Trim fat from your content

Fat makes your Web content ugly. Face it, friends – it’s a fact. So, I’m going to get straight to the point and leave you with the Here’s the big tip now: Make REDUCTION a conscious part of your Web authoring process. Teach this to your colleagues friends. Have competitions in your office to see who can destroy the most useless words. There is too much shit on the Web already and we just don’t need any more, dammit. Add value, be crisp, be succinct, or get off the pot.

I’m reading the book, Getting the Words Right: 39 Ways to Improve Your Writingin which Theodore Cheney provides 39 ways to improve your writing. , by Theodore Cheney. He starts with a section on reduction with these key tips:

  • Shorten or remove whole chapters, sections, and paragraphs
  • Shorten or remove superfluous, ineffective, or redundant sentences and words
  • Replace longer words with shorter ones

Whether you’re writing a novel, an essay, an article, or an email, reduction should be first and foremost in your revision process. With so many channels to choose from, and with so much traffic and noise online, trimming the fat from your content is more important now than ever. In fact, Studies suggest that 79 percent of Web users scan rather than read . It’s not just some bull-shit from somebody trying to be famous, either. I’ve witnessed it first-hand during formal Web usability evaluations. As someone who loves to both read and write, I have been shocked…horrified…at witnessing this. But the scientist in me cannot ignore the evidence of my senses. It’s simple:

Users don’t like to read a lot of crap, so cut it.