Usability Pays Off

Technical communicators build structure and usability into your content.

Each communications venue and medium works best when structured to meet the needs and expectations of its consumers—those who read and use the content.

Consider a user’s guide and a product brochure. Those who use a user’s guide most often use it not to learn everything about an application or product, but to answer a specific question.

Information Flow—Staff & Customers

There’s usually quite a bit of repeated information when procedures apply to multiple functions. This allows the consumer to find the answer more quickly. Readers get very frustrated if the structure forces them to jump back and forth.

Brochures, on the other hand, rarely repeat material. The focus and design of a brochure are different from other documents about your products or services.

Internet Content

Web content is trickier. A company or an individual invests quite a bit in a Website, hoping to attract visitors who will do something. Something such as buy a product or a service. Or, at least read articles about subjects the site owner feels are important.

Frustrated readers stop reading. That removes the source of their frustration…but their questions aren’t answered.

But most people troll the World-Wide Web looking for very specific information. After all, that’s why search engine companies like Google can hope to make money—if most people just opened a Web browser with no thought as to what they want to find, no one could count on earning money through ads placed on Websites. Advertising depends upon good placement on sites that appeal to a significant number of Web visitors.

People don’t spend more than a few seconds on any given Website when they are searching for specific information. When a visitor finds what she or he seeks, that person may linger on the site to read the content sought and found…and the visitor may stay a little longer to see if there’s anything else on the site that appeals.

A strong, professional technical communicator organizes the information on a site so that it can be easily and quickly found and catalogued by the search engines and by visitors.

That communicator knows and uses the best practices of good journalism when he or she writes content for the Web—interesting, short headlines and effectively structured stories that bring the most important information to the front.

I skillfully design your materials to benefit your customers—and You.

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