Zombie language at work

Would we still read blogs if they were written in the same way as business documents are written? Or books, or articles, or whatever other reading material we consume?

One question that is sometimes forgotten when we write documentation is "who is it for?" Most of the time, we write it for our colleagues, so how come when we write something for our colleagues we write it in such a dry, boring and inhuman way?

As an example, the other days I have been working with re-thinking our investment process. I first made a draft document in which to record our progress and then I re-wrote it to be read by others. When doing so, I changed the title from "Investment approval process" to "How we make investment decisions", I replaced descriptions with icons and visual illustrations, I showed why it is designed in that way and at the end I added a "frequent questions" section. 

The difference between the initial draft version and the final version is the answer to the question "who is it for?". The first version was for me, I needed a place where to put down the design decisions as we progressed. The final version was for my colleagues, written with their needs in mind and how I would like it to be if it were for me. It sounded human and it showed care.

So, how about imagining that your colleagues don't have to read your document? How about not feeling entitled to their attention, but thinking they are in a position to choose whether they consume your material or not? Because in fact, they are.

What you can measure is not worth much these days

What is really cost cutting