Friday, December 19, 2008

Plain Language

Using plain language is not one of my strong points. I like words and I like using the word that best fits my exact tone and meaning. I think in and have a tendency to write complex sentences.

It takes effort to write so that you express the same ideas and emotion using simple language that is easy for everyone to understand. Some pages require jargon, legal text or formal and complicated language, but these pages are best saved as support pages. Your main pages should be designed for a more general audience and should keep things clear and easy to read. Use short sentences of 25 words or less. Break longer sentences into shorter thoughts that are easy to understand. Remove jargon, or explain what it means if you must use it. Use active language and be direct.

Studies have shown that people who can use fewer and simpler words are often considered more intelligent. They also get their point across to more people. On the web you only have a short amount of time to attract someones attention before they are off to the next click. Most people start to lose interest after about 122 words. Help them get the point of what you are trying to express immediately. If they want to know more, they can drill down into your site for more information.


Liza on Maui said...

Good points! Sometimes I tend to be too simple tough. But you're right about people having short attention span, especially blog readers :)


Shirley said...

Great post. I myself have been guilty of scanning a blog or website instead of reading the whole thing. I hate reading a mile long article or page that should have been condensed. Simple language is always better because we have many who have a hard enough time reading English.
Have added your link to my
Common English Mistakes blog

The Muse said...

Such a fine line...

This is why i think I love can be more, more, more...

while yes, for me at least, the site is artistic, but less wordy.