Give Amazon feedback on their new Kindle Fire help tool
This is something I like about Amazon.
They are working on a new website that will help people set up and use their Kindle Fires.
While that in and of itself is a good idea, Amazon has actually asked people in the Kindle community for their input on the design and useability of the site.
You can let them know what you think (I’ve been pretty specific) in this
If you just want to look at the site, that’s here:
I don’t want to say too much about it, so I don’t prejudice your opinion of it, but I can’t resist pointing out one thing.
They explain one help category by saying, “Covering the basic functionality of your device.”
It’s a great example of being formal when you should be informal to be able to reach more people.
Why use the word “functionality”? Why say “your device” instead of “your Kindle Fire”? I do often say “device”, but that’s when I’m including the Kindle reader apps, so I am talking about a lot of different devices: Blackberrys, iPads, Android phones, Kindles, and so on.
I would write that as “How to use your Kindle Fire”.
I thought it was great when banks fixed that formality issue with ATMs (Automated Teller Machines). I have talked about it when I’ve spoken to people about program design and business writing.
The ATMs used to end with something like “Do you desire another transaction?”
Now, they say “Is there anything else I can do for you?”
That’s much better…you aren’t going to be graded on your thesis, you want people to understand you. That might be people for whom English is a second language, if they are your customers.
You can use most versions of Microsoft Word to check the reading level of something you’ve written. I tell people that for items that are going to be read by the general public, shoot for the fifth grade. Yes, most people read above that level…but there is a large enough segment of people who don’t who can still use and pay for your services that it is worth including them.
Obviously, that’s not true for all writing in all situations. I’m just talking about general business writing, where anybody might be reading it. If your audience is only chemical engineers or Shakespearean scholars, feel free to add a few syllables.
Well, I just thought you might be interested in helping shape the future of…help.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.