How To Write Articles For Websites In 12 Points

Here’s are 12 good ‘manifesto’ points based  on experience and observations. Some are pretty obvious pointers, others could be less so, but we hope they add some fuel to this debates surrounded by this particular form of Design writing. Feel fee to have your own thoughts.

1— Every designers are different, remember that.

There are designers around whom can really write. There’s those who appreciate nice writing for design when they see it. And then there’s the designers who just can’t and/or don’t. The level of dyslexia among the world of designers is shockingly high; that’s probably why they choose to be designers and not be writers. So the way the writing is perceived and received doesn’t just depend on how good it is, but also who you’re probably dealing with. Maybe your words will convey the reader with free-for-all delight, but then on the other hand, always be prepared to explain yourself when you’re in your corner. Just keep in mind that each designer (even clients) have different perspectives and expectations.

2— Know your place

A lot of writers sigh when their written words not being given the kind of respect they think it deserves. That is where they miss the point. Good writing deserves respect, bad not bad writing. Plus, you can’t always expect to be the star or the highlight of the show in every time — different design projects include major or minimal roles for the design writer. You need to establish the part you’re expected to play from the outset.

Design Writing

Design Writing

3— Vision your words

If a woman in a trucker uniform and a man wearing s tutu utter the exact same words, the effect will be completely different. Therefore, before you write, it’s important to visualise  your words and  what it will look like when a reader sees it. How will the images and text relate to one another? What kind of typeface will they be set in? What’s the  medium and format ? Quite often, words and visuals populate within the same world but they look in completely different directions.

4— Be yourself

Of course why shouldn’t you be able to alter your tone and implement different voices? One of the joys of writing for different client and brands is jumping into a variety of different personas and being or feeling like someone else for the day. But it’s also worth to recall that you have been asked to write and contribute for a reason; why? Because  your client wants a piece of you. Something to do with your personality or your writing style has made that impression on the, otherwise they would’ve asked someone else to just do the job. Be that chameleon, by all means, just don’t be invisible.

5— Don’t take it too personal

No matter whom it is you are, your drafts could be rejected and even your best lines would get cut. You might be asked to write the same line over and over before your client decides that he or she liked the first one after all. Days will be long, frustrating and repetitious . You might have that moment of feeling ignored, belittled and even bullied. But majority of the time, this wont have anything to do with you or the quality of your work. So just keep smiling and  keep doing what you do until the sun shines again.

6— Keep a lid on it

Too many crazy punch lines may leave the readers punched drunk. Just like a good laugh, writing for any kind of design is all about timing and rhythm, keeping it natural and not trying way too hard. No one likes people who show off.

7— Be a perfectionist

Working on newspapers and magazines, there would be small army of  editors and fact finders to make sure everything written is correct ; down to the last dotted little “ i”. But when writing for a design company or a brand, it stops with you. You can bicker as much as you want that spelling or grammar and punctuation won’t matter anymore, but research has proven that a single spelling mistake can slash a website’s online company sales by half or more. Punters equate careless spelling with careless service. It will undermine your client’s credibility, making them look incompetent and maybe even dodgy. Regardless, if you like it or not, it is your duty or job to stop those typos and correct them in their tracks.

8— Break rules for a reason

Being the linguistic rebel, the word “and” has become a favorite way to begin a sentence, We aren’t that kind of grammarian who is all trussed-up, but it’s practically become a rules to basically break the rules. Casual breach is so such a commonplace that any sort of interest or impact has just long gone. For example, swearing; continue to do so and it would just fly unnoticed into a fuggy-like, expletives atmosphere. Carefully choosing the right moment and it will cut like a blade. So go ahead and break the rules, but if you’re going to do so, make it worth it.

9— Keeping a distance

Ok, you can say that I am old fashioned but it’s only because I like alittle bit of formality. Not to the extent of being call Madame or Sir in at a coffee shop but more so along the lines of “Are you guys ready to make an order?” which sticks with me. Likewise, the “chattytastic” kind, that over-familiar kind of brand writing which became ubiquitous over the passing years is really beginning to irritate. It’s like someone you met down at the local pub and plonking themselves on the sofa and insisting what it is you should be watching on television. Doing too much of this kind of writing gets really cocky, annoying and downright presumptuous. We are always told that a Modern Consumer is highly considered a creature of sophistication so I think its about time to show some restraint and a bit more class, and yes… I am pointing fingers, you know who you are.

10— Do not jettison jargon

Once upon a time, I had thought that the merest hint of jargon was intolerable. If any word could not be understandable by the ‘man in the street’, I would consigned it straight to the gutter. Usually this meant using 3 words instead of just one, or writing up a really clonky sentence just for the sake of common phrasing. But in all actually, I’ve come to realization, that it’s all about audience, the viewers. For example, if you’re writing for a carpenter, call the skew chisel a skew chisel. Simple! And likewise, if within a business community feels comfortable with their resources and security and their bottom lines, they could have them (up to a certain point). Only we draw the line at… ‘leverage’.

11— Cut yourself short

We tried to keep each of these paragraphs or segments to at most eight sentences or less than. Any longer would create a bore. Keep in mind, commercial writing is always uninvited and normally unwanted, people are impatient  and time-starved. You should make your point quick, charmingly  and convincingly as possible. Mood setting and preamble are generally considered luxury. Say what you need to say in just as few words as possible, and make sure you say it well. Edit, re-edit, and then  you can edit again.

12— Work, don’t dodge

This might sound a bit straightforward, but you need to put in the hours. Regardless of how naturally talented or gifted you are, you need to perfect and hone that rough diamond until it shining bright like the Koh-I-Noor. Ultimately the best design writers are slightly the obsessive types — viciously self-critical, they struggle over the small details, and are never content with their work. If they’re not putting time  in for clients, then they’re making themselves  busy with personal projects and what-not. You’ve need to really, passionately want it, because if you don’t, then  someone else will.

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