PURPOSE OF THE WEBSITE
The main purpose of the UW-Parkside website is recruitment: to serve prospective students and their needs. To this end, the home page and program pages ("sell pages") are controlled by Admissions and University Relations. Content on department pages is the responsibility of each department. The general layout and presentation on department pages will be determined by University Relations to maximize recruitment usefulness, as "secondary sell" pages.
The secondary purposes of the UW-Parkside website are retention and to facilitate fundraising.
Perception is everything. Many of the people we interact with on our website have never been here, haven't met our faculty, staff, or students. They may be prospective students, prospective employees, community members, legislators, media, or any number of others. Our website may be the only contact they have with us – perception is everything. What does our website say to them?
- Is it easy for them to find what they are looking for?
- Do we look like a respectable university? If there are typos, grammar errors, formatting issues, blurry photos, etc. – the answer is probably "NO"
- Does our website reflect who we are as an institution and the students we serve?
Writing for the web
Web writing is totally different to writing for printed matter. We tend to scan content on the web hunting for the information we're after, as opposed to reading word-for-word. As a result of this, there are certain guidelines you should be sure to follow when writing copy for your website (source: webcredible.com):
- Use clear and simple language
- Limit each paragraph to one idea
- Front-load content
- Use descriptive subheadings -- good rule of thumb is to use a subheading for every two paragraphs in text heavy content.
- Bolden important words -- but not more than a few
- Use descriptive link text
- Use lists
- Left-align text
- Do not attempt to underline text -- it looks like a link
More tips for writing for the web at usability.gov