Do you still write "click"?

It is a telltale sign of failed user experience when you need to write "click" in technical documentation.

When did you last read the Twitter user guide? Me neither. Using Twitter is pretty self-evident. Just look at the app and tweet. You don't need documentation.

Self-explanatory tasks need no docs. They should be intuitive enough to complete by looking at the user interface and relying on past knowledge.

Creating a folder? Moving a file? Cropping an image? Everyday stuff that should be obvious.

A huge amount of effort goes into perfecting the user experience in consumer apps. Intuitive UX can lift an app above its competition just as disastrous UX can sink it.

Great UX is infectious. It sets user expectations. Users start demanding that software at the workplace be just as simple. In that way, consumer software forces enterprise software to adapt.

For Magnolia 5, we broke our necks to make Web content management simple. Instead of features galore, we focused on simplicity.

For the same reason, as a technical writer, I avoid writing things like "click" in Magnolia documentation. I try to focus on configuration, customization and best practices instead. That's where docs are really needed.

Other examples that set my alarm bell ringing:
  • Check the box to select...
  • Press ENTER to submit...
  • Double-click the item to open...

Are you still writing such phrases? Pause and ask: are you compensating for bad usability?