User-Centered is Paramount

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:

Audience

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.

Dialogue

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.

Clarity
Clear writing that shows the reader information that is easy to find and not mixed up with other less important thing. The Unknown-8information 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.

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5 thoughts on “User-Centered is Paramount

  1. Hi Hank,
    I really enjoyed reading you post! Your introduction was structured very well, and I liked the tips that you gave. Although you gave advice your overall tone is very relatable and the information comes off as being very helpful. I also liked the way that you talked about user-centered design in a way that made it seem very easy for some one to implement in their own everyday writing. Your overall advice of 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 is very good for someone who is trying to improve their business writing.

  2. Hi Hank, great job this week. You are right in saying that being able to communicate can differentiate you from your other colleagues. This can be in a good way or a bad way and user-centered design will hopefully steer us towards the former. I think its important that you made the point that user centered design doesn’t always mean including less information, it just means that you have to assess your audience and their knowledge of the information. I agree with you that having simplicity in your writing is definitely better, and that can contribute to the clarity of the communication. I also like that you summed up your helpful instructions at the bottom of the post so that its clear what you are suggesting.

  3. This was a good blog post, Hank! I like how you started off with a relatable topic about millennial writing preparation for the real world because that is something many of my teachers have stressed was going to be an important skill to have in college, as well as, the work force after graduation. You bring up the aspect of usability, which is definitely one of the major functions of user-centered design. If the audience is unable to get anything out of the email you are sending, it will be ineffective and chances are people in the workplace will not be very happy. This was a very well researched post!

  4. Hey Hank great job on this blog post! The effort really shows! I think its great that you address all four of the main parts of user centered design: audience, purpose, dialogue, and clarity. I think that with respect to each of the these main parts you definitely showed a knowledge of the subject. The one main point I wanted to comment on was your paragraph on clarity. I think its extremely important to be clear and transparent with your writing especially now a days to make sure that your intended audience will understand where a post is headed. That being said I think you did a great job! Keep up the good work.

  5. Hello Hank! I like your title. I think the word paramount really grabbed my attention and is true because user centered design is so important. I like the way you delineated each of the segments. Breaking up the main parts of user centered design: audience, purpose, dialogue, and clarity really helped the flow of this post. I think you used some great sources as well. You get your points across clearly and concisely. You don’t have any muddled thoughts, confusing sentences, or unfinished ideas. You seem very relatable and credible to your reader. I think this post could benefit visually from an image or two just to add some visual flair. Overall, great work.

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