Writing for the Web at Fuller
Purpose of the Fuller Website:
To provide our external audiences with a clear, consistent, and
accurate view of Fuller
website allows anyone with Internet access to “visit” Fuller. Coming through
the front door (our home page), most will want to quickly find what they
specifically need. Others, however, may be planning to just “look around” for a
bit to see if this seminary is a place where they can feel comfortable. We hope
that these “visitors” find much to interest them and to keep them exploring the
we don’t want anyone to get lost as they explore our site, and so we’ve worked
at navigation that always shows where they are and how they can return to where
they’ve been. Each area (mini-site) needs to consider how to logically organize
and label their navigational links with user-friendly language. Avoid insider
acronyms such as ECDs and CATS.
that your site answers all of the questions that your reader might have.
Remember the site is being developed for external audiences; resist the urge to
include information intended for current students or faculty.
Ektron, you can track who visits your mini-site, how long they stay in each
“room” (page), etc. If no one is visiting a page that you think is important,
consider relabeling the page or placing the information in another area. Clear,
interesting headlines can make the difference in whether someone reads further.
overall site needs a consistent Fuller “voice.” We can have some variation
between “rooms,” but visitors should be able to see a family resemblance as
they navigate through the site—more of the feeling of a family home with many
rooms rather than an apartment building housing people that don’t have much in
an academic institution, we need to have a certain level of formality, but a
welcoming tone. As you develop pages, be sure to have someone else review your
pages and offer suggestions (IMC staff are available). For tone, you may want
to review the news reports on the Fuller homepage, which are always clear and
concise and very approachable. Avoid “market-ese” jargon; just give a clear
explanation like what you would give a friend who asked a question. Don’t tell
them that Fuller has the best _____; show them and let them reach that
conclusion by reading your site!
use of keywords is very important. What words do people use to find you? Ask
everyone you know which words they would use in a Google search to find your specific
pages. Then be sure to use these words throughout your mini-site. The rule of
thumb is to use one of the keywords for every 9 words on the page. This seems
like a lot (it is!), but try to include them on your upper level pages, such as
your landing page and one level down.
that your readers will be scanning the page, not reading it word for word.
Some Online Resources:
(http://usability.gov) “Your guide to developing usable & useful Web
sites.” See especially U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, The Research-Based Web Design &
Usability Guidelines, enlarged/expanded edition (Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office, 2006), chap. 15 “Writing
Web Content” (http://usability.gov/pdfs/chapter15.pdf).