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By David E. Hailey, Ph.D.
Professional and Technical Communication
Utah State University.


As usability experts describe the appropriate models for writing in digital, they consistently express the need to write in a user-centric format. While I agree with the importance of efficient navigation in Web content, I suggest that user-centric writing only applies to part of the content we find in a website. Other styles of writing are almost always required. Two additional styles are persuasion-centric and quality-centric writing. These two styles are required by almost all marketing writing and especially marketing writing for the prosumer community. In this article I extend the ideas found in user centered design to include user-centric, persuasion-centric, and quality-centric writing (which combination I call ReaderCentric writing).

I believe this impacts information architecture in a number of important ways, perhaps most notably in the way the various writing styles impact the mindset of the information architect.

I will explain why these writing models are important and demonstrate what happens when the models are ignored or not understood, plus how they may be successfully applied to marketing documents on the Internet. Finally, I will speculate on how information architecture may be adjusted to meet the needs of the content, writer, and reader.

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