Content is king. Clarity is king. No, wait, CONTEXT is king. I had to laugh when I read yet another claim to the throne in writing clear content.
At the end of this article, “The Most Essential Ingredient in Interaction Design? The Words,” by Jerry Cao, Kamil Zieba, and Matt Ellis, they have a section titled “Context is King,” that includes a most wonderful checklist for writing “interface copy” (there it is again, the focus on copy or words in the web interface), which I will once again expand to be most all content we produce as technical communicators. This article is actually a reprint of a chapter in an eBook, “Interaction Design Best Practices: Mastering the Tangibles.”
In this “Context is King” section, the authors state:
“the first step to any writing endeavor is to know both your audience (your target users) and your medium (web page content, sidebar, pop-up, etc.)”
This last parenthetical statement leads me to think they are even venturing into content marketing and not just web interfaces or content in general. The checklist that they present is actually from a separate article by yet another author (Des Traynor), and really centers on some of the journalistic questions of Who, When, and a couple of What questions. It also asks about “tone” or writing style as well as the “format” or medium in which you get to communicate.