Tag Archives: scannability

VIDEO: How to write for the web (BASIC principles)

The best online journalism has a range of qualities: it tends to be succinct, easy to scan, and it considers how a user might interact with it — whether through links or embedded elements, or more conversational elements like comments and social media hashtags.

One way to remember those qualities is the mnemonic BASIC: Brevity; Adaptability; Scannability; Interactivity; and Community/Conversation. In the video below I talk through those five qualities, and how to put them into practice when writing for the web.

This video was first made for students on the MA in Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism and the MA in Data Journalism at Birmingham City University and is shared as part of a series of video posts. A shorter version can also be found here.

7 buttons you should be using in the WordPress edit view

Wordpress Formatting Menu with selectedText

If you’re writing blog posts there are a number of formatting options you should be using regularly to make your article easier to read for users, and easier to understand for search engines (and therefore search engine optimisation). Here’ s a rundown of the 7 most important ones. Continue reading

Writing/producing for the web: BASIC principles of online journalism (Online journalism lesson #3)

Here’s the 3rd in my series of classes in online journalism. Having already set up an RSS readers and Delicious account, a Twitter account and a blog, this week they start the news website, and learn about writing and producing for the web:

BASIC principles of online journalism: S is for Scannability

In part three of this five-part series, I look at the need for scannability in writing for the web. This will form part of a forthcoming book on online journalism – comments very much invited.

Users of news websites are generally task-oriented: they will most likely have arrived at your webpage through a search for something specific. If they don’t find that something specific fast, they will go elsewhere.

How do they find that something? Seventy-nine percent of Web users scan pages. They look for headlines, subheadings, links, and anything else that helps them navigate the text on screen. Continue reading