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HomeGuidelines  > 5. Reduce cognitive burdens.                 

 

To make your text easier to understand:

5a. Reduce the number of clauses per sentence.

5b. Blow up nominalizations and noun trains.

5c. Watch out for ambiguous phrases a user might have to debate.

5d. Surface the agent and action, so users don't have to guess.

5e. Make a positive statement.

5f. Reduce scrolling.

5g. Let users print or save the entire document at once.

5. Reduce cognitive burdens.

When you load my brain up with confusing choices, ambiguous phrases, unparsable sentences, you impose a cognitive burden

You make me think--and not about your subject.  You are making me translate, transform, interpret what you say.  That effort distracts me from your point.

Resources on thoughtlessness

Taking a Position on Thoughtlessness

Heuristic Online Text (H. O. T.) Evaluation of Cognitive Burdens

Poster

On reducing cognitive burdens (Hot Text module, PDF, 1012K, or about 18 minutes at 56K)

 

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