Exploit the power of parallelism

In Chapter 9, you saw the power of parallelism in lists. In the same way that it works for lists, using the same sentence structure (the same pattern) for your headings helps people scan and grab information from your web pages.

Do It Yourself: Wallpaper

Everyone loves wallpaper Preparation Removal of wallpaper Straight line marking Cutting the wallpaper Wallpaper soaking Hang the first sheet

Do It Yourself: Wallpaper

Getting ready Preparing the walls Removing old wallpaper Marking a straight line Cutting the wallpaper Soaking the wallpaper Hanging the first sheet

Did you find the headings on the right quicker and easier to scan and remember?

If you use questions for your level 1 headings, make all the level 1 headings questions. If you use action phrases for your level 1 headings, make them all action phrases. That is, be consistent (parallel) in the style you use within the same level of heading in the same article (or even the same type of web content).

If you choose to break the pattern, do it for a good reason. I broke my pattern on the revised L.L. Bean web page for one heading. I did it to shock readers and make that point stand out. The point about keeping your gift a secret is not a part of the flow of the process that the other headings describe. It's an "aside," so changing the heading pattern there was purposeful.

You don't have to do all the levels in the same style. In fact, it's a good idea to change the style for different levels. That's one way to help people know what level each heading is at.

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