What are the web design guidelines for content writing?



  • 1 Use language that the customer understands

    Texts, categories and other labels should use language that the customer understands. Content that is understandable only to people in the company is not clear enough for the customers. See How to use neuroscience in web design.

  • 2 Redundancy should be avoided

    Repeating identical items, such as categories or links in order to emphasize their importance will reduce their impact. See How to create a dental website design.

  • 3 Clever phrases confuse users

    Users have to figure out the real meaning behind clever and marketing catchphrases. Straightforward phrases are better because they don't alienate users. See What are the design guidelines for communicating the website's purpose?

  • 4 Style should be consistent

    Content often comes from different sources so it is important to keep the formatting style as consistent as possible. Different styles such as inconsistent capitalization can make users think the website is unprofessional or even untrustworthy.

  • 5 Avoid labeling self-explanatory content

    Content such as headline news item or a featured product don't need additional labeling, as they are self-explanatory.

  • 6 Single items shouldn't be categorized or placed in a bulleted list

    If there's only one item in a category, it should be taken out of it, as users perceive it as 'trying too hard'. The same applies for having only one item in a bulleted list.

  • 7 Don't allow text to break if it needs to be read together

    Sometimes there is not enough space for a phrase to fit in so it breaks into a secondary row. Using non-breaking spaces or keeping the text together in some other way can make it more scannable and understandable.

  • 8 Only use imperative language for mandatory tasks

    Only mandatory tasks such as a required input field in the form should use imperative language (example: Enter your First Name).

  • 9 Explain abbreviations, initialisms, and acronyms

    Users are often confused if they come across an abbreviation they aren't familiar with. Explaining abbreviations, initialisms, and acronyms is necessary to avoid alienating users.

  • 10 Avoid exclamation marks

    Exclamation marks look unprofessional, chaotic and loud. Users get a feeling they are being yelled at, which isn't good.

  • 11 Use uppercase letters sparingly or not at all

    Uppercase letters make it hard for users to scan the word shape and force them to read letter by letter to understand what it's all about. They also make the page look too busy and loud.

  • 12 Avoid using punctuation and spaces where they don't belong

    Unusual punctuation (example: G.R.E.A.T. or G R E A T) reduces scannability, search engine optimization and makes it hard for users of screen readers because it will spell out letters instead of reading a single word.

  • 13 Write in a way that optimizes content scannability

    Research showed users scan the websites and don't read word by word. Scanning can be optimized with headings, large type, bold text, highlighted text, bulleted lists, graphics, captions, and topic sentences. Use simple language, and break up large texts into short paragraphs.

  • 14 Emphasize thought-provoking facts

    Most users are interested in finding facts, and impressive content can influence the articles written about the business.

  • 15 Superfluous topics compromise the brand

    Information that is off-topic to the business such as irrelevant news, articles, and references create diversions that sidetrack users. They have little patience and penalize sites that confuse them by leaving with a bad impression of the business.