Why the heck do we communicate information? Answer that question correctly and you win. Win your audience, that is.
But waste their time by creating useless, inaccurate, wordy, muddled, ugly, purposeless, and hard-to-find content and you will have bought a ticket to unemployment. So how can you ensure you don’t waste your audience’s time?
Follow these ABCs of good communication:
A is for accuracy – Research every fact and conclusion you make. Rely on SMEs (subject matter experts) and check sources.
B is for brevity – Be brief. Edit ruthlessly. Make every paragraph, every sentence, and every word earn its right to be.
C is for clarity – Eliminate misunderstood words. Write phrases that can be understood by a 5th grade-level reader. (You’re not “dumbing it down.” You’re making sure all levels Continue reading
I found this in my Stumbleupon wanderings:
Clever. Inside joke? Not if you use Windows shortcuts. Your designer will appreciate it.
Oh, it’s Command+Z to the designer, most likely a Mac user.
“Every good design needs a focal point.” Garr Reynolds begins in this meaty blog post.
Explaining “Tokonoma,” Garr moves from the Japanese architectural and cultural explanation, into the realm of practical application in—of all things—presentations. He takes the real-life, explains the concepts, and turns them back into the real life.
Brilliantly depicting before and after examples of presentation images, Garr shows examples that my most-practical and literal-minded followers can swallow.
I encourge you to apply the principles if you do any of the following:
Kat Neville writes on Smashing Magazine “The Art and Science of the Email Signature.”
Nice work. Too many of my friends and coworkers have loaded down their signatures with every number, every tagline, every graphic logo of the company, in every color in the company-approved brand palette.
That’s all recipients want.
Also, if the majority of your email is sent inhouse, then create an internal signature that’s your default.
No need to tell your coworkers the name of the company you both work for, your own Web site, and monthly Marketing tagline.
Speaking of company brand, the pastel colors some companies include in their palette are instant turnoffs. Try reading this: andy gee, communication specialist
Mashable.com’s Josh Catone clearly practices what he preaches when he writes the “5 Rules for Better Web Writing.”
- For seasoned technical writers, this is nothing new.
- For newbies and my practicing students who are thrust into the world of technical writing for the Web, pay heed.
(updated 6/2009 with new link to Grammar Girl’s podcast)
Have you noticed how complicated the world can be? Tired of reading legalese? Confused by complex tools crammed with complicated directions to confound you and stake claim to your cranium?
It’s time to do your part. Learn to simplify what others read. Think Readability. Simplicity. Clarity.
Start with Grammar Girl’s post of Adam Friedman’s “Simplify Your Writing.” As author of “The Party of the First Part”, he knows the topic. (And, I just love Mignon Fogarty’s podcasts!)
Business Week’s article “Rethinking the Presentation”supports the presentation principles that I’ve covered in past
sermons blog entries. In summary, the article reinforces the mantra: avoid bullet points, cut the noise, picture superiority, and other facets of the new design methodology.
As a team member on a redesign of our new employee orientation presentations, we featured many of these techniques, starting with Continue reading