Writing Style Guide
Web and Other Digital Writing
In addition to the issues described so far, the following section includes a guide to Web-specific writing.
Less is More
- Keep your text to a minimum. Web writing should be to the point and
easy to understand.
- The Web is a visual space. Keep it interesting, with a few carefully placed images.
Follow the Visual Logic of the Site
- Follow the pre-existing design of the site when creating new pages.
This will make it easy for the viewer to follow your information.Unexpected designs generally interrupt and confuse the reader.
- Keep your font and type size within the design logic of the site.
- The more you emphasize, the less the reader will notice. Always resist extra large text, many colors, or fancy use of bold and italics in areas you want to emphasize.
- Underline hyperlinks only.
Use the Structure of the Site to Simplify Communication
- Use the left navigation area or other navigation areas on the page to logically serve the user's needs.
- Resist repeating the same content on many pages.Use bulleted and numbered lists for sequential information.
- Use the top of the page to indicate the most important information. Most viewers do not scroll down the page unless they become interested.
Update Your Information
- Readers will not return to your site if information is out of date.
- Readers will return more often if information is regularly updated and
interesting to read.
- Match links and page titles (e.g., Jacobs School of Music not http://music.indiana.edu).
- Make sure that the titles of links make sense, and avoid URLs as link text unless they're part of an identity system.
- Indicate file type next to the link if they're not html pages (PDF, TIFF, etc.).
- Display e-mail addresses for e-mail links.