engagement, your language choice could well be to blame. So, here’s a 3 second way to test your copy. Getting personal In my experience, the best way to address users through […]
Does Bad Grammar Make Bad UX?
Ever since we started creating graphical user interfaces, we’ve been trying to make them friendlier and more usable. Sometimes those two goals coincide; sometimes they don’t. When space is at a premium, and you need to minimise ambiguity, the most direct approach is often best — which is why the button in this interface says […]
Putting Web Standards for Writers Into Practice
If you’re wondering how web standards for writers play out in practice, you’d better read this post. Recently I took a look at the website of my country’s leading telco, to see how they handled the standards I pointed out recently for web writers. The company’s name is Telstra, and it maintains the basic landline […]
Sparkicons: Can We Make Better Links?
Around this time last year, Mark Boulton proposed a new way of communicating information about linked content online He called his idea sparkicons, building on Edward Tufte’s description of sparklines, and pointed to some examples on large content-rich, link-heavy sites: Wikipedia and the BBC. He also created some examples of his own. Mark Boulton: I’m defining […]
Writers and Wireframes
“Do you have wireframes?” I asked a client this question not so long ago, and the answer surprised me. “Not yet, he said, “but they’re not far away. In the meantime, here are the sections of content we need written, so if you can get started, that’d be great. We’re on tight timeframes here!” The […]
Web Standards for Writers
Remember the bad old days of all those “writing for the web” articles? Now, people writing for the web don’t just have other writers to rely on for advice—they have real, live standards to follow! Hooray! Here, I’ve pulled together some of those standards, and explained why they’re useful, and for what kinds of web […]
How to Make Your Video Reach More People
Marketers love online video. But few realize how a simple transcript can help their cause. Last week I won over a marketer who wanted to present her swanky, shiny, high-end company video on its own—without a transcript—using three little words: “Expand your audience.” From a brand perspective, she argued, she wanted the words to be […]
3 Ways to Show, Not Tell, with Text
Showing people your product, rather than telling them about it, is a great way to engage potential users or customers. Last week we looked at some of the ways we can use rich media to do that. But today I wanted to look at how we can show people your product using text. Why use […]
How to Show Your Product, Rather than Tell It
“Show, don’t tell!” This, one of the more popular catch-cries of web marketers, is often used to justify the application of gratuitous multimedia to landing pages. The web sure does make it easy to show stuff through video and animation, and it’s true that well-placed, carefully used multimedia can do much to help communicate complex […]
5 Steps to More Scannable Lists
It’s a golden rule of web writing: use lists to make your content more scannable. The problem is that using a list—ordered or unordered—in and of itself does little to make things much more scannable. As you can see in the screenshot below, a lot goes into making key pieces of text content literally catch […]