Obadiah: Short and Sweet (@drbexl)

402.-Holy-Prophet-ObadiahObadiah is the shortest book in the Old Testament – maybe the prophet Obadiah “considered each word a high-priced commodity.”

In the digital age, a world of information overload, soundbites, and competing for attention – how do we keep things short, simple and – for the web – highly readable. Right back to 2001/2, when I undertook research into web accessibility and usability, this was a concern, and the amount of information online has online increased since then. Advice includes:

  • Short words, short sentences and short paragraphs are valuable.
  • Consider your online writing like a newspaper – draw attention through a good heading, then draw in readers with a key first paragraph ‘above the fold’.
  • With online, you have a stronger opportunity for a ‘call to action’ – what do you want people to do, or respond to, as a result of reading your content?
  • Make good use of images to add to the message.
  • Consider how your content ‘looks’ layout wise, so that people can concentrate on the message!

Why is this important?

  • Despite improvements in computer technology, reading online isn’t typically as pleasant as reading from paper, so people want to get to their information – fast.
  • With the increasing use of mobile – people want to be able to read fast – picking out the focus of each section easily – e.g. with headings, bolding or lists.
  • Overall, some think that attention spans in general have shrunk, so we need to get to the point – fast.
  • Internet content has existed for several years now – and it’s what people have come to expect!

Think also about those who are reading our words – who are they, and what are they looking for? How do we get them to that information in the fastest possible way and/or ensure that they feel listened to?

So, what do you think is a positive call to action to end this post with?

About drbexl

Life Explorer, academia/learning, Christian, cultural history, WW2 posters: Keep Calm & Carry On, digital world, coach. Twitter: @drbexl @digitalfprint, @ww2poster @bigbible