This course is designed for writers who want to develop effective web content. You will learn the importance of clarifying your purpose and focusing on the reader/watcher/listener; how to set the tone for a digital product (e.g., web site, intranet, mobile app, video or social media post); and to develop web content that is focused and well designed through the effective use of headings, illustrations and links. You will practice writing and editing web content both individually and collaboratively.
What we will do:
- Define “web content”
- Discuss success metrics
- Explore best practices in content strategy
- Investigate how “content development” is linked to other members of the digital and web communications team
- Understand that the “content” universe is great than text
What we won’t do:
- Build a website (see Web Design Certificate program courses).
- Create marketing plans
- Create personas (see User Experience Design Certificate program courses)
- Focus on printed content
- Learn how to use tools such as Adobe Photoshop or Microsoft Word and PowerPoint
- Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of headings, lists, tables, and illustrations to structure digital content for readability.
- Demonstrate editing skills by converting a print article to web content in a clear, concise, and effective manner.
- Demonstrate writing and editing skills by rewriting existing web content.
- Demonstrate writing skills by producing an article / blog post that contains at a minimum two sources and one illustration/graphic/photo.
- Describe the components of a successful digital content strategy and explain the significance of having a strategy.
- Practice effective writing for digital media, focusing on conversational language, active tense, conciseness and plain language.
- Understand the relationship between traditional digital content and UX content such as navigation.
Recommended texts and resources
The recommended text is helpful but not required. Reading assignments from the recommended text are provided in module sections.
- Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content That Works, 2nd edition.
Janice (Ginny) Redish
Elsevier, 2014. ISBN: 9780123859303
- Content Design, Sarah Winters. August 2017.
- Content Strategy for the Web, 2nd edition, Kristina Halvorson and Melissa Rach. New Riders, 2012.
- Communicate With Mastery, J.D. Schramm and Kara Levy. Wiley, 2020.
- Designing Connected Content, Mike Atherton and Carrie Hane. New Riders, 2018.
- Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability, 3rd edition, Steve Krug. New Riders, 2014.
- Information: A Reader, Eric Hayot et al. Columbia University Press, 2022.
- The Content Strategy Toolkit, Meghan Casey. New Riders, 2023.
- Writing & Editing for Digital Media, 2nd edition, Brian Carroll. Routledge, 2014.
- Writing for Designers, Scott Kubie. A Book Apart, 2018.
- Writing Tools, 50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, Roy Peter Clark. Hatchett Book Group, 2006.
Write collaboratively online