What techniques have you observed that helps published material (online or in-print) communicate and grab readers?
Overall, very little can be done to offset work that has been poorly assembled or lacks credibility. There are some elements that can be integrated to make something look better than it actually is, but in the final analysis, I think that if a product lacks quality, there is little that can be done to make something what it is not. In terms of what I have seen done, I would say the use of divergent graphics, fonts, and backgrounds in professional Powerpoint Presentations would be something that is utilized in the hopes of attracting viewers' attention to something that lacks in quality. Another element would be the overall appearance of a professionally written work. This might be accomplished through font use, or in the use of words that "sound good," but actually reveal very little. In writing I have seen, sometimes the use of polysyllabic words might be employed, no matter how poor their placement is. In terms of websites, I have seen use of color and graphic design make something look better than it actually is.