Archive for April 29, 2015

Colors and Fonts Enhance Clarity

As we continue our hints on using Standards, consider incorporating the use of colors and/or fonts for specific types of items. Aldridge Kerr, as Documentation Experts, has found this to be an excellent method to increase clarity in written communication.

Examples:

  • Whenever Aldridge Kerr references an item that is electronic in nature, we use a different font to drive home the point. So references to Microsoft Word, or the Internet, or a Shared Server all appear in a distinctive font and are bolded as shown.
  • Whenever we use “example,” we bold it and present it in a red font, as shown above.

Clients have told us on a regular basis how this is helpful when they are reviewing written information. It increases the User’s ability to quickly understand what is being communicated.

Aldridge Kerr can assist you in defining your Standards. Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you in improving how you do what you do.

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Hints for Implementing Standards

As you begin to create Standards, there are some hints to consider as they are defined:

  • Create terminology that is easily understood and can be easily incorporated into your organization. In other words, use language that can be adaptable throughout the organization. Avoid terms and phrases that are Functional Area-driven… terms that make sense for an IT shop do not necessarily work well across the organization.
  • Choose one term or phrase and use it consistently. The example we often share is selecting a term to describe someone who works for the organization … there are multiple options for describing them: “Employees,” “Staff,” and “Associates” are all commonly used. However, one term/phrase should be chosen and then used consistently.
  • Consider using specific styles, formats, even colors on certain terms that become the Standard. Example: Whenever we reference our firm, we use a specific font (Peignot Medium) and in the color blue (Aldridge Kerr). The addition of styles, formats, colors, etc. distinguishes that term/phrase even more clearly.
  • We will discuss this further in our next blog.

Aldridge Kerr can assist you in defining your Standards. Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you in improving how you do what you do.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter

Creating and Maintaining Standards

As we continue our discussion on Standards and how they assist with an organization’s communication, here are some hints to creating and maintaining Standards:

  • First and foremost, define who/what area has responsibility to approve the standardization of any item that will be used for communication across the organization
  • Create a format to compile the information that has been standardized
  • Establish a process for the identification, approval, and notification for any new Standards
  • Maintain a central location that is readily available to all Staff so the Standards can be used for any type of internal or external
  • communication

Standardizing the use of terms and phrases goes a long way in enhancing understanding both internally and externally. Establishing a methodology to identify, create, approve, notify, and maintain Standards is an intricate step in the successful use of Standards within your organization.

Contact Charlene Aldridge at 972.447.9787 or CharleneAldridge@aldridgekerr.com to discuss how we can assist you in establishing the use of Standards within your organization.

And, be sure to sign up for our newsletter