How to arrange content

Web users are on a mission to find the information they need. Studies show they skim the left side of the page keying in on headings. Solution? Shape your content for usability. Make it easy to skim, and easy to digest.

Plan the organization of your website so users can quickly and easily find what they’re looking for. It is best to group broad categories of information according to user's needs, not according to your department’s internal organization or hierarchy. Try to identify what items a user would logically want, even if it means grouping functions from different areas together. A great tool for getting at answers to these questions is the KJ analysis, a method of developing insight into themes and relationships among issues.

Breadth Leads to Depth.
Avoid crowding the page. Introductory content should be 150 words or less. Deeper pages with more information will necessarily be longer. Print content tends to be a lot longer than is readable on the web, so shorten it and/or divide it into several pages.

Keep your content left-aligned.
This makes the content easier to skim - especially if you properly use headings. Centering text can throw off a reader's natural left-to-right flow.

Don't overuse bold or italics.
If too much is emphasized, nothing stands out.

Do not underline text.
Visitors often mistake underlined text for links. This leads to confusion and reduces the impact of what you were trying to highlight.

Use bulleted lists and links (along with headings) to break up copy on longer pages.
These help users skim the page to find exactly what they’re looking for. Content links allow a user to move from page to page with a simple glance - which accomplishes your goal of drawing them further into the site.

Don’t copy and paste from Microsoft Word.
Microsoft Word isn't designed for creating web content. Copying from programs like Word sometimes inserts hidden code that makes your web page inconsistent. If you draft text in Word, copy into Cascade using the "Paste as Plain Text" button.

Use quality images.
Photos can be a powerful tool to engage users and help tell your story. Equally so, poor quality images can turn users off and distract from your content. Take the time to select and edit your images for quality and proper size before uploading to your website.

Hemingway App makes your writing bold and clear. The app highlights long, complex sentences and common errors.
Make proofreading effective. Sometimes hearing something read aloud will help your content flow better.
The Tone Analyzer detects emotional tones, social propensities, and writing styles and offers suggestions to help improve the intended tones.