Quite often, when I read through posts on various external but also company-internal blogs that I subscribed to, I stumble over this or that abbreviation or acronym, or sometimes a word that I simply don’t get in the current context.

“The best thing to do here is to use a HOC.” — House of Cards? 🤔

“The recent progress of XB is great.” — eXtreme Brogramming? 🤔

“Please fill out the DI survey.” — Dependency injection? Cool. 🤔

“You can do that with a jetpack add-on.” — Err what? 🤔

“EMEA CS Q2 OKR1: Assess ROI of implementing new KPIs” — 🤯

If that happens like two or three times in the same piece of text, I inevitably feel that it’s “not for me”.
Maybe that’s just me, but maybe you feel the same, sometimes…?

Please, don’t get this wrong! I do not want to call anyone out here. Everyone is doing something similar every now and then, me too!

Also, there are only so many letters in the alphabet, so it might be that the same abbreviation/acronym is used for different things, and sometimes the field/context we instinctively think in is the wrong one.

That’s not to say that every single acronym needs explaining, always. By now I expect everyone at Human Made to know what a DXP is, and certainly what “WP” means. This is based on the assumption that everyone in the company should have had a decent amount of exposure to these things.

But even in scientific publications, where the reader oftentimes, not always, is someone from that same field, with a lot of background information and exposure to the contents, even for these types of documents, acronyms get spelled out for the very first time—sometimes even per chapter or part!—and ambiguous words are briefly explained.

Of course, sometimes it’s hard to know what words or names might be new to people. I mean, I guess everyone knows what a cloud is. Does everyone know what the Cloud is? I guess so, too.
In that case, making sure you get your capitalization right (for names), and/or putting a word or phrase in quotes or italics or whatever. Or link to something that provides more context. That could be another blog post, or a Wikipedia page or so.
That can go a long way. Maybe just for one or the other person out of a hundred. So what? That’s still a win, and more clear for everyone else, too.

If something is clearly intended for a specific audience , then cool. I get it. Or things like super condensed call notes. That’s OK. This is something different than a full-blown post intended to be shared with a wider audience or even the whole company.
But still, what amount of extra work would be required to be more inclusive in notes, too?
Exactly. A minute or two.

Obviously, this short post is not about a thing that’s new in general, and also not something that’s new. But I think giving this topic a bit more publicity and visibility might be beneficial. No?

How do you feel about that? Do you have something like a good measure or process to know when to elaborate on what?

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