The Internet of Words: Why Nielsen Teaches Copywriting

Dr. Jakob Nielsen is a renowned expert on the critical aspects of quality digital development who has been called “one of the world’s foremost experts in Web usability” by everyone from BusinessWeek to insiders at Google.
So which language would this globally influential tech guru consider to be indispensable, yet consistently undervalued and overlooked: Java, Objective-C, C++, Python, Ruby on Rails…?

His answer just might be—English.

Throughout his career, Dr. Nielsen has underscored the importance of web and mobile writing. Ever since his 1997 pioneering study into how users read on the web, Nielsen emphasized high-caliber, web-specific copywriting as one of the most crucial components of website usability and profitability.

82899080_dbc8443758 From DPlanet on Flickr, resized

He explains that effective online writing requires a distinct approach. Unlike other forms of writing, digital content must focus on solving immediate problems if it is to capture the attention of the reader. It must deliver actionable information, while maintaining reliability and authenticity for the target audience. For the smaller screens of mobile, these style guidelines are even more important.

When the proper combination of online copywriting factors converge, the results are remarkable. Nielsen’s research found that writing conciseeasily scannedobjective text yielded a 124% higher usability score than content without those traits.

According to Nielsen, “Better writing is probably the single most important improvement you can make to your site.” Heeding his words means prioritizing our own.

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