What is it that makes Apple computers so popular? Is it just because everyone has one and its considered “cool” to have a Macbook? There was a time where the internet was a very difficult and hard to use invention. Apple has made it easier for people to surf the web and work a computer because their operating system is very user friendly, meaning that it is very easy for anyone to sit down at a Macbook and navigate their way around the equipment. It so easy even old people can use it! And because their equipment is so easy to use, it has been a major factor in their overall success. This same approach can be applied to your everyday writing ventures, and is known as user-centered design. According to Perdue Owl, user-centered design is done by writing with focus the “expectations, goals, situations, and needs of the readers”. By utilizing this tool, you will become a much more effective writer and will get a much better response from your peers.
One method used in user-centered design is known as document design. Document design utilizes everything visual about a document in order to make a strong piece. From everything to typography to text placement and color, these things can help make your writing be more easily understood and have the ability to drive your message home to the audience. According to Casey DeSmet in her article For Best Results, states that “the visual aspects of a document help the reader determine the quality, credibility, and overall usefulness of a document”. By utilizing document design, you have the ability to present all the information you need to get across to your audience in a clear way. You can learn more about document design and its effectiveness here.
Another aspect of user-centered design is making the documents you type up useable and useful. The people over at bogieland.com have come up with six aspects of usability to aide you while you are writing your documents. Even though there are six, the one I find most important is “efficiency of use: the supporting documents needs to be designed to allow rapid accomplishment of tasks for more experienced users”. Whatever you are writing in the business world, if you are in a position of authority, your documents need to be clear and easily interpretable so that whatever information is trying to be relayed, those that need to take action from it can do so as efficiently and easily as possible. You should be able to produce a reliable and useable piece of writing. The aspects I previously cited will act as a solid guideline to help you in your writing.
My last piece of advice is to utilize the tool of information design. This is organizing and planning the information you are going to include in your document to address a specific audience. So, if you are writing
in the workplace, you are going to need to detail the information so that your peers can understand what it is that needs to be done and how they should go about doing it. According to techtarget.com, they state that “the practice of information design invites questions into how people learn or prefer to learn and how they use information”. This tool will help force you to understand your audience better and will make your writings be much more useful.
If you can incorporate user-centered design into your writing, it will greatly impress the audience that is reading your documents and will gather a much better response to what it is you are trying to relay. I hope you found my information helpful!