Words, words, words

Writing has always been the beating heart of online user experience. It is also the single aspect of creating online user experience that designers and developers almost never study, discuss, or consider when tasked with creating a website—except perhaps to ask when the copy will be ready.

The exceptions to this rule are almost always the people who, in one way or another, move the medium forward.

Those who place a premium on the “content” of sites they build most often see those sites succeed. Those who value and practice good writing become the bloggers people read, the editors of magazines with healthy page views, and the creators of communities to which others flock. And those who consider clear and brand-appropriate writing an essential part of the interface design process create the Flickrs and Basecamps we love and business people respect. (Sorry to always cite those examples, but, hey.)

Long lost to the mists of time, the first issue of A List Apart declared its allegiance to writers as well as designers and coders, and sought to present the art and business of website creation as a holistic enterprise in which words matter as much as anything. And from time to time over the years, we’ve refocused the magazine on writing—whether it’s writing the user interface or cleaning up uninspired, client-supplied copy. Perhaps we have not done enough to support writing or to include writers in the virtual conference room. But we’re working on it.

Presenting Issue No. 242 of A List Apart for people who create websites:

Better Writing Through Design

by BRONWYN JONES

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

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

[tags]writing, writing the user interface, webdesign, alistapart[/tags]