You probably write material for the website or a UUA blog, at least on occasion. But does anyone read it?

Caution: You may be great at writing five-paragraph essays (the kind you wrote for school), scholarly papers, business memos, or sermons. But when people read web pages, their attention span is incredibly short.  If a page contains paragraphs of text with few links, headings, or bulleted lists, the reader is outta there within seconds.

The ITS Web Team is starting a series of articles entitled “Web Writing” about keeping material short, writing effective titles and headings, adding links, and other ways to help your readers find what they need.

Just can’t wait? Buy Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug or Letting Go of the Words by Janice Redish, or read Jakob Nielsen’s articles online.

photo courtesy of

About the Author
Margy Levine Young
Margy Levine Young is the Manager of the ITS Web Team, part of the Information Technology Service staff group of the UUA.


  1. Mark Steinwinter

    I think that loads of text are a distraction on a home page or portal intended to be an attractor for further engagement. But a page intended to teach someone the steps of a process, for example, is perceived differently by a visitor.

    So our writing style may need to be influenced by the purpose of the page. That may be intuitively obvious to some authors, but others may not be so blessed.

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