I’ve been reading Steve Krug’s excellent book about Web Usability called “Don’t Make Me Think” and it’s got lots of excellent info in it about how to make your pages achieve their objective more efficiently, and to also keep the user at...
I’ve been reading Steve Krug’s excellent book about Web Usability called “Don’t Make Me Think” and it’s got lots of excellent info in it about how to make your pages achieve their objective more efficiently, and to also keep the user at the other end happy as well.
One of the chapters is titled “Omit Needless Words”, and the whole premise of this chapter is about his observation about most words on pages just taking up space. He has a certain law that says removing half the words is actually a realistic goal, without losing anything of value. The idea is be ruthless with your sales copy.
Here are some of the benefits of getting rid of words that nobody is going to read:
It reduces the noise level of the page
It makes the useful content more prominent
It makes the pages shorter, allowing users to see more of each page at a glance without scrolling
The information on your page must be useful and straight to the point. People don’t have time to waste on text that waffles on.
While the saying “a page can never be too long, it can only be too boring” is true... I would still say in general a shorter page is better than a long page as a rule. But a lot can depend on the type of market, and also how much the product is selling for.
Obviously a $10,000 motorbike would need a lot more sales copy than a $17 e-book would.
But here’s an excellent example from the book where Steve condenses a 103 word paragraph into just 34 words, and still get the same message across
As you can see the original version is way too wordy and I’m sure I bored you to tears reading it out. But the edited version gets straight to the point and is super easy to read.
So now that I’ve made my point, the question is how can you write in a way that is succinct and not too wordy... the answer is by using the Hemingway Editor App.
The Hemingway App works points out:
Uses of passive voice
Phrases that have simpler alternatives
Sentences that are hard to read
Sentences that are very hard to read
It also works out what grade level the writing is, with the lower the grade the easier to understand.