Give one example of good web writing and one bad example.
In Janice Redish's book "Letting Go of the Words," she outlines many important aspects to web writing on websites and the words used within their pages. Whenever I enter a website, I look for information that is concise, a layout that is interesting, and links that will take me where I want to go. Many technologies give websites the opportunity to meet standards most audiences want, however, few are still missing elements essential to the website's success.
Express is a company that sells clothing, shoes, and accessories for both men and women. As a company, Express does a very good job of creating a user-friendly website with many guidelines mimicking those outlined in Redish's book. First, Express uses you-centered language "that makes the information inviting and personal" (Redish 172). On the homepage, users will notice promotional language that invites them such as "Sign up for e-mail, get 15% off your next purchase," and "You're invited to an exclusive concert at SXSW!" where you can easily click on the link to receive more information. Second, there is a strong contrast in coloring allowing for text that is easy to read as well as sans-serif text, which eliminates cluttered lettering and allows the eye to move easily. Last, the format of the page is similar to other webpage's' in the location of the search bar, shopping bag, account information, and so forth. All of these elements are critical for successful design and wording that will keep users coming back to the site.
IHop is a restaurant that sells food and beverage items. As a company, IHop has a simple homepage with minimal information, but has a few issues users may encounter. I noticed an issue with the wording on the website where some readers may become confused. Before I was told that IHop stood for International House of Pancakes, I thought it was a gas station. The company does not indicate the entire name of the abbreviation unless the user clicked on the "company overview" link where even the wording describing the name is a bit confusing. The page says, "IHop restaurants, one of America's favorite restaurant chains, are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates." I don't understand why California is abbreviated in the sentence and I have no idea whether or not International House of Pancakes is the company or owned by an affiliate. Also, it takes about ten seconds before the user actually gets to see beyond the massive "Welcome" at the beginning. Last, the website did a bit of overkill putting a video and flash animation on the homepage. With such little information and animations so close together, it's hard to focus on information.