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Keep low profile with acronyms when designing

We all came along once in a while with a nice & technical PowerPoint to read, where damn, there were 2 to 3 acronyms per sentence. Although each of them would be understandable separately, the slides were just ridiculous, reminding this great movie almost 30 years ago, but still very very applicable. Mind these, especially in your product Instructions for Use (IFU).

So just remember the great Robin Williams in Good morning Vietnam, and his

Seeing as how the V.P. is such a V.I.P., shouldn’t we keep the P.C. on the Q.T.? ‘Cause if it leaks to the V.C. he could end up M.I.A., and then we’d all be put out in K.P.

Keep Simple & Ergonomics

  • only a few acronyms
  • only when you are 100% sure your audience is very familiar with these acronyms
  • if written: write at least once the full meaning when used (a glossary can be useful also)

Just watch again & never use 2 acronyms in the same sentence anymore:

YouTube player

Btw, there is a nice list of acronyms on Wikipedia (and we have included that page in our list of best Wikipedia articles for Product Design). But you’ll soon discover that although the list is very long, plenty of acronyms in your own field are missing, somehow proving that they need to be used very sparingly in any communication.


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