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Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content That Works (Interactive Technologies) [Paperback]

Janice (Ginny) Redish
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Book Description

23 July 2007 0123694868 978-0123694867
'Redish has done her homework and created a thorough overview of the issues in writing for the Web. Ironically, I must recommend that you read her every word so that you can find out why your customers won't read very many words on your website - and what to do about it' - Jakob Nielsen, Principal, Nielsen Norman Group. 'There are at least twelve billion web pages out there. Twelve billion voices talking, but saying mostly nothing. If just 1 per cent of those pages followed Ginny's practical, clear advice, the world would be a better place. Fortunately, you can follow her advice for 100 per cent of your own site's pages, so pick up a copy of Letting Go of the Words and start communicating effectively today' - Lou Rosenfeld, co-author, "Information Architecture for the World Wide Web". On the web, whether on the job or at home, we usually want to grab information and use it quickly. We go to the web to get answers to questions or to complete tasks - to gather information, reading only what we need. We are all too busy to read much on the web. This book helps you write successfully for web users. It offers strategy, process, and tactics for creating or revising content for the web. It helps you plan, organize, write, design, and test web content that will make web users come back again and again to your site. Learn how to create usable and useful content for the web from the master Ginny Redish. Ginny has taught and mentored hundreds of writers, information designers, and content owners in the principles and secrets of creating web information that is easy to scan, easy to read, and easy to use. This practical, informative book will help anyone creating web content do it better. This title features clearly-explained guidelines with full color illustrations and examples from actual web sites throughout the book. It is written in easy-to-read style with many 'befores' and 'afters'. This title also features specific guidelines for web-based press releases, legal notices, and other documents, and tips on making web content accessible for people with special needs. Janice (Ginny) Redish has been helping clients and colleagues communicate clearly for more than 20 years. For the past ten years, her focus has been helping people create usable and useful web sites. She is co-author of two classic books on usability: "A Practical Guide to Usability Testing" (with Joseph Dumas), and "User and Task Analysis for Interface Design" (with JoAnn Hackos), and is the recipient of many awards.


Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Morgan Kaufmann (23 July 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123694868
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123694867
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 19.1 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 140,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Review

"Redish has done her homework and created a thorough overview of the issues in writing for the Web. Ironically, I must recommend that you read her every word so that you can find out why your customers won't read very many words on your website -- and what to do about it." -- Jakob Nielsen, Principal, Nielsen Norman Group "There are at least twelve billion web pages out there. Twelve billion voices talking, but saying mostly nothing. If just 1% of those pages followed Ginny's practical, clear advice, the world would be a better place. Fortunately, you can follow her advice for 100% of your own site's pages, so pick up a copy of Letting Go of the Words and start communicating effectively today." --Lou Rosenfeld, co-author, Information Architecture for the World Wide Web

About the Author

Janice (Ginny) Redish has been helping clients and colleagues communicate clearly for more than 20 years. For the past ten years, her focus has been helping people create usable and useful web sites. A linguist by training, Ginny is passionate about understanding how people think, how people read, how people use web sites - and helping clients write web content that meets web users' needs in the ways in which they work. Ginny loves to teach and mentor - and to practice what she preaches. She turns research into practical guidelines that her clients and students can apply immediately to their web sites. Ginny's earlier books received rave reviews for being easy to read and easy to use, as well as comprehensive and full of great advice. She is co-author of two classic books on usability: * A Practical Guide to Usability Testing (with Joseph Dumas) * User and Task Analysis for Interface Design (with JoAnn Hackos) She is also the author of the section on writing on www.usability.gov. Ginny's work and leadership in the usability and plain language communities have earned her numerous awards, including the Rigo Award from the ACM Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication and the Alfred N. Goldsmith Award from the IEEE Professional Communication Society. Ginny is a Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication and a past member of the Board of Directors of both the Society for Technical Communication and the Usability Professionals' Association.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best handbook I've read in ten years! 4 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback
Usually when I start the learning process of a new project in life, be it professionally or private, I search for good books on the topic. Some are good, some are ok, but very few are great. A great book doesn't just lift a curtain, it's an eye-opener to a superb way of seeing things, of thinking. And you just Know, this is right! Happened for me ten years ago last time in a very different area, and now again. What a delight!

The book advocates an approach to website building which is based on a simple but powerful idea: Try to enter the mind of the user and take it from there. It's not about what you want to show off, but what people want or need or can take or accept from your site. The idea may not be new or very original, but the great thing with this book is the way Janice Redish tells us and shows us how to to do it. She's a superb teacher, so straightforward, plain, easy. Offers helpful guidelines to the many stages of the process, shows examples of good and bad design and site structure, writing tips, and much more. And always straight to the heart of things, no fuzz. Makes me want to start reworking my site immediately.

The booktitle is a bit unfortunate. The book is about much more than learning to use fewer words. It's about learning the craft of making websites that really works.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A joy to read and truly inspiring 26 May 2009
Format:Paperback
The book starts by answering a crucial question: what are the characteristics of your audience? Then, many other questions follow. What tone and personality would be appropriate for your website? How do you break content into topics and subtopics? And so on.

The main lesson of the book is to keep content as short and clear as possible. Many case studies and its excellent lay-out makes this book a joy to read. It was so inspirational that I had to stop reading temporarily after each chapter to put the lessons into practice. Differently put, Ms Redish managed to write a real "read-do" book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I buy this book by the dozen 11 May 2009
Format:Paperback
When Ginny Redish told me that she was going to write a book on web content, I was excited but nervous. She's the best speaker I know, the most knowledgeable person in our field, and loves sharing that knowledge - would she be able to transfer all of that to the printed page?

And of course, she did - brilliantly. This book makes you feel that you've got Ginny by your side, guiding and helping you to be the best that you could be.

I keep my copy close at hand, and always have a stock of them for clients. Even if you are an expert in writing, usability, or web sites, you'll find that Ginny has a way of neatly explaining key concepts that saves you time and effort when you want to get your clients or colleagues to understand them.

If you're getting started in usability or writing for the web, you'll find that Ginny guides you from start to excellent finish and makes it all seem easy.

You can imagine how thrilled I was when Ginny graciously agreed that our book Forms that Work: Designing Web Forms for Usability (Interactive Technologies) could be a companion volume to hers. Thanks again, Ginny.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-Have for any web author 6 Feb 2012
By jam
Format:Paperback
I would recommend this book, wholeheartedly, to anyone who has to publish content on a website.

The book is clear, readable, comprehensive and thoroughly illustrated by examples. The author not only explains a technique, and how it works, but goes on to demonstrate why it works by using a form of 'before and after' example, (very often taken from a real-life scenario), by which the reader can experience and appreciate the difference for themselves.

This book sat in my shopping basket for months, as I umm-ed and urr-ed over whether I should buy it or not. Big mistake! Now that I have read it, I wish I had bought it as soon as I first thought about buying it. It would have saved me a lot of rewriting of web-pages that were completed whilst I prevaricated over buying this book.

I have been writing reports and instructions all my working life, and I knew that I had to alter my technique for putting material onto the web. My adaptations, however, were trial and error. I was learning as I went along, and though I had some idea of what I was trying to achieve I was also aware of not quite getting it right. Ms Redish's book has given me the tools to fix that.

Whether you are a beginner, a hobbyist, a professional web designer/developer, or someone who has the task of maintaining their firm's, workplace's, club or organisation's website, there is something, (possibly everything), to be gained from this book. My view is that "Letting Go of the Words" is a Must-Have if you have anything to do with conveying information by the world wide web.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars best book on the market for content design 13 Jun 2011
Format:Paperback
I have now read about 20 books on the subject of website content design: this one is definitely top of the list along with Krug's 'Don't make me think', both titles are essential reading. I come from a desktop publishing background so , while I have knowledge around colours, fonts, general design etc, this book was a great help with its focus on writing information specifically for the web. I also ordered Yahoo's Style Guide, a great help on writing and editing for a wide range of digital media.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I really enjoyed this book and have poractically re written my website form the excellent tips provided, I would thouroughly recommend it
Published 13 months ago by howard smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable for anybody creating a website.
This book is very straightforward and easy to use. It provides lots of guidance on the principles that any designer of any website could use to improve the user's experience of... Read more
Published on 22 Oct 2011 by J. Mcshane
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for web designers!
This book is a must for anyone who is preparing content to be published on a web site. It is full of useful guidelines, tips and advice. Read more
Published on 17 April 2011 by ronwooduk
4.0 out of 5 stars Good yet biased
The book is great in explaining in simple words and lots of examples how to write copy for the web that works. Read more
Published on 7 Mar 2011 by Lord Wymering
5.0 out of 5 stars Reclaiming the words
I was initially put off by the price of the book (I was hoping for something around £5), but this book was worth every penny! Read more
Published on 18 Aug 2010 by Rosey Lea
5.0 out of 5 stars Otherwise known as how to stop people writing crap
GET THIS BOOK! Get thee this book I say. What a useful piece of ammunition - I've used it to drive home economic web writing to brochure and report writers. Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2010 by JaxFrost
5.0 out of 5 stars All you need to know about web copywriting
I was looking for a book about web copywriting.
I am very pleased I chose this book.
It contains everything you need to know about web copywriting with a strong link to... Read more
Published on 24 July 2010 by Esli
5.0 out of 5 stars Really hits the mark!
Ginny Redish has written a brilliant book here. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Creating a great web experience for your visitors is very important. Read more
Published on 1 Jun 2010 by Nick @ web-content-that-works
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent handbook for website designers
A very good handbook for website designers, because it translates the key learnings of researches to practical, everyday advices. Read more
Published on 29 Dec 2009 by Maria UjvŠri
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant!
I was looking for a book that would fast track me on writing for the web, web content dos and don'ts and maximum usability for site visitors. Read more
Published on 1 Nov 2009 by A. T. Dema
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