I got an email yesterday from the organizers of a literary festival I’m going to attend. It shared reminders about parking and registration. I knew where to park, but I needed to know where registration was. So I went directly to this paragraph:
Attendees are required to check in at the main lobby of the Engineering building (see map). You will receive a wristband . . . .
I looked at the map to find the Engineering building. Can you find it?
Keep looking until you figure out where the Engineering building is, and then scroll down to my comments.
Did you identify the Engineering building? Silly me–I could not find it. So I wrote a quick email to the organizers and asked which building was Engineering.
Here is the helpful reply I received:
The Engineering building is located on the lower mall near the 12th & E Columbia entrance across from the law school. Please also see the map in the email. Engineering is marked as “Registration.”
Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thank you!
So it was impossible to find Engineering by looking for it. I should have been looking for “Registration,” which is clearly flagged twice.
How would you rewrite the sentence of instruction so that someone who is reading quickly and does not know the campus would find the correct building on the map? Please share your revision in the comments.
Addendum on February 24
Once I got there, it was easy to find the place to register: