Simple. Clear. Short. Fast. The uniform of a decade

esmeralda avellaneda
3 min readMar 30, 2022


I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that advice before

We used to try and cover our smiles at certain feedback. But boy, we had fun.

First month in the communications team at a job I had, my first proper job actually, I wrote some copy for the internal news feed.

My boss’s feedback was “that looks great, maybe lose some adjectives. You can say it in fewer words”.

I agreed at the time. Yes, the copy could be more efficient. Yes, some were almost synonyms. It was an informative copy, so of course, she was right. It had to be clear, short, easy to read and friendly.

I was learning at the time. So I went by the moment’s bestseller’s rule. And then, something happened. As I made my career, did some freelancing, switched to different departments at the place I was working at, these best selling guidelines grew. More and more, they meant nothing to me.

“It needs to be fresh!”

“Short, clear, concise”

“Say it’s simple and fast. That works marvels”

“Don’t use imperative, it’s not UX friendly”

“People don’t read, make it short and simple”

That last is my favorite. People don’t read. Excuse me?

I get on a bus and see people with books. I travel and people have kindles. I follow multiple instagram accounts and youtube channels that have millions of views and eight page articles and half an hour videos. Damn it, I’ve watched a 4 and a half hour rant on Twin Peak theories in one go. And the number of views stand by me.

Maybe people do read. Maybe they just need a good reason to do it.

I realized so many accounts, brands and companies were following empty guidelines they read at some trending topic review. I started benchmarking the competition and felt disappointed at how everyone was saying the saaame thing over and over and over.

Apps were fast, easy, simple, clear, no matter the industry. In a manner indistinguishable one from another. So, years later, I asked myself “should I lose some adjectives?”. Definitely not.

It’s my style. I love carefully planting a story with unperceivable hints and codes. And in the same way, many brands have their own personal style. And many should be clear, short, concise, simple and fast. It’s not wrong per se. I admire or respect that strategy as long as it’s not a blindly followed order.

I understand why sales funnels need to be swift. But still, some decorative friendly copy can also add a brilliant touch and personality to your story. I understand that maybe being straightforward and express can be helpful for people who want to read the news but don’t have much time. And that is an audience to attend to. But don’t lie to yourself, it’s a very wide, diverse, freakish fish pond out there. There is so much room for different voices, lengths and formats of brand content and strategies.

Wait but why is a kind of early 2000’s 9gag’ish graphically designed blog with stories and articles that many times are like reading a mini book. They aren’t imparcial nor brief and definitely the aesthetics are not trendy. But you are likely to see it, not forget it, and want to keep on reading it.

Vox does some amazing work. They even specialized and started Vox borders, explainer videos, a mini series, podcasts… they do some neat and thorough productions on the most random topics. Polyphonic has really cool long music backstory videos. Explainer videos as a genre are super popular. Atlas Obscura has some pretty long newsletters that lead to pretty long articles. Vice has instagram posts that can get quite extense. So, there really isn’t one magic formula to get things done.

Simple, clear, short, fast, simple, fresh… They are all very handy. Which is why everyone can, and is doing it. It’s great for when the important thing isn’t content, but rather taking action. Driving the user to do something. But if you think you have something to say that someone out there wants to hear, give another formula a shot.



esmeralda avellaneda

The things I actually care about when it comes to work.