Make your writing easy to understand

I write about strategies to turn fans into customers and customers into fans. I also share ways to use real-time strategies to spread ideas, influence minds, and build business.

Worst Practices  |  writing  |  Best Practices

Doug Brockway points us to some world-class gobbledygook from a company called ITA Software by Google.

Yikes, what does this company do?

I looked at a bunch of pages on the company's site and honestly didn't understand what they do. It wasn't until I went to some external sites that I sort of figured it out.

ITA aboutHere is the about page. (I have pasted the headline and first two paragraphs below). Click the thumbnail to see the screenshot of the page as of November 21, 2011.

Travel Technology's Game Changer

ITA Software is a leading provider of innovative solutions for the travel industry.

Founded in the mid-nineties by MIT computer science graduates, ITA Software has pioneered a new generation of travel technology. Our world-class engineers and travel industry experts are solving the industry's most complex computing challenges, and in doing so reshaping its very foundations.

This is not a good way to talk about what you do.

ITA productsHere is the product page. Click the thumbnail to see the screenshot of the page as of November 21, 2011.

The problem with using language like game changer, innovative solutions, next generation, world-class, customer-centric, and the like is that these words and phrases are so overused as to have become meaningless.

Here is an analysis I did on gobbledygook phrases so you can avoid the most overused ones. (Incidentally, the most overused phrase in my analysis was innovation / innovative.)

Make your writing easy to understand

I've taken a stab at re-writing the about us section for ITA Software by Google by learning more about what the company actually does. My suggestion is certainly not perfect, but it is, to my mind at least, easier to understand than the one currently being used by the company.

Software for the air travel industry

ITA Software by Google helps air passengers, airlines, and online travel agencies by making it easier for people to comparison shop for flights. Because of the huge volume of real-time transactions in airline pricing, the ITA Software engine is central in the travel industry’s most complex computing application.

The company was founded in the mid-1990s by computer scientists from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and was acquired by Google in 2011.

What do you think?