I think we can all agree that articulation is one of the corner stones of good help documentation. Explaining how things work requires a great deal of clarity, structure and the extraordinary ability to break complex ideas and actions down to simple, applicable steps.
On the Importance of Intuitive Guiding
One of our most essential tools when structuring a guide is intuitiveness. We lean heavily on commonly used terms to make an explanation more approachable. “It’s like X”, is how we often clarify a clouded notion.
Intuitiveness is defined by how familiar an experience is to a user and how little learning they have to commit to, in order to acquire this skill/know-how. Writer John Pavlus put it best:
“A pen is “intuitive” because you’ve used a zillion pens, pencils, crayons, markers, and stick-shaped inscriptor-tools in your life. A computer mouse is “intuitive” for the same reason (if you were born in or after my generation). If you grew up 500 years ago in an agrarian society, you might think a plow or a scythe was pretty damned intuitive. Would you know what the $#*& to do with a plow if I put it in your hands right now? “