Let's tech communicate

August 2023

Plain language is for everyone

Here’s one for those times when you hear people say, ‘My audience is (insert: technical, or experts, or academics, or something similar); they don’t need plain language’.

Wrong! Research from the Nielsen Norman group shows that experts and professionals crave plain language content too – even back then in 2017. Fast forward to 2023 and we’re only busier, juggling more, and moving faster than ever before. Plain language saves time, money, mistrust and misunderstandings – for everyone.

Here are a couple of supporting research reports from the Nielsen Norman group:

Plain language is for everyone, even experts

Writing digital copy for domain experts

Do you need a more efficient way to make it through group editing?

Do you struggle when a cast of thousands needs to review and edit your document before you can get it approved? You can end up in a tangle very quickly, especially when those editors aren’t communication specialists and don’t know plain language or your in-house writing style well.

It might be time to take a step back and redefine your editing process, responsibilities and expectations.

The Harvard Business Review’s approach and top tips might be just what you need.

A better approach to group editing

Design: the double diamond upgrade

The double diamond model for designing great user experiences has been around for 20 years. It appears to have stood the test of time. However, a lot has happened to it over the years, and is still happening now as it adapts to life as we know it in 2023.

Here’s an interesting summary of its journey from Darren Yeo on Medium.

Double diamond v4.1: an operating manual for designers using AI

Words are patterns

As tech communicators, we know that crafting content isn’t just about adding words – content has to be clear, useful, meaningful, consistent, and actionable. But what is it that makes content so?

UX Writer Claire Mahoney delves into pattern recognition within products to show us why. Humans look for patterns everywhere and like to recognise familiar ones. It’s the same with content in a digital product – words are patterns.

Pattern recognition: why content is essential to product development

Dyslexia-friendly style guide

1 in every 10 New Zealanders are dyslexic, but there’s comparatively little guidance on how to write better content for this significant chunk of your readers. The British Dyslexia Association offers some simple additions to your workplace style guide that will not only make your content dyslexia-friendly, but will also make it easier for everyone else reading your content!

Dyslexia-friendly style guide