Words To Live By

The First Rule of Documentation

  1. Fix it in the UX/UI

Hidden features never get used. Confusing directions infuriate.

Nothing is intuitive, only familiar. Use :

  • Representations of real things (Skeuomorphic design)
  • Successful patterns (like underlining links)
  • Clear navigation
  • Clear UI text
  • Tooltips

People will honestly click through below the third level. Just make it easy to tell where they are, and how to get back

Don’t reinvent the wheel. It takes awhile, won’t ruin your look and feel, and burns money both making it, and fixing it after user testing.


Nobody Reads Digital Screens

They scan them.

Keep text to a minimum and use:

  • Short words (Simplified English)
  • Short sentences
  • Short paragraphs
  • Short columns
  • Short workflow
  • Consistent tone
  • Consistent terms
  • Bulleted/numbered lists
  • White space around text
  • Topic-based writing (reusable chunks – just like code)

Only stop cutting when it isn’t clear anymore. Then add that last thing it needs back in.

Allow for research and editing, not just writing.

Most people are shocked at how long it takes to whittle down explanations and directions. I’m sorry, but that’s just the way it is. You have to edit everything at least twice, and rewrite it in between. Get a writer involved at the tech spec stage, not as your very last round of user testing right before the launch.


Save on Development Costs

I believe in saving time by using:

  • Market research
  • Technical Writers from the start
  • Mobile first design
  • Responsive design (write once, run anywhere)
  • User testing
  • Iterative design
  • User testing
  • Topic based writing
  • User testing

If you do too, contact me. The time you save will be your own.