Writing well for the web

People read differently on the web than they do on paper. This means that the best approach when writing for the web is different from writing for print.

Our guidance on writing for Yukon.ca is based on research into how people read online and how people use Yukon.ca.

When you write for Yukon.ca you should follow:

Meet the user need

Do not publish everything you can online. Publish only what someone needs to know so they can complete their task. Nothing more.

People do not usually read text unless they want information. When you write for the web, start with the same question every time: what does the user want to know?

Meeting that need means being:

  • specific
  • informative
  • clear and to the point

Finding information on the web

An individual’s process of finding and absorbing information on the web should follow these steps:

  1. I have a question.
  2. I can find the page with the answer easily – I can see it’s the right page from the search results listing.
  3. I have understood the information.
  4. I have my answer.
  5. I trust the information.
  6. I know what to do next and I do not need anything else.

A website only works if people can find what they need quickly, complete their task and leave without having to think about it too much.

Good content is easy to read

Good online content is easy to scan and takes minimal effort to understand.

It uses:

  • short sentences
  • sub-headed sections
  • simple vocabulary

This helps people find what they need quickly and absorb it effortlessly.

The main purpose of Yukon.ca is to provide information and services. There’s no excuse for putting unnecessarily complicated writing in the way of people’s understanding.

Last update:
aoû 14, 2018