Millenials, we need to remember work is going to consist of a lot of writing and you are going to need to be prepared. Over our time in high school and thus far through college we have been training ourselves for that day. Making a strong impression on your boss and fellow employees is what you want to strive for when writing. Keeping in mind how you communicate in always important and understanding the situation of who you are speaking with and the tone of what you are saying.
Using user-centered design is how you will be able to better communicate with colleagues. The idea of user-centered design is to keep your audience in mind. Documents need to be easy to read and easily understandable in order for it to be useful. Usability is what is the center of user-centered design, in the article from usabilityfirst.com usability is “A user-friendly interface design is easy-to-learn, supports users’ tasks and goals efficiently and effectively, and is satisfying and engaging to use.” If you use this in your business writing you will be able to ensure that all of your documents are concise and gives the reader of it all the information they need that is not overwhelming. Being aware of who will be reading your document is paramount because it can completely change the tone and information in your writing. If you are emailing an employee that is less knowledgeable you will need to add extra information in order to be sure they have a complete understanding of your email. To be sure you are using a user-centered design there are a few things to know:
Like I mentioned above this is the key to user-centered design. Knowing whom it is and being aware of it whenever you are writing is important because of the information and tone of the work. Knowing where the employees are in the company and what the company believes in will drastically alter what goes into your writing. Writing in a professional manner can be sometimes forgotten but you are not texting a friend, you are communicating with other professionals that do not want a sloppy email that is acceptable in the corporate world.
The content of what you write is the next thing to look at when writing at work. You only want to put in information that is useful and centered around one central idea. Simple is generally better when writing at work, you do not want to overwhelm the reader with ten different tasks and unimportant info. Sticking to a one-task rule per email will make it easy to create useful emails. An employee will appreciate an email they can get through and understand in a short amount of time it will make their life easier. They wont be spending unnecessary time having to read and decipher your documents.
Clear writing that shows the reader information that is easy to find and not mixed up with other less important thing. The information needs to be presented in a clear manner at the beginning of anything you write because it will make it quicker for any reader to locate and interpret what they need to know. Knowing the task and what they need to know will ensure that you are only including necessary information to the task at hand.
Knowing your audience, keeping your dialogue simple and concise, as well as making clear writing that is easy to interpret will give you a strong foundation for writing at work. Using all three of these whenever you write is key because you never want to forget and write something that is not acceptable in the work place.