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How to Write for the Web

Designing: Consider Multimedia

Web sites allow you to include a wider range of illustrations, including audio files, video files, and animations, than you can include in print documents. Your use of these illustrations, however, can be complicated by factors such as the speed with which your readers will access your site, the capabilities of your readers' computers, and the possibility that animations might distract your readers' from the information you want them to review.

As you design your Web site, weigh the potential benefits of using multimedia against these concerns. If you decide to use multimedia illustrations in your Web site, but are concerned it might place a burden on your readers, consider making use of the illustrations optional—and consider providing alternative ways of presenting the information found in the multimedia illustration. For instance, in addition to providing a video file of a speech or discussion, provide a text transcription.

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