Convert bad content to usable content

This page explains my approach to editing web content such as for department intranets and university websites.

Why bad content is well…bad

Bad web writing is a slap in the face to usability principles. Many a time have I thumped the poor mouse and filled the room with obscenities as I furrow my brow in confusion while trying to find an answer or steps on what to do. *Inhale*

This grrr experience is because someone thought they could write effectively, or took content that was professionally written and defaced it with marketing/legal/technical mess.

Example of how I fix bad content

View an example of how I fix up existing content and the reasoning for it. Open the before and after attachments.

Explanation of editing

I nicked the content from a website of a well-known company. It is the introduction spiel to a set of guidelines for app developers who want to submit their app to a store.

Warning: My comments contain thinly veiled disdain for the company. Sigh. I might forgive them one day.

How I improved the content

  • Efficiency: Removed random blah. Word count reduced by 70%. This means the reader can find what they need faster.
  • Ease: Flesch-Kincaid grade level dropped by almost two grades. This means that more people will be able to understand it.
  • Satisfaction: Gave direction and relevance to reader by using tangible examples.

The following table summarises the awesomeness.

Criteria

Before editing

After editing

Total words

494

350

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level:  

7.3

5.4

Words per sentence:

17.3

9.7

Passive sentences

11%

0%