A List Apart


Topic: Writing

  • Putting Our Hot Heads Together

    by Carolyn--Wood · Issue 265 ·

    The web is a conversation, but not always a productive one. Web discussions too often degenerate into whines, jabs, sour grapes, and one-upmanship. How can we transform discussion forums and comment sections from shooting ranges into arenas of collaboration?

  • The Cure for Content-Delay Syndrome

    by Pepi Ronalds · Issue 259 ·

    Clients love to write copy. Well, they love to plan to write it, anyhow. On most web design projects, content is the last thing to be considered (and almost always the last thing to be delivered). We’ll spend hours, weeks, even months, doing user scenarios, site maps, wireframes, designs, schemas, and specifications—but content? It’s a disrespected line item in a schedule: “final content delivered.” Pepi Ronalds proposes a solution to this constant cause of project delays.

  • Greatest Copy Shot Ever Written

    by Nick Padmore · Issue 248 ·

    “Got Milk?”, “Don’t leave home without it”, “Good to the last drop.” You know these taglines and the products associated with them. So what makes a great copy shot? Is there a formula? And can understanding advertising help us write better web copy?

  • Better Writing Through Design

    by Bronwyn Jones · Issue 242 ·

    How is it that the very foundation of the web, written text, has taken a strategic back seat to design? Bronwyn Jones argues that great web design is not possible without the design of words.

  • Reviving Anorexic Web Writing

    by Amber Simmons · Issue 242 ·

    Intelligent web content is the literature of our time. Amber Simmons argues that conventional approaches have starved the life out of web writing.

  • Who Needs Headlines?

    by Shaun Crowley · Issue 238 ·

    A designer formats and places text. Technically, the job ends there. But some designers go further, sharpening their clients' content to grab and focus user attention. In so doing, they create more effective sites—and gain an advantage over other designers. Drawing on decades of copywriter lore, Shaun Crowley discusses seduction by headline and other principles of writing that sells.

  • A List Apart 4.0

    by Jeffrey Zeldman · Issue 201 ·

    From the crown of its cranium to the tips of its Ruby-slippered toes, A List Apart 4.0 is both old and new.

  • Your About Page Is a Robot

    by Erin Kissane · Issue 222 ·

    Everyone has one. No one likes to talk about it. No, not that. It's your About page, and it needs a little love. ALA's Erin Kissane guides you through a beautiful journey of self-discovery.

  • Gentle Reader, Stay Awhile; I Will Be Faithful

    by Amber Simmons · Issue 221 ·

    Bloggers and copywriters take heed: it takes more than daily publication to build relationships. Amber Simmons provides advice on engaging readers and keeping them coming back.

  • Attack of the Zombie Copy

    by Erin Kissane · Issue 206 ·

    You’ve seen them around the web, these zombie sentences. They’re not hard to recognize: syntax slack and drooling, clauses empty of everything but a terrible hunger for human brains. Here’s how to fight back.

  • Calling All Designers: Learn to Write!

    by Derek Powazek · Issue 216 ·

    You know all that copy that goes around your forms and in your confirmation e-mails? Who's writing it? Derek Powazek explains why it's important for user-interface designers to sharpen up their writing skills.

  • A Case for Web Storytelling

    by Curt Cloninger · Issue 92 ·

    In our attention to style and technology, we often overlook a vital element in the web design mix: narrative voice.

  • How to Write a Better Weblog

    by Dennis A. Mahoney · Issue 138 ·

    Great writing can’t be taught, but bad writing can be avoided. Mahoney shares tips to enhance the writing on your personal site, blog, journal, etc.

  • 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web

    by Mark Bernstein · Issue 149 ·

    Your information architecture is as smooth, clear, and inviting as a lake. Your design rocks. Your code works. But what keeps readers coming back is compelling writing that’s continually fresh and new. Updating daily content can challenge the most dedicated scribe or site owner. Mark Bernstein’s ten tips will help you keep the good words (and readers) coming.

  • Typography Matters

    by Erin Kissane · Issue 124 ·

    It’s a style thing. It’s a usability thing. It’s a tricky thing for large content sites and a step up for independents. It’s typographically correct punctuation on the web, and ALA’s Erin Kissane makes the case for it.

  • Evolving Client Content

    by Steven Garrity · Issue 120 ·

    Content management systems are only as good as the content they manage. Garrity explores the care and feeding of low-budget clients who need high-quality content.

  • The Art of Topless Dancing and Information Design

    by Denice Warren · Issue 93 ·

    Creating a web site makes for all sorts of strange working relationships. What does an information designer have to do to get a little cooperation?

  • Beyond Usability and Design: The Narrative Web

    by Mark Bernstein · Issue 106 ·

    Crafting a narrative web: To succeed profoundly, Bernstein says, websites must go beyond usability and design, deeply engaging readers by turning their journeys through the site into rich, memorable, narrative experiences.

  • Why Are You Here?

    by Scott Jason Cohen · Issue 72 ·

    Whether we’re designing experimental sites or keeping an online diary, we go to the web in search of meaning. Will we find it? Or will we build it ourselves?

  • A Fairy, a Low-Fat Bagel, and a Sack of Hammers

    by Nick Usborne · Issue 162 ·

    Never underestimate the importance of words on the web.