Keep readers on the right track…
Information design deals with the practicalities of finding information quickly and easily. Good information design ensures readers are able to concentrate on the message and not get lost along the way.
The best way to keep the reader on course is to use clear, logical signposts to guide them. We use various design features to do this...
Headings make subjects stand out and show the document structure at a glance. Readers also like to scan through pages – and headings help them pick out the information they want.
Long lines of text tire the eyes and make information almost impossible to take in. We wrap text at between 65 and 75 characters to make reading pleasurable, rather than painful.
A certain amount of white space (spaces between paragraphs) makes both on-line and printed documents look less cluttered and more inviting to read. But the balance has to be just right: too much white space in on-line documents can intensify screen glare, whereas a good level of white space in printed documents enhances the reading experience.
Another key aspect of a well-designed document or Help system is to link topics coherently. It is all too easy to create a maze of inappropriate hyperlinks or references between topics. But it takes real skill to guide users quickly and logically to the information they are looking for without them getting lost.
Plain Words build Help systems that really help the user, while providing a consistent, attractive interface.