Digital Library Seminar Series: 2002-04-04


Best Practices in Web Writing and Architecture


Jeffrey Zeldman


Jeffrey Zeldman has been designing websites since 1995 for clients including The New York Public Library, Warner Bros. Movies, JazzRadio, The Ad Store, and Clear Channel Entertainment.

He is the author of Taking Your Talent to the Web (New Riders: 2001); the publisher and creative director of A List Apart, a weekly online magazine "for people who make websites;" and the co-founder and group leader of The Web Standards Project, a grassroots coalition of web developers and users fighting to improve support for W3C standards.

Jeffrey's personal site has been visited by over 10 million people and is considered a daily "must-read" by thousands of web designers and developers. He writes for Macworld, Adobe Web Center, PDN-Pix Magazine, and Crain's Creativity, and is a popular speaker at conferences including AIGA, Web Builder, ThunderLizard's Web Design Conferences, SXSW, Photo Plus Expo,PLA, Web 2001, Internet World, and many others.


Crafting effective, engaging websites is both an art and science. Naturally you seek to publish relevant content, ensure that it is accessible to a wide range of browsers and Internet devices, make it look attractive without taxing a dial-up modem user's bandwidth, and strive for consistency of presentation (no easy task on large library sites put together by various groups).

But creating a site that invites repeated visits takes more. It requires understanding how people read on the web, making your content accessible and easy to find, and developing a guiding voice and vision that can engage visitors on a personal level. For the web, despite its public nature, is an intensely personal medium.

Does your site feel warm and human, or does it simply present data? Has your text been written and edited to engage readers with differing needs and distinct modes of web use, or have you simply shoveled content into a template? How much text is too much? When do links help, and when do they distract? Does your site present all that the library has to offer, or is the "gold" hidden by a confusing interface?

In two one-hour sessions, web designer, author, and consultant Jeffrey Zeldman will present a detailed overview of best practices in web writing and architecture intended to increase usability, clarity, and emotional engagement in your web projects. Both sessions will include significant Q&A time intended to help you tackle specific problems. Bring your questions!


2002-04-04 & 2002-04-10 [please plan on attending BOTH of these sessions]


Thursday; Wednesday


9:30-11:00 AM


203 Butler Library, Morningside Heights Campus, Columbia University