Full day training course offered at Usability Week Berlin

Complex Web Content

How to attract, educate, and earn trust through content

Go beyond just answering people's questions. It's what you say AND how you say it. This course teaches you how to have a meaningful conversation with your readers through your website, mobile app, or social media presence.

A helpful website makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and builds trust along the way by providing essential content in the right place, written in a consistent and appropriate tone of voice.


  • Using words to entice, educate, and earn people's trust and business
  • Keeping a consistent voice, tone, and style to appeal to users
    • Impacts of voice and tone on people's impressions of your organization
    • How users determine your voice
    • Formal vs. informal writing styles for different situations
    • Traditional writing styles can be easy to read
    • Determining your voice
    • Adapting your voice to social media
  • Storytelling can make your content feel relatable
    • Web friendly story formats
  • Writing for multiple audiences
    • Personas will help you use words your audience can relate to
    • Addressing needs of both novice and expert users
    • Review and discuss examples from different industries, including: higher education, business, healthcare, and e-commerce.
  • Building relationships through content
    • Effective taglines explain who you are
    • Company information in the About Us section
    • Formal and informal employee bios
  • Helping visitors use your site and aleviating their concerns
    • FAQs provide answers quickly if they are done well
    • FAQ writing guidelines
    • Microcopy are short phrases that can increase conversions
    • Helpful error messages give instructions on how to fix the problem
    • Humor often doesn't work well in error messaging
  • Optimizing landing pages for a specific goal
    • Copy tips for landing pages
    • Increase conversion on campaign pages
    • Convince people to take desired action by providing benefit
  • Putting existing content online
    • Moving content from print to web
    • Providing content in PDFs only is unprofessional
  • Techniques for organizing complex content and articles
    • Users want detailed content
    • How to be complete without being overwhelming
    • When to keep information on a single page
    • Benefit of long pages vs. pagination
    • Page length and scrolling
  • Strategies for layering content
    • Anchor links that don't confuse users
    • Common usability issues with tabs and pagination
    • Effective use of expand/collapse controls
    • Using local navigation when breakining information across multiple pages
    • Encourage exploration through related links
  • Alternative ways to present information
    • Information graphics
    • Tables communicate the differences
    • Images simplify complex concepts
    • Effective captions add value and tie image to main story
    • Video to establish or build relationships
    • Provide title, description, length, transcript with videos
    • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and visualizations

Free Material with Course Attendance

Report: How People Read on the Web: The Eyetracking Evidence

This 355-page report offers 83 recommendations for web writing and content layout, plus 102 detailed findings about how people read on the web, including scanning patterns revealed as we used eyetracking technology during usability tests.


This course is an interactive lecture. Through exercises you will learn to apply and practice new principles and techniques, while staying grounded in the research that supports them. Individually, and in groups, you will practice writing web-copy for different site areas, platforms, and audiences.

The course also includes:

  • Findings from our own usability studies
  • Videos from usability testing showing people's behavior in response to content
  • Screenshots with content that works and doesn’t work, and why
  • Opportunities to ask questions and get answers

Companion Course

Writing for the Web is a companion course to Complex Web Content. Each course can be taken independently. Writing for the Web covers:

  • How people read online based on usability testing and eyetracking research
  • Optimize content for users, search engines, and accessibility devices
  • Write concise, benefits-driven copy to increase conversion
  • Increase usability by following our web writing guidelines


Hoa Loranger

Hoa Loranger is Director at Nielsen Norman Group and has worked in user experience for over 15 years. She conducts research worldwide, and presents keynotes and training on best practices for interface design. Hoa has consulted for companies such as Microsoft, HP, Allstate, Samsung, Verizon, and Disney. She authors publications, including a book, Prioritizing Web Usability. Read more about Hoa