In clear writing, a well-crafted key message works like a key in a lock. It offers access to what’s inside and conveys to your audience, “this is for you.”
The words we use should clarify, not obscure meaning. My pet peeve in this area is the near universal governmental insistence on using “health” to mean “medicine.”
“An average business wastes as much as 40% of its managing costs because of poor communication.” Clear communication is about your clients understanding your language, making sense of how you organize information, and feeling comfortable with your design.
Much has been made of Donald Trump's use of plain talk. But is it plain language? Plain language is clear language. If you have to ask: "What does that mean?" the language is not plain.
Whatever sector you work in, I urge you to check out this fine example of clear communication and participatory design. Why? Because good work is contagious.
Consideration is the very heart of clear language. We can’t possibly craft a clear, meaningful, and usable message if we haven’t considered the wants, needs, values, and beliefs of the readers.
The federal government survey, MyDemocracy.ca, leaves the impression that ballots can be either precise OR simple. They can offer a wide variety of choice OR be easy to understand. Research proves they can be both.
For every website, the first thing you need to give people is what they came for. They usually come with the most obvious question -- where are you, do they qualify for your service. After they answer the first question, talk to them in their language.
Write emails as if you were telling someone something important – and they were halfway out the door. Use only the essential words, used headings, and use short paragraphs and point form. Send ONLY the emails that are essential.
Staring at a blank page can be a trial even for experienced writers. When writing is something you don’t do often it can be difficult to know where to begin. And when your goal to communicate important information clearly, it can seem overwhelming.