Tag Archives: length

Why Long Topics Are Better for the User

In my previous post, Do Short Topics Make Information More Findable, I argued that shorter topics make it more difficult for users to find information. I ended the post by saying that topics that are more substantial make content more findable. But how big should the topics be? Obviously not the length of a book, Continue Reading »

Simplicity in a 550 page manual?

One of my readers, Shweta, asks the following question: I am a Technical Communicator working in a software services company in India. I have been reading your posts daily from a long time now. I am developing end-user documentation for an access control product. The current application that I have is huge and so is Continue Reading »

Avoiding a sense of rambling (Voiceover)

A while ago I was gathering feedback on different tech comm deliverables. I asked a user if she preferred videos or written material when learning software. I thought she would immediately say “videos,” but it was a toss up for her. In her mind, videos involved long stretches of narration that included sitting passively at Continue Reading »

Being boring (Sins of blogging)

Being boring is sin #3 in my list of the seven deadly sins (other sins include being fake, irrelevant, unreadable, irresponsible, unfindable, and inattentive). Perhaps a more tactful way of saying something is boring is to say the writer neglects to “keep the audience’s attention.” I’m always hearing about the short attention spans of online audiences, Continue Reading »

The Appeal of Adobe InDesign

Have you ever told a project manager that the instructions he plans on releasing with an application — instructions written by an intern who is here for a three-month stint — are complete junk and that it would be an embarrassment to the organization to give them to users? When you tell a project manager Continue Reading »