Microcontent: writing headlines, page titles, and email subject lines (06 Sep 1998)
Because of these differences, the headline text has to stand on its own and make sense when the rest of the content is not available. Sure, users can click on the headline to get the full article, but they are too busy to do so for every single headline they see on the Web. I predict that users will soon be so deluged with email that they will delete messages unseen if the subject line doesn't make sense to them.
If you create listings of other people's content, it is almost always best to rewrite their headlines. Very few people currently understand the art of writing online microcontent that works when placed elsewhere on the Web. Thus, to serve your users better, you have to do the work yourself.
Article URL: http://www.useit.com/alertbox/980906.html
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