Content Content Content

active space

Yesterday, while on the web, I

• downloaded a file

• ordered a book active space compared prices on a new camera Im thi nking of buying read a few of my favorite blogs checked the Wikipedia entry for usability looked for information on a health topic for my elderly aunt

What did you do on the web yesterday? Were you just browsing around without any goal or were you looking for something specific? active space passive space

Most people say "something specific." They want to send a baby gift or arrange a trip. They need to reorder their favorite specialty food or download a software upgrade. They have a question about company policy or want to check the balance in their vacation account. They have a problem with one of their gadgets and think they might find help for the problem online. Or they want to see what bloggers are saying about the latest political turmoil. They have a goal in mind when they go the web.

active space

People come to web sites for the content

People come to web sites for the content that they think (or hope) is there. They want information that passive space

Figure 7-8 A book page showing active space and passive space. The space between the bullets and the bulleted text, the space at the end of each bulleted item, and the space between the question mark icon and the text after it are all examples of active space.

For your web content, focus on active space

On the web, we can reduce passive space, but we must keep active space to help people make sense of the information. And we must use active space appropriately for the medium.

You can create useful active space by:

• breaking the text into small chunks

• using lots of headings

• keeping paragraphs short and putting space between them

• turning sentences into more visual forms, like lists and tables

• putting space into lists

• including pictures and other graphics with a little space around them

Compare Figure 7-9, advice from Purina, the pet food company, with Figure 7-10, about parking permits at Stanford University. The Purina page needs a little active space after each list item.

Ipurina.

Your PW. Our hutoi'

Active space before and ( ^J after makes the page title stand out.

Active space makes the rCj introductory paragraph stand out.

With no space between ^ j list items, the 15 items, each a paragraph long, blur into a wall of words.

Home Programs & Evenii Our C

Coupons & Oilers

Home Safe Home

Even pels th»t spend n«t of their lime indoor s may be exposed to * number of potential hazards. The following Bit «111 help keep your home safe and sound for your dot °r cat

8« j e of the plants you have in your house and in your yard. The ingestion of a poisonous plant can be fataL Click here for a Bit of potentially poisonous plants. When cleaning your house, never allow your dog access to the area where cleaning agents are used or stored- Some may only cause a mild stomach upset, while others could cause severe burns of the tongue, mouth, and stomach or even be fatal

When using rat or mouse baits* ant or roach traps, or mail and slug bails, place the products in areas that are inaccessible to your pet. Most bait contains sweet-smelling. inert ingredients, such as jelly, peanut butter, and sugars, which can be very attractive to your dog.

Never fh* your dog any medications unless under the dtrec dons of a veterinarian. Many medications that are used safely in humans can be deadly to a dog, Keep all prescriptions and over-the-counter drugs out of the reach of your dog, preferably In closed cabinets. Pain-killers, cold medicines, anticancer drugs, antidepressants, vitamins, and diet pills are common examples of human medications that could be potenbally lethal, even in small dosages-Never leave chocolates unattended. Approximately one hatf ounce or less of baking chocolate per pound of body weight can cause problems. Even small amounts can cause pancreatic problems in dogs.

Many common household items have been shown to be lethal in other species. Miscellaneous items that are highly toxic even in low quantities Include pennies |Hgh concentration of line), mothballs (contains naphthalene or paradkhlorobensene - one or two balls can be life-threatening in most species», potpourri oils, fabric softener sheets, automatic dish detergents (contain cationlc detergents which could cause corrosive lesions), batteries [contain adds or alkali

Figure 7-9 When each list item is a few lines long, the list needs space between the items. People are much less likely to even try to read a page with too little active space than a well-spaced page.

fs Active space before and f"J p stand out

' I^J after makes the page title

Fvw^C rfwwtf «rt

Repeating the page title wastes space.

Fvw^C rfwwtf «rt

Active space before each heading makes the topics easy to find.

- CtrCown

-ennuie

You're leaving siamord you're moving oil*eaiT*itrt youve decided to swap the gas pedal for tfw bike pedal - DON'T THROW YOUR PERMIT AWAYi Return n ID us - you may be elqUe for a prarated refund or Clean Air Cashl*

If you n**d to exchange your permk.,.

If you cnange dorrrw and need to parti n a different 1«. come io Partùng & Transportation 3ervc.es Wei swap your old permit fa your new location - no service chaiges

you can't stfl ywr parking permt along with it Return your oermit to io fora pnrated refund, or well exchange f, for a pern* that meets your needs

You're leaving siamord you're moving oil*eaiT*itrt youve decided to swap the gas pedal for tfw bike pedal - DON'T THROW YOUR PERMIT AWAYi Return n ID us - you may be elqUe for a prarated refund or Clean Air Cashl*

The links belong at the left ^ J not on top. They go to other pages, not further down this page.

Each picture brings active f^^^ space around it.

How to Remove a N on-Transfer able Permit

• Cover the bad« of the permit completely wth Scotch tape (t»s keeps it from shreddng into me bite)

• Uting a razor blade, lift up one corner Dl the permit Start paring up gtnty. working the r«or tndemeath unM it's afl off

■ v there's any residue left, or f the permit is sail gwng you gnei. wipe t all away weft rubbing afcOhol or GooGone

A line across the page can ^ j create a false bottom and make people think the page is finished.

- PwcaPtriiitton

- Bar* EetfjcBort

FMI frwto sup by our mun tfiict 31 34D Btnw Mtrifl - L"*'u giad to isnd yaj lap?, tcripen. attfioi padç. aq anvor »«ranee Wp rarely çee a pffmtthïl floe^tcomfofi cleanly

"n-ir. * 'in:*: ■■J»™* tl r>- |MgM |HriUl 1 «.un urprg fur pill Jiiiniil Mi,g jyh 'Ji™» B»nb bnni, ■ ,J iwtï Yfli,1 WDiOieMipn

Id «tap p**ftirh K*at h IHM, w* t «ni «lue bit «(duttUAi i Ik/,' ft jT: ^tr-'é Ta, ||«Én4*ljrn*d j ijj i-ilï h11-' uÉrjlrf dff .raiiÉ 1 lh 'I' * —* p«É*maH*l TTbé urvji4in Ii NOT >■ I !" I < UrMflßl P*#m

FMI frwto sup by our mun tfiict 31 34D Btnw Mtrifl - L"*'u giad to isnd yaj lap?, tcripen. attfioi padç. aq anvor »«ranee Wp rarely çee a pffmtthïl floe^tcomfofi cleanly

Many people won't think to look below the fold for the explanation of an asterisk.

Figure 7-10 This page, like so many on the web, has both good and poor uses of space.

www.transportation.stanford.edu

It would be even better if the list in Figure 7-9 were organized into sections with bold headings and written so that each list item started with a bold statement that summarized the main point.

0 0

Post a comment