Principles for user content
Start with user needs
Write in a way that suits the situation. Ask yourself: Who am I writing for? What do they need to know? What is their situation? What are their constraints and environment?
Help people find the information they need quickly and easily. Guide them through the journey.
KISS -- Keep It Simple, Stupid
- Use plain language and simple sentences.
- Be clear, not clever.
- Write as if you're speaking to your mom or dad.
- Write for the audience, not yourself.
Users have complex experiences and backgrounds. Respect that.
Know the audience. I can't stress this enough! Talk to them. Don't ask what they want. Observe and give them what they need.
Build trust with the reader
- Talk like a person, not Siri or Amazon Echo.
- Don't sugar coat a problem. Tell the truth.
- Use positive language and concrete, real world examples.
- Start small and build big
Does your content work for users? Don't be afraid to rethink and rewrite.
Write a draft. Test on your users and readers. Examine their feedback. Refine. Make it better, test it out, gather feedback, and keep refining.