Structuring our content

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 and using the right number of words. For news, blogs and articles, we aim for about 1000 words or less. We also use short simple words like “have” or “get”.
  • keeping sentences short (ideally a maximum of 25 words)
  • writing in an inverted pyramid style means 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

Navigation and usability

Our content should be easy to navigate on any device and also help guide people on a journey onto new areas of the site that might be helpful.

We can make content easier to navigate by using:

  • meaningful hyperlinks which clearly describe where we are taking the user
  • navigational aids such as content lists and buttons
  • user-friendly menus that aid navigation between pages with the use of clear headings and a logical structure
  • website index – our A to Z lists all key topics to aid navigation 
  • active language and calls to action to encourage people to discover other helpful content:

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