If some site visitors want information on the screen and others want entire documents, offer both. Many sites do.
When you link to a PDF, tell people that's what they are getting and how large it is or how long it will take to download.
Figure 5-15 shows you how employees at the U. S. Federal Aviation Administration can choose to download a PDF of their entire web content standards or get an HTML page on specific topics in the standards.
SUMMARIZING CHAPTER 5
Here are key messages from Chapter 5:
• Break up large documents.
• Think "topics," not "book."
• Divide web content by
- time or sequence
- type of information
- questions people ask
• Decide how much to put on one web page by considering
- how much people want in one visit
- how connected the information is
- how long the web page is
- the download time
- whether people will want to print
- how much they will want to print
• Think carefully about using PDF files for your web content.
• PDF is more of a distribution mechanism for paper documents than a good way of giving web content.
• PDFs are appropriate in some situations.
• But consider not using PDFs when
- people do not want the whole document
- people want to read from the screen
- your web users are not comfortable with PDF files or with downloading software
- accessibility is an issue
• In some cases, the best solution is to offer both PDF and HTML versions of your web information.
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