Writing Style for Print vs. Web

Jakob Nielsen:

Print publications — from newspaper articles to marketing brochures —
contain linear content that’s often consumed in a more relaxed setting
and manner than the solution-hunting behavior that characterizes most
high-value Web use.

In print, you can spice up linear narrative with anecdotes and individual examples that support a storytelling
approach to exposition. On the Web, such content often feels like
filler; it slows down users and stands in the way of their getting to
the point.

For example, in print, discussing the tall-friendly rooms in
the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas feels somewhat interesting. That’s
not the case online when a user is looking for tall-friendly rooms in
Chicago (or wherever he or she is going next week).

Web content must be brief
and get to the point quickly, because users are likely to be on a
specific mission. In many cases, they’ve pulled up the page through
search. Web users want actionable content; they don’t
want to fritter away their time on (otherwise enjoyable) stories that
are tangential to their current goals.