Cut Out The Bull in Web Writing|
Avoid jargon and 'industry speak'. Our job is to connect with our readers, not to intimidate or patronise them.
No matter how complex the subject, the writing should be simple. Use clear, direct sentences. Inform, don't assume.
Be careful with industry terms as well, a common industry diminutive, contraction, or acronym can often come across as jargon. Check your dictionary and - if you must use a diminutive - make sure it's spelled out in full after the first use.
Focus on the core audience. It doesn't matter who they are, they're not stupid. Avoid using bloated self-indulgent phrases that seem aimed at making them feel that way.
Compare the following two examples:
|A significant percentage of the youth sector are [sic] prematurely disengaging from educational opportunities.|
|A lot of young people are leaving school early.|
Web readers won't bother reading past the first three words of Example 1, but they'll read all of Example 2 - and there's a much greater chance they'll read on to find out why young people are leaving school.
Get Some Help
The Fight the Bull site provides free software for Microsoft Word called Bullfighter that works much like a grammar checker, focusing on jargon and readability.
Depending on the state of your ego, you may find it funny or insulting - but don't dismiss the advice because of either. If nothing else, it's sure to make you think :)
Know Your Web Readers Use a Consistent Voice for Web Writing
Jargon Busting Resources
Plain English Alternatives for Jargon Words