I just read Zinsser (2010), and I though that his approach has a lot in
common with good programming, and indeed with some good universal design
Zinsser basically resumes his thoughts with these sentences:
- Short is better than long.
- Simple is good. (Louder)
- Long Latin nouns are the enemy.
- Anglo-Saxon active verbs are your best friend.
- One thought per sentence.
I think all of that are equivalent to a combination of these universal
principles of design: William Lidwell (2003):
- Accessibility - the principle that asserts that the design should be
usable by people of diverse backgrounds.
- Chunking - accommodates short term memory limits by formatting
information into small number of units.
- Interference effects - when outputs of different mental system
are incongruent, interference occurs and additional processing is
- Ockham's razor - Oldie but goodie. As Einstein puts it
Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.
To close, this little exercise was a great evidence on how writing is simply
to program in a different media for a different audience (or vice versa) but
the same principles apply to both of them.
Jill Butler William Lidwell, Kritina Holden.
- Universal Principles of Design.
- Writing english as a second language.