Those deadly section start-pages

You click on a menu item such as Products and land on the top page of several (or hundreds) of more specific pages. It's those top pages that produce more than their fair share of utter garbage on web sites and intranets.

You know what I mean. Many writers are mystified about what to do with these top pages, and so they go:
1. burble burble burble in this section you will find a range of services if you want a consultation with our experts click on consultation in the left hand menu, or
2. toot toot! we are the most wonderful people in the whole world don't you think we are just terrific?

But writers have two good options:
1. create an obvious index page, or
2. use the top page for unique, important content.

Actually, developers increasingly use a cunning trick to avoid the problem of top pages: they eliminate them altogether. After all, these pages are intrinsically redundant. People rarely want to know about 'a range of' Fisher & Paykel products: they either want a washing machine or a fridge, not both. At the development stage of a site, devices like label pages and menu items that expand without jumping to a new page can prevent the creation of endless redundant and trivial content.

Meantime, give the poor writers a template for index pages. It should look like an index page, with no space for going burble-burble or toot-toot.


Rachel McAlpine
Rachel McAlpine

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