Anyone who has ever trained for a marathon in the dead of winter and cannot bear a long run on the treadmill knows about layering. Anyone who has ever tried to keep readers from overloading on web content also knows about layering.
Layering (or linking) web content helps to pace and divide information on a web page. This helps each web reader get the amount of information that they want on a topic and prevents the reader from feeling overwhelmed.
Layering running gear for cold temperatures involves 3 layers: a base layer, middle layer and outer shell.
- Base layer: A tech or wicking fiber to keep the skin dry.
- Middle layer: Long-sleeve micro-fiber insulates and regulates your core temperature.
- Outer shell: Protects from wind, water and snow. An example of the blend might be 65 percent nylon, 25 percent polyester, and 10 percent spandex.
Layering web content involves 3 layers.
- Base layer: This key content is why the reader arrived on your website and contains most of the information that the reader needs on this topic.
- Middle layer: Related links to more content or detail on this topic from your site.
- Outer shell: These are links to related topic content beyond your site – definitions, details, forms.
You can use pop-up windows or opening and closing overlays on the same page, but overall you have improved usability by giving readers an opportunity to digest the base content and decide if they want more information.
Your web writing and content strategy has served two groups: scan readers, who have satisfied themselves with your initial offering and people who seek a deeper dive into your base content with layered links.
Now that you understand layering you’re ready for a 12-mile run in 25-degree February weather.