Text Content4:39 with Dan Gorgone
Whether you are a human being or a search engine, you need great text to define the point of a website and attract users to it. Text size, alignment, and spacing is important, but the content that makes up that text is key.
[Dan Gorgone] Whether you're a human being or a search engine, 0:00 quite often the most important reason to visit a website comes down to what's in the text. 0:03 Written content still provides the context on why to visit websites, 0:09 so you must ensure you provide great content—readable content— 0:13 and enough of it to satisfy your users. 0:17 Out of all the different things that make up a website, 0:21 the one aspect that should be the most connected 0:24 to the whole purpose of building the site in the first place should be the text. 0:26 Think about it—you need to describe who you are, 0:31 what you do, what you've got to offer, and how users can get it. 0:33 Quite often, people will build a site and design the structure of pages first 0:38 before understand what kind of text will be listed on the page. 0:43 On the contrary, it's important to consider the content first 0:47 on many page designs before creating one pixel of it. 0:51 Assembling the important text first, 0:55 along with related content in a logical, 0:58 readable, and accessible way will allow you to design something 1:01 that supports the consumption of that content. 1:05 [Guil Hernandez, CSS Teacher Treehouse] Typography is incredibly important 1:09 in usability because I think—and we should all think—of typography as part of the UI. 1:11 A lot of the times when readers visit your website, 1:18 they don't want to read your content, they're looking for excuses to leave the site and not read everything. 1:20 So, we need to provide proper line heights, white space, 1:26 and structure the text so that it's in a readable and legible way. 1:29 Otherwise, it's just another reason for them to abandon your website. 1:32 [Gorgone] The size of website text affects usability, as well, 1:38 especially when users have trouble reading. 1:41 Text size, spacing, and alignment must be considered. 1:44 Text that's too small, for example, can be tough for users to read, 1:48 especially if your users are older or have vision problems, 1:52 or if they're visiting on a mobile device with a smaller screen. 1:56 Colors must also be considered so your text remains readable on different backgrounds. 2:00 Color blindness can affect a certain subset of users. 2:06 So, designers often avoid combinations of red and green together whenever possible. 2:10 In the end, what the text says is the most important thing. 2:17 Writing for the Web means understanding how much text is needed, 2:21 how text will be consumed by people and by search engines, 2:25 and the different kinds of text required to meet different needs. 2:29 [Hernandez] So, a pet peeve of mine when I visit a site with bad usability 2:33 is, for example, when I get an error message and it doesn't provide me with the solution— 2:38 it simply gives me the option to close or continue with that error, 2:44 and then I have to go seek out a solution. 2:48 Well, good usability provides a path to that soluton 2:51 instead of making you seek one for yourself. 2:55 [Gorgone] The text you need to fully describe a product 3:00 will be different than the text needed to provide directions to complete a contact form. 3:02 Well, not only should the length of the text be different in each case, 3:08 but very often, you're going to have someone different writing each piece. 3:11 You need to ensure that the tone and voice of your content is consistent across the board, 3:15 so when a user visits the different parts of your site, 3:21 the experience remains intact. 3:24 For example, if your About page is deadly serious, it's all business, 3:27 but your Hiring page is light and funny and includes lots of jokes, 3:32 the message about who your company is might be lost here. 3:36 When it comes to forms, consider how you can create ones that include text 3:40 within the design to make a part of the interface. 3:45 Many contact forms now include fields populated with helpful text 3:48 to make the forms more compact and to provide examples 3:53 so users understand how to enter the data you want. 3:56 When describing products and services, you need to keep that user-centered approach in mind. 4:01 Don't think about what you can say to simply sell that product or make the conversion. 4:06 Consider who might need what you have to offer 4:11 and what they need it for, and why they should consider you over someone else. 4:15 Very often, you're going to need more than text to influence people, 4:20 so adding images and videos can be helpful, 4:24 but at the core, smart and efficient use of text will be 4:27 what allows users to find your through menus, search engines, and the links that you provide on social media. 4:31
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