MindWell is an online resource. We need to be aware that people read differently on the web than they do on paper.
People don’t read web content word for word but scan web pages looking for keywords and specific information.
Web-user eye-tracking studies show that people tend to view a webpage in an ‘F’ shape pattern. They look across the top, then down the side and only read across when they find what they need.
We can make content easier to scan by:
- being concise – we keep the word count of web pages to around 300 words and use short simple words such as “have” or “get”
- keeping sentences short (ideally a maximum of 25 words)
- writing in an inverted pyramid style – putting the most important information at the top of the page and the more detailed information at the bottom
- using meaningful sub-headings to guide readers to relevant information
- top-loading sentences and headings
- keeping one idea per paragraph
- using bulleted lists to break information down
- avoiding capitals and presenting headings in sentence case
Our content should also help guide people on a journey through to new areas of the site that might be helpful. We can do this by making sure our pages link to more content and resources and by using active language:
✔ Explore our self-help guides …
✔ Learn more about …
✔ Find support for ….