Plain Language in Information Technology

Technology changes fast. When it changes, we must often re-learn how to use it. For example, we had to learn how to use our phones again when smartphones replaced old flip phones.  With the Windows 10 update, many people had to learn how to use their computers again. Although the processes may be similar, explanations are still needed so that people may understand how to continue doing what they were doing before. At the IT help desk where I work, I must communicate clearly and effectively so that end users are able to have their problems resolved.

It is very important that I use plain language in order for users to understand me. Sometimes I have to walk people through performing a series of troubleshooting steps over the phone. Not everyone is familiar with every component of their operating system. People can get confused easily when told to “click the Start menu” or “go to Control Panel”. It gets worse when there are acronyms involved like DHCP, VPN, IE, IP, USB, etc. Evidently, there are many acronyms in the information technology field. Avoiding technical jargon is critical to ensure that users do not feel overwhelmed or lost when trying to help solve their issue. Taking a little time to use plain language can end up making a big difference in how quick a problem is solved and the overall experience.

– Jar T

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