Writing for the Web

Designing: Consider Your Readers' Activities

After you've reviewed your content, reflect on how your readers will use your site and what they will want to gain from it. Will they, for instance, be looking for information? Will they be seeking entertainment? Will they want to learn something?

No doubt you've considered your readers' needs and interests many times before reaching this point. However, a surprising number of Web site designers seem to experience a strange disconnection as they shift from writing content to designing their sites. In the worst cases, their designs actually undermine their purpose and goals as writers and fail to address their readers' needs and interests. The designs might look great, but they don't serve either the writers or the readers.

As you consider your readers' needs and interests, take notes on how they will use your site. Then review your notes and create a prioritized list of what your readers might do on your site. Consider how you can design your site to help your readers use it most effectively.

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Introduction