UNDERSTAND YOURAUDIENCE’S NEEDS• Who are the consumers whowill read what you write?• What do they need to know?• What do they need to do?1
CATEGORIZE YOUR INFORMATIONBY TYPE AND PURPOSE• Separate different typesof information• Separate “need to know” from“nice to know” information2
ORGANIZE THE INFORMATIONFROM THE CONSUMER’SPERSPECTIVE• Is it sequenced in the order thatconsumers need?• Are new concepts explained fornovices– and can experts skip them?• Are important cautions and warningsprominent, and not obscured or buried?3
CHECK FORCONSISTENCY4• Are you using terms, acronyms andabbreviations consistently?• Have you formatted each type ofinformation consistently?
HELP CONSUMERS FINDTHE INFORMATIONTHEY NEED• Make titles and labels descriptiveand distinct• Make information available whenand where it’s needed• Use access aids– TOCs, indexes5
LOOK FORREUSABLE INFORMATION• Use small units of information that can beeasily repurposed• Think of these units as “building blocks” youcan use to assemble multiple documents6