Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Three Interrelated Pillars of Web Development

Structure is (x)html - we use html, a structural mark-up language, to add semantically correct structure to our documents. A page heading, a sub heading, a paragraph, a list, a hyper link are all defined structurally by html.

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) - we use CSS to implement all the attractive design aspects that our designers create. We use CSS to bring in color, images, typography and layout.

Behaviour (dynamic stuff) - we use the appropriate programming language and database language to store data and to bring in dynamic and interactive aspects of a web page. For example, changing content, forms, actions rotating images and much more. We use django, JavaScript, .net and more to bring behaviour to our websites. Keeping these three pillars strong and separate means we have a balanced, future compatible product that is attractive, accessible and standards- compliant at the end of the web development life cycle.

Writing in Upside Down Pyramids

Write for a Quick Grab
The best way to write for the web is to understand how your readers read. Most web users don’t want to be blasted with information, facts and figures. Chances are, they want to quickly grab their information and keep moving.

Lead with Most Important
A great trick to start doing this—learned from schools of journalism—is the inverted pyramid style. Using this, you lead with the most important information, and only then do you increase the level of detail and history. The rationale behind this is that the largest percentage of readership is in the top of the article; the smallest is in the bottom. This way, your readers can decide exactly how much information they want to take in.

This is easily adaptable to web writing, as it makes sure your reader takes away what YOU feel is most important—which is the whole point of web writing to begin with.