JS Tip 308: IMing (Instant Messaging) Three

Tips from Jefferson Smith Training and Consulting

** From the Writing Workshops: IMing (Instant Messaging) Three

Did we lose a week? Did we not send out a tip last Friday? This is like Ray Milland in The Lost Weekend. We apologize. Profusely. Dang. Dang. Dang. We'll make this up. We'll send you an extra tip next Tuesday morning. How's that? (This was Thad's idea. Good idea.)

We’ve been discussing guidelines for instant messaging.

We asked if you had questions.

You did.

Jacob Hortin, of Zions Bancorporation, asked if we could talk about appropriate fonts and colors for fonts in instant messaging: I sometimes get frustrated when someone sends me a message in bright pink text. It makes me have to squint just to read the message. To be honest, it makes me want to ignore the message altogether.

Not all devices allow you to control your fonts and colors in instant messaging.

But . . . if you can . . . Use a black font on a white (or light) background. Colored fonts are hard to read. They don’t print well. And ten percent of your male audience is colorblind. Avoid fancy backgrounds. Kittens. Angels. Hearts on Valentine’s Day. They interfere with the message. Use a serif font (like Cambria or Times Roman) for text. Serif fonts are easier to read. The serifs (the little lines and hooks) speed the eye across the page. (There’s some argument about this. Earlier, low-resolution screens wouldn’t display the serifs, but we have higher-resolution screens now, and the screen becomes more like the printed page.)

An Invitation

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If you’re curious, try www.jeffsmith.com. Give us feedback. Tell us what you like about the site and how it can be better.

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