Latest news in content: summer 2018

laptop on beach

A round-up of the best advice, thinking, tools and news in content. This has all appeared in the fortnightly Scroll newsletter. (Sign up on the right, never miss out again…)

News, thought pieces, advice

Why PDF is bad
An exhaustive, interesting, unarguable list of all the reasons you should publish HTML and not PDF.

Why a reading age of 9 is good
A calm explanation of why writing for a reading age of 9 is a well-researched and effective content design decision. All together now: it’s not dumbing down, it’s opening up.

 ‘Ephemeral’ content
New trend – ‘ephemeral’ content lasts for 24 hours and then disappears forever. Brands love it because it creates FOMO and so drives up engagement. (We love it because it is beautifully named.) Are you creating any of this content?

Butcher it. Show it. Be direct
How UX writing is different to copywriting.

Practical tips and ‘how-tos’

Content first
Practical approaches to content-first design (and you don’t need to be a high-powered content strategist to do this.)

How to run a content crit
Short and snappy instructions.

3 questions to ask at the start of a project
You need to know the answers before you start delivering mindlessly. Nice sensible stuff (and a poster.)

The one-breath test
How to write well for voice: does your content pass the one-breath test?

Tools

Global readability guide
Hugely ambitious project to create style and readability standards that we can all use. It’s wiki-based, so chime in.

New GDS design system
In case you missed it, GDS have launched the new design system. It’s a huge improvement in that everything is in one place – content, UI design and components. There’s been a shout-out from GDS to get more content people involved, to improve and develop the content side, so get stuck in here too.

And finally…

Font geeks – try this
Can you tell which is Helvetica and which Arial? Fiendishly tricky