Scenarios can help you write good web content

If your scenarios are based on watching, listening, and talking with people, they can help you

• focus on what is important to your site visitors

• write with their words

• realize how goal-oriented most web users are

As you plan your web content, always ask: Who will use it? What should I keep in mind about them? What story (scenario) will bring them to this web content?


Here are key messages from Chapter 2:

• Successful writers focus on their audiences.

• List your major audiences.

• Gather information about your audiences from several sources.

• If you develop the web site only by thinking about your audiences, you are working from your assumptions. If your assumptions are wrong, your content won't work.

• List major characteristics for each audience, including

- key phrases or quotes

- experience, expertise

- emotions

- values

- technology

- social and cultural environments

- demographics

• Gather your audiences' questions, tasks, and stories.

• Use your information to create personas.

• Include the persona's goals and tasks.

• Use your information to write scenarios for your site.

- Scenarios tell you the conversations people want to start.

- Everything on your web site should fulfill a scenario.

- Scenarios can help you write good web content.

Starting Well: Home Pages

Both you - and all those people whom you thought about, visited, observed, listened to, and created personas and scenarios for - want your web site to succeed.

To have a successful experience on a web site, people have to

• understand what they find

• act appropriately on that understanding

And they have to be able to do all that in the time and effort that they think it is worth.

Most of this book is about "understand what they find." It's mostly about writing destination (information) pages beyond the home page and beyond the pathway (menu, gallery) pages that people may have to go through on their way to what they want.






Pathway page: scan, select, and move on

Pathway page: scan, select, and move on


Information page: scan and get information

Information page: scan and get information


Information-rich web sites set up pathways to the information through the home page and one or more layers of pathway (menu) pages.

Although we'll concentrate later in the book on information pages, all web pages have content. Home pages have content. Pathway pages have content.

Letting go of the words is especially important on home pages and pathway pages. So before we get to writing information pages further down in your site, let's briefly explore home pages in this chapter and pathway pages in the next chapter.

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