I’ve been re-reading William Zinsser On Writing Well and becoming ever so conscious of what I put out here. Hence the shorter posts lately. Learning to tighten form and edit out unnecessary words is one reason to read the book. Understanding that good writing leads to connecting well is an added incentive, if you need one.
Words matter. How you string sentences and paragraphs into a cohesive story is a valuable skill.
“A badly written message can do a lot of damage,” says Zinsser
Having rewritten many of my top posts from past years I can attest to the usefulness of reworking drafts. Writing has been a process of constant improvement over my previous work. Like many other bloggers, I also noticed how spontaneous posts fare better because I obsess less about how you will view each bit and relax into being more me.
Connecting through communication involves more than writing
Think product usability – how easy is it to use a tool, a technology, a gadget? Ease of use is one of the reasons I opted into Apple years ago. I never looked back. Microsoft Office suite for Mac works better due to the operating system.
Communities of practice – is this a place where I can find answers to burning questions? Do I meet peers in my field? Is a system or someone helping tag topics so they can be retrieved easily? Is there a vehicle for contribution?
Service design – how is the quality of interaction between an organization and its customers? Does the plan support what the business offers, its capabilities, and the needs of customers?
Strategic conversations – do we need to uncover options? Are we looking to shape choices? Has the time come to make decisions? What environment is more conducive to each type?
A badly organized user experience can have negative impact. When you are connecting well, the road to a useful product, good service, and a good decision is paved with first drafts and continuous iterations.
Writing is a tool that sits on the back end of all of the above. Creative briefs, user research, user scenarios, roadmaps, planning documents, prototypes, in market program testing, manuals, content distribution via outreach emails, Facebook posts, Twitter messages, etc.
“Clutter is the official language used by corporations to hide their mistakes,” says Zinsser
We connect when we call things for what they are.