Use plain language
Content should be as straightforward as possible
Clear and usable content uses plain language. Plain language makes our content findable, accessible, and easier to understand.
Jargon, formal language, and long phrases separate us from the user and lead to misinterpretation and confusion.
Figurative language doesn't say what you actually mean and makes content harder to understand. Here are some examples:
- drive (you can only drive vehicles, not schemes or people)
- drive out (unless it's cattle)
- going forward (unless you're giving directions)
To avoid this, describe what you're actually doing. Be specific and accurate.
Don't say Input your change. Say Type your change. Input can have a lot of meanings. Use the specific word.
Try to always remember that you are conversing with the user. Don't lecture the user.
Don't use formal or long words when easy or short words say the same thing. Use help instead of assist, about instead of approximately.
Plain language is more than just a proscriptive list though, it's a way of writing. See Avoid Complex Words for a word list.