- How not to do it
- Focus on whats core
- Kill lame features
- What if the user...?
- But our customers want it
- Solutions, not processes
- When features dont matter
- Will it hurt?
- Prioritizing features
- Smart defaults
- Options and preferences
- When one option is too many
- Visual clutter
- Removing words
- Simplifying sentences
- Removing too much
- You can do it
Almost any sentence can be simplified and almost any text can be cut. In Revising Prose, Richard Lanham offers a simple method to turn long-winded writing into short, crisp sentences.
- Circle the prepositions (of, in, for, onto, into, about). They drain the action from a sentence, so try to eliminate them.
- Circle the “is” verb forms (“is taking time”) and replace as many as you can (“takes time”).
- Convert passive voice (“time is needed for this project”) into active voice (“this project needs time”).
- Cut out slow starts (“One can easily see that...”) and get to the point.
- Eliminate redundancies. Don’t say “on a daily basis” when “daily” means the same thing.
These rules make text clearer, more persuasive, and shorter.
- Please note that although Chrome is supported for both Mac and Windows operating systems, it is recommended that all users of this site switch to the most up-to-date version of the Firefox web browser for the best possible results. (41 words)
- For best results, use the latest version of Firefox. Chrome for Mac and Windows is also supported. (17 words)
Use Lanham’s rules to remove the words that pad your sentences.
- DDB UK’s advertisement for Volkswagen in the UK shows just how much you can cut.