If you’ve ever had your computer give you a readability score or a grade level for something you’ve written, you’ve run a readability formula. Readability formulas are easy to use and give you a number. This combination makes them seductive. But a number isn’t useful if it isn’t reliable, valid, or helpful.
In this article, we’ll explain how readability formulas work and give you seven reasons why you shouldn’t use them. We’ll also show you better ways to learn whether the people you want to reach can find, understand, and use your content. Read More
As writers, it’s easy for us to think that whatever topic has held our interest throughout the stages of research, synthesis, and composition will also pull our readers through to the end of whatever we’ve written. But that’s not the case. Many who come to this article may not even reach the end of this sentence, as the article “How People Read Online: Why You Won’t Finish This Article” explains.
So how can writers reach people who don’t read? Through scannability. Read More
“The words we write may be tiny at times, but have a big impact and convey a lot.”—Roxanna Aliaga, UX Writing Manager at Dropbox
Words are important, but as obvious as this statement might seem, this fact hasn’t always been evident in the design of product user interfaces. Twenty years ago, the pop-up error messages of the Windows operating system were full of jargon, and the user interface was so unattractive that people would sometimes just click an Accept or Exit button without even reading the message text.
Today’s writers, marketers, and designers know that a single word in combination with the right visual design can make the difference between a user who engages with your brand and a user who never comes back. UX writing is about emotion, accuracy, and strategy. Let’s explore this fascinating, new field. Read More