Writing for Designers

Words matter. Even in something as banal as a form, the words we choose can determine what someone does and what they fail to do. In this excerpt from Writing for Designers, Scott Kubie explains the purpose of prose in a design and why we need to be more intentional with how we use words.

The FAQ as Advice Column

The FAQ has grown out of favor with some factions of late, but Caroline Roberts argues that the simple question and answer format can be just what you need. With a few modern tweaks and some thoughtful intent, kick your FAQs up a notch.

Order Out of Chaos: Patterns of Organization for Writing on the Job

The meaning of what you write isn’t only the the words. The sequence of information, the categories you use, the emphasis you imply through your hierarchy—all of these decisions have a huge influence on audience understanding. Richard Rabil, Jr., explains how to use foundational patterns of organization to help you convey what you mean to say.

So You Want to Write an Article?

Ready to write a professional article? Make sure your submission is the best it can be! ALA editor Brandon Gregory gives some advice on common pitfalls the editorial team sees in article submissions, including advice for picking your topic, writing intros, and adding authority to your ideas.

We’re Looking for People Who Love to Write

Publishing on A List Apart isn’t as easy-peasy as dashing off a post on your blog, but the results—and the audience—are worth it. And when you write for A List Apart, you never write alone: our industry-leading editors, technical editors, and copy editors are ready to help you polish your best idea from good to great. Come share with us!

Write What You Know (Now)

We talk ourselves out of writing (or at least out of publishing) in all kinds of ways: It states the obvious. There’s no conclusion. No one will read it. Someone might read it! Well, so what? You never know how much that seemingly insignificant story of yours may be appreciated in the future—it could be one of a handful of search hits on an obscure issue; it could be a reminder of how you used to work 15 years ago; it could help people get to know you better; and best of all, it can definitely help you gain confidence in communicating. So give yourself permission to write what you know so far, because you’re the only one stopping you.

Reclaiming Social: Content Strategy for Social Media

When we talk about content, we mean all the content: words, pictures, videos, the whole shebang. And—surprise, surprise—that includes social media. Too often neglected or left to the mercy of Klout, social media accounts need the same care, strategic planning, and governance as the rest of your digital properties. Ida Aalen and Ida Jackson explain how content strategy is just the tool to dust off your accounts, regain control, and start producing better social media content today.

Writing to Think

It’s true, writing about your work can be tough. Putting your thoughts out there for everyone to see—and comment on—can be intimidating. But, as Susan Robertson shows, it’s a great way to clarify your thinking on tough problems, and can lead to new opportunities in the process.

Building Nonlinear Narratives for the Web

The web operates in ways that can conflict with our traditional view of what a “story” is. Content is chunked, mixed, and spread across channels, devices, and formats. How do we understand story lines, characters, interactions, and the role of the audience, given this information sprawl? Cue nonlinear narratives—Senongo Akpem guides us past basic “scrolly-telling” to immersive, sometimes surprising experiences.