The art of simplicity: how to make content clear, engaging and pleasant to read

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How easy it is to write difficult… and how difficult it is to write easy



To reach people’s hearts and minds it is essential not only to write interesting content for them, but to make it simple for them.
And – as we say in our Manifesto – an experience is simple when it doesn’t force you to ask yourself so many questions.

Clarity is always essential, whether we are writing texts from an SEO perspective for a site, a blog article or the content of a newsletter. Attention: simplifying does not mean trivializing, but making the content clear, direct, essential. Near the reader.

Here’s how.

Texts that are read from the first to the last word

Eight tips to keep in mind to make texts as interesting as our favorite book.

Let’s go straight to the point. It is important to eliminate long premises and superfluous information to prioritize relevant content. The editing phase is a very critical job that must be done with one question in mind: “Is this sentence really useful (for understanding, for conveying an emotion, for contextualizing)?”. If the answer is no, it should be deleted.

We put people at the centre. Self-referentiality doesn’t work because nobody likes self-centered people. Talking about yourself and your successes only makes sense if we can clearly bring out the benefit for the reader. Writing well is a matter of deep empathy: let’s put ourselves in the reader’s shoes and worry about sharing valuable information for him.

We create strong and lively images. To involve people and create an unforgettable experience in their mind we can create a complete and detailed scenario. So if we want to talk about the sea we will not say that we are “just” on the beach, but much more: we will describe the pleasant sea breeze on the skin, the salty scent, the relaxing and continuous sound of the waves and that sensation of wonderful, total serenity.

We never take anything for granted. It is our task and our responsibility to make ourselves understood; we cannot expect this effort from the reader. Let’s make sure that the expressions are not subject to multiple or ambiguous interpretations, which could confuse. To be understood and remembered, the communication must be clear and unambiguous.

We are concrete and specific. We avoid complex expressions and rhetorical figures, intricate metaphors, too many technicalities of the sector, foreign words when possible. We choose well-defined terms, set up transparent communication, favor concise and well-structured sentences.

We anticipate the questions. What is missing from our text? What information have we not entered? Having someone else read the content can be very useful in identifying all the possible doubts and objections that may arise and, therefore, integrating all the answers.

Let’s pay attention to plasticisms, i.e. those words that can be easily shaped in any context and situation, which mean everything… and nothing (for example words like innovation, quality, experience). Recognizing them is the first step in contextualizing them or, even better, avoiding them and replacing them whenever possible with a more specific phrase or word.

We make reading enjoyable. We limit walls of text and very long sentences. Let’s give breath to our words by creating small paragraphs, inserting bolds (sparingly, however, otherwise they lose effectiveness) and integrating infographics or images when they help to make a complex idea simple.

Three useful questions to understand if the content works

Self-criticism is important to verify the effectiveness of our text. Let’s try to answer these questions honestly.

  • If I said this sentence in speech how would it sound?

Very often imagining it in a dialogue we can immediately realize how intricate and distant that sentence would sound from the words we use every day. It helps a lot (also to identify any repetitions or typos) to have Word read the text aloud (from the top menu Review > Read aloud).

  • If I had to read it on the train or on the subway, would I be able to do it effortlessly?

Imagining scrolling through the content in a context full of distractions allows us to evaluate the true strength and effective effectiveness of our content.

  • If I hadn’t read anything and didn’t know anything about this topic, would everything be clear?

Let’s not forget, in the end, to always take a step back and go back to the starting point to verify that you have written an exhaustive text.

The pleasure of reading, the pleasure of feeling at home

Well-written content has the gift of making people feel welcomed, involved, guided.
Just as when we welcome our guest home and make sure that they are well (and wish to return with pleasure), so it is important to take care of those who are reading us.

Without ostentation, without excesses: in the end, the most appreciated texts (and gestures) are the simple ones. The ones that really matter.

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16 June 2023 Marica Granziol

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