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October 12th, 2010

A sketch from J.K. Rowling’s notebook, revealing how she planned out the story while writing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

— via Organize your writing, J.K. Rowling style | Unclutterer

A sketch from J.K. Rowling’s notebook, revealing how she planned out the story while writing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

— via Organize your writing, J.K. Rowling style | Unclutterer

Link: Forgiveness - 52 Weeks of UX →

May 27th, 2010

In this installment of 52 Weeks of UX, we are reminded about an often overlooked area of application design — error handling. Mr. Brewer points out this unique opportunity to bring about a human connection through careful design and copywriting. It is an interaction designer’s responsibility to plan for this state, and a copywriter’s responsibility to make the most of it. Often enough, the designer is also the copywriter, so this reminder is doubly pertinent.

Link: Before You Hire a Writer | brown blog →

February 19th, 2010

Nice article by Tiffani Jones that hits on a lot of key points about making a website work. Redesign process, differences between a copywriter and a web writer, and what kinds of things to expect when hiring people to help you with your web site. Lots of good stuff in here about the web, and more than just writing for it.

Link: A List Apart: Articles: Words that Zing →

February 9th, 2010

Interesting perspective on writing for the web, with a helpful visualization from the Greek rhetorical concept of kairos:

In weaving, kairos occurs in the instant at which the shuttle passes through an opening in the loom’s threads; this is the moment when all the threads come together to create the fabric. Similarly, on the web, the threads of technology, design, content, culture, and user science intertwine to form the fabric—or context—that swathes the opportune moment.

This is the most succinct and powerful way I’ve ever heard to describe the way a design combines elements of visual composition, balance, content, science, and timing to support cognitive understanding and persuasion of viewers.

I loved the examples under selling a service subscription. There is an art to designing marketing content, and the concept of kairos explains this brilliantly. The customer can visualize themselves using the service, and that’s what drives the point home. When designing these examples, the team got into their users’ heads.

The way I read it, kairos is that “Zing” when everything comes together in a way that seems so simple, yet can be so difficult to create. Once you become cognitive of things like psychology and timing in addition to visual composition, typography, etc., and put the right words and images together in the right layout, finally, it happens. Zing.

Link: Seven Bad Writing Habits You Learned in School | Copyblogger →

February 9th, 2010

The points here are especially true on the web. Except maybe for the thing about sources — not enough people source their information, so we end up with an internet full of stuff we don’t know is true or trustworthy or where it came from. But most of the interesting stuff worth reading comes from real people, is opinion or experience-based, and doesn’t need to be so damn academic.

Break stuff up into short bits, write from the heart, and get to the point. Me likey.

photo of Sarah A blog full of thoughts and observations on making the web a better place, collected by Sarah Harrison.

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