Elegant Precision: Connect with People Using Plain Language
Elegant PrecisionConnect with People Using Plain Language Lauren Colton @LaurenTGC" Information Architect & Editor" Gravity Works Design & Development
#elegantwordsCommunication your audience can understandthe ﬁrst time they read or hear it. Plain language is deﬁned by results: it is easyto read, understand, and use.
#elegantwordsWhat?“I make my living through the relationshipsgarnered utilizing LinkedIn.”
#elegantwordsElegance 1. Engagement with ethnic rivalries and religious beliefs. 2. Fair, transparent economic development.http://www.ted.com/talks/eric_berlow_how_complexity_leads_to_simplicity.html
#elegantwordsWhen Words MatterInformation Architecture: can people navigatewhat they need?Content Strategy: what conversation are youhaving with current and potential clients?Search Engine Optimization: can people ﬁnd you?Usability: can people meet their goalsefﬁciently, effectively, and with satisfaction?
#elegantwordsSpeak to your audience• Who is this conversation with?• What is the context?• What are your goals? Their goals?• Will goals be met with these words?
#elegantwordsThe “Mom Test”1. List your assumptions on what these users care about.2. Write your copy based on those assumptions.3. Would your mom say this (or call your shenanigans)?4. If no, try again.http://alistapart.com/article/being-real-builds-trust
#elegantwordsFor exampleCage Fighting Babies*A Mobile Application*I do not endorse the actual ﬁghtingof babies, in cages or otherwise.
#elegantwordsYou are entering a contract to develop theCage Fighting Babies mobile application.
#elegantwordsKnow which grammar rules matter We will create Android, iPhone and iPadapplication interfaces.We will create Android, iPhone, and iPadapplication interfaces.
#elegantwordsBe precise• Most-important message at the top• Headings throughout• Avoid clutter with short sentences, and short paragraphs
#elegantwordsBe preciseIf you want extra strength in today’s battles,the best way to do that is to check in today,on Foursquare, at your local Starbucks.Check in at Starbucks on Foursquare forextra strength in today’s battles.
#elegantwordsUser has not created a profilebefore entering first battle.
#elegantwordsAvoid hidden verbsTo enter a battle, you must complete theregistration form.You must register to battle.
#elegantwordsSurveying users on their experience.
#elegantwordsPromote descriptors, demote exceptions Did you press the button that is red to battle,before creating your proﬁle?Before creating your proﬁle, did you press thered button to battle?
#elegantwordsUsers are searching the app store.
#elegantwordsCommon words, common meaningsCreate character proﬁles and battle with bandoboxers, buckaroos, and Martians.Create character proﬁles and battle withninjas, cowboys, and aliens.
#elegantwords@laurentgc lauren [at] gravityworksdesign [dot] com
#elegantwordsFor targeted, actionable, andprecise language• Use visual aides, pronouns, and active voice• Remove useless words• Promote descriptors, demote exceptions• Common words, common meanings