How To Write
By Suzan St Maur
Make sure your instructions are written for your audience, not your organization.
People who buy products need to know how to assemble/install/use the product as easily as possible. And because many people are technodorks like me, instructions need to be understood by the lowest common denominator.
Logically, then, you might think the best person to write instructions for technodorks like me is someone who knows every last detail about the product, how it was made, how it works, what it does, and what its inside leg measurement is.
In other words, an expert. This could not be further from the truth.
Instructions should never
Key tips for well-written instructions:
Keep an open mind
Still following along the same lines, for any product to be used by ordinary folks in the street, try also to get the instructions written by someone from a totally unrelated department or even from outside your organization. No matter how thoroughly you know your product, a fresh outsider's view will often pick up on ways to improve the instructions--or even to improve the product itself.
Bio: Canadian-born Suzan St Maur is an international business writer and author based in the United Kingdom. In addition to her consultancy work for clients in Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia, she contributes articles to more than 150 business websites and publications worldwide, and has written twelve published books on business writing, marketing, publishing and humor. Check out all her current books here. To subscribe to her free biweekly business writing tips eZine, TIPZ from SUZE, click here.
© Suzan St Maur 2003 - 2006
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