Inside Firefox - The Inside Track on Firefox Development: "March 26, 2006
Writing for Busy People
Back when I was in University, many of the lecturers stressed time and time again the importance of succinct, well organized writing. They said over and over that this was the best way to have your thoughts read and understood by decision makers. In fact, they scared us by saying that 70% of us would become managers sooner or later!
Well, I can tell you that's sage advice. It's great when people make contributions in the form of ideas and proposals, but it's even better when they're written for busy people. Here are some examples:
* Making important points up front
* Clear taxonomy of headings, and lots of them
* Writing clearly and succinctly
* No long, unbroken paragraphs or tracts of text.
* Preferring bulleted lists with clear points to paragraphs.
* Use of emphasis in formatting to make important things clear
These days, I find I don't have a lot of time to read everything carefully, so the better structured a document is, the more I get out of it. I frequently find I miss entire subsections or points of documents, even when there's relatively little text, because of incomplete organization. My eyes definitely glaze over when i see a large block of unbroken text with few headings. "