You’ve Got Mail!

Remember the sound of those famous words coined by AOL in 1989? In those days, we logged into our personal computers, waited for the agonizingly slow dial-up internet to connect, and anxiously anticipated receiving electronic mail (email). What an exciting evolution it was to receive correspondence from an old friend or a family member without…

Document Structure

Previous blogs introduced the idea of using structured folders and file sharing to help employees find documents more efficiently. This blog addresses the structure within a suite of documents, which is essential to helping employees find needed information more expediently. Documents can be classified in numerous ways, with the various document types requiring different information;…

Test Styles

Imagine the following scenario: a company’s operating procedure has come up for its annual review and is distributed to the appropriate people, one at a time, for comments and updates. When the project manager for this review receives the document back, it no longer looks the same; tables have bullets and indents that do not…

Consider the Bigger Picture…

Let’s talk about the intersection of document design and writing. The appearance (design) of how information is conveyed can either enhance or devalue the validity of the subject matter of a document. Different types of documents have different design requirements. For example, a technical manual that has casual or cartoonish graphics and is written as if…

Safety First

At the end of the day, the goals are simple: safety and security — Jodi Rell Safety is something we first learn about when we are young. For example, we learn not to touch a hot stove, stick knives in electrical sockets, or dry our hair next to a tub full of water. But how do we…

Face-to-Face Communication: A Forgotten Art

How many times have you walked into an office area and heard nothing but the clicking of fingers on keyboards and seen only the tops of people’s heads? Can you visualize the people that you send emails to? Do you regularly answer emails on your phone? Think about the last time you were at a…

Content and Context: Writing With the Stroop Effect

How fast can you read the following words? Red Green Blue Yellow Purple Red Blue Yellow Purple That wasn’t too difficult, right? Okay, now try it again: Red Green Blue Yellow Purple Red Blue Yellow Purple This was a bit more difficult, but it wasn’t too bad. So, how about saying the color that each word is printed in instead? Blue Yellow Purple Red Green Red Blue Yellow Purple Ahh, you’re slowing down…