At Fluent we’re making more and more mobile sites. Writing for mobile – whether apps, mobile only sites or websites optimised for the small screen – is a challenge. Space is limited. The user interface is different. Most of the time, users don’t want to read. This is how we’ve been facing the challenge so [...]
‘What is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures and conversation?’
Show don’t tell is a core design principle here at Endis Solutions. But what does it actually mean?
Given the choice between telling someone something and showing it to them, you should almost always show it. Here’s how, and why:
Admit it. Every now and then you want to read ‘how-to’s in a dirty long list. And every now and then I want to write them.
So here you go. 40 tips for writing well, on the web especially. Happy Christmas.
After the fun of ‘Are you stupid enough to use leverage as a verb?’ (in which you added well-considered perspectives on the evolution of language to my fairly bald argument of that’s one ugly word) I’m going to have to break my silence about the word bespoke.
Bespoke is another ugly word, this time an adjective, as in ‘we provide bespoke software solutions’.
It is not common in US English, but is increasingly found in Britain being used to describe services, especially in IT. It is traditionally a tailoring term, coming from the archaic verb bespeak, indicating speaking about or arranging something in advance.
Tailors have used it for centuries to describe suits that are hand-made to an individual’s measurements, as opposed to off the peg, pre-cut garments. Originally, the term described the process whereby a piece of cloth would be reserved for an individual customer. It suggested craft, care and unique personalisation. More recently, it has broadened in tailoring to imply anything that is made to measure.
How many properties do you think the biggest landlord in Cambridge owns? 20? 50? 100? Amazingly, having bought his first home in 1965, Dennis Whitfield has accumulated a portfolio of over 500 properties in the area. That’s a lot of houses.
The Whitfield Group are a genuine, local success story, having started small and built over time. The only thing they didn’t have in place was a useful presence on the web so they approached us at Endis Solutions asking for a simple site through which to advertise their services and empty properties.
The challenges from the content side were:
Social media has made the web more of a conversation (it was already pretty chatty). Companies who want to maintain a one-sided, sales pitch relationship with their customers come off as stiffs. For many businesses with web sites, adopting a tone of voice online that is a little less formal, a little more smart casual, will help their users to connect with them.
I am not talking about LOL-ing up your copy with txtspk, slang and swearwords FTW! But undoing the top button and taking off the tie will allow you to appear friendly, trustworthy, approachable and willing to interact. Here are 9 practical tips to soften up your style:
I couldn’t help laughing at a gag on the radio yesterday. It was a Classic FM style spoof ad: ‘Relax,’ said the deep male voice, ‘to the soothing sound of … Vuvuzela Moods.’
If you have no idea what a vuvuzela is, I’m hazarding a guess that you don’t follow football. Switch on any broadcast of the 2010 World Cup and the first thing you hear is the blaring, persistent, invasive drone of what sounds like thousands of cheap plastic horns being raspberried into deafeningly by thousands of untrained lips all at the same time.
Which is what it is.