If I have learned anything about writing from my digital communications class, it has been that more is less. The internet really isn’t for extensive reading. It’s main purpose is to provide the most amount of information in the shortest amount of time. Being straightforward is not a recommendation so much as it is a requirement. Steve Krug discusses this in chapter 5 of his book Don’t Make Me Think.
While we have read various texts throughout the semester about cutting our work down and making it as clean as possible, I think that Krug has the most dramatic “advice” of all. He says that in order to write well for the web, you must 1) eliminate all “fluff” (that is, anything that is introductory, overly descriptive or is just filling space) and 2) eliminate instructions (honestly there is nothing more infuriating than seeing a huge portion of text that you think will be explaining some new phenomenon of how to work a webpage and then it just turns out the be the same information you were taught i the 7th grade).
One of my favorite websites (well it really isn’t a website so much as a server that I get emails from) is The Skimm, a wonderful website that gives you all the “what you need to know”‘s from the day before in more or less than 1000 words. This is truly what Krug means when he wants us to simplify for writing on the web.
One other very important point that Krug makes is that a webpage should be clear in that if a viewer were to just glance at the page, they could quickly and easily know the general content of the page without actually having to read through all of it. A great example of this is Apple.com. All the information you need to find what you’re looking for is right there on the main page. It really doesn’t get any better than that!