Tom Johnson at Idratherbewriting.com is a technical writer by trade and shares tips for becoming better at it. However this article, like most of his writing, is relevant to any writer sharing information – especially on the web.
Long paragraphs aren’t read. The user glances for 2 seconds at the guide for every 10 seconds or so she looks at the screen. Because of these glances, keep the sentences in your guide short and easy to follow. Abundant white space, graphics, lists, and bullets should be the norm in the guide.
Although I hate to think that everyone just glances over every longish paragraph in an article, it should be assumed that they will, at least at first, glance over it and then read more when they feel they should.
Like all writing tips this article focuses on keeping in mind the reader and how they react to what’s written. This is particularly important for anything like is written here at Lifehack. Hopefully we’re not so much a user manual, though.
Best Tech Writing Tip Ever: Watch a User Try to Follow Your Instructions - [IdRatherBeWriting]