An important feature of the structure of any document, whether on a website or in printed format, is effective signposting.
Signposting techniques include:
- using headings and heading hierarchies to map the structure for readers
- using lists to draw attention to key elements of the information
- cross referencing information: in print referencing other pages within the document; on websites, using hyperlinks.
Effective signposting will help writers, editors and other production staff make sure that:
- the structure is logical to readers and that elements are highlighted according to their level of importance
- information is presented in suitably-sized portions so that it is easily read and digested
- the content is easily scanned by readers
- the combination of text, design, layout and images work together to clarify the meaning of the information being conveyed to readers.
For more information on structuring documents, read structuring content in publishing news.