Three little rules: Your first draft is not worth the keyboard it was typed on. If you’re seven rewrites in, you’re probably halfway there. If you can’t imagine what good another pass could do, you’re not done – you’re ready for the first review. Which is the long way of saying: learn to edit, not […]
Oliver Burkeman reviews the basics of thinking about writing.
Here’s a quick writing tip for user manuals: don’t add your images to the manual until you’re done writing your text. This has two advantages. The first is that when you add images one at a time over the long course of writing a manual, it’s easy to overdo it. When you add them all […]
There is a general problem in software, more pronounced in minimalist Agile efforts, of documents that look good at the time of writing, but do a poor job of transferring information. I call these “stump” documents because readers are stumped when they try to learn from them.
The Oxford comma, or serial comma, is the comma that sometimes appears in a list before the last “and”, “or” and so on. It has somehow become a battleground of punctuation, because some people always use it while others never do, and emotions run high.
Capitalization seems to be a weak point for many in software. Perhaps because code (and odd company names) teach us that words can have a capital letter in the middle, capitalization of UI text is often more creative than is strictly necessary. Capital letters aren’t important only because some of your users are grammar geeks; […]
When explaining complicated ideas, your goal shouldn’t be to dumb things down – you’re here to teach, not to help people avoid learning. But the best way to teach is not to start at the expert level and hope your readers follow along – it’s to start at the bottom and layer it up. Give […]