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Why you're writing it wrong

Source: The Harvard Gazette. Interview with Tood Rogers.

We spend many hours trying to craft a beautifully written post. According to Todd Rogers, behavioural scientist and Jessica Lasky-Fink, it doesn't matter because people don't read what we write carefully.

Beautiful writing is different from effective writing.

They propose three basic rules to simplify writing and make it more effective.

First: Less is more. As Tood Roggers puts it "It's a balance between getting the point across and adding too much." A study of office workers found they only focused on a task for three minutes. If you ask people to do many things in an email or your writing is not succinct, people will not follow.

Second: Add structure. Add headings. Most people don't read linearly, they are skimming through the text. Help them to identify the information they need by creating a structure.

Third: Use enough formatting, but no more. When you underline, bold, and highlight a sentence or some words, people read it because they think this is the most important part. But, at the same time, they will more likely ignore the rest.


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