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Archive | Technical writing

Four writing styles and when to use them

If you were to read the instructions for operating a nuclear reactor, you would expect it to be written very differently to a novel about a nuclear accident, or a newspaper editorial about the merits (or otherwise) of nuclear power. Broadly speaking, there are four different styles of writing: expository, descriptive, persuasive and narrative. The […]

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Sans Forgetica: the font to remember

Why would anyone design a font that is deliberately difficult to read? The answer is simple: to help people retain the information they are reading. A team of designers and behavioural scientists at RMIT University has created a new font for the specific purpose of aiding memory retention. It may seem counterintuitive, but by employing […]

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Making accessible Word documents

No clear thinking organisation would deliberately exclude potential clients or customers. Yet if you aren’t providing your audience with accessible Word documents, you may be doing exactly that. For some organisations, particularly government bodies, making their information accessible is a legislative requirement. Even when it’s not, there’s significant risk of reputation damage in failing to […]

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Lessons from Ikea

As I assembled a new wardrobe last weekend in the spare-room-cum-study that is soon to be my daughter’s new bedroom, I was struck by just how simple yet effective the instructions were. Perhaps more striking was the fact that they didn’t contain a single word. This might seem like the antithesis of what a technical […]

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