Levels of detail for Web content – elevator speech

June 12, 2008

“Most communication experts agree that information can usually be presented with three levels of detail. A journalist writing a news article might define these

  1. headline
  2. lead
  3. full story

(…) Good journalists try to include answers to Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How in their lead (…)

In many respects, a good summary on a website (for a product, service, etc.) will try to accomplish the same thing. Salespeople use the term ‘elevator speech’ – what they would say to a potential customer if they only had a 30-second elevator ride during which to pitch their product.
In web-terms, the three levels of information are often as follows:

  1. Label
  2. Short summery
  3. Detailed presentation
  4. and possibly

  5. supporting evidence (contextual links) [and information]

From: Reiss, E.L. (2000), Practical Information Architecture, Harlow: Pearson Education, p. 114-5

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