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February 23, 2018


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George Raymond

People writing directions need to put themselves in the shoes of first-time visitors. In this case, the text is fine (though a little cold) but the Engineering building needs a label on the map.

But this may not fully solve the problem. The email hints that Sullivan is the law school. So maybe the Engineering building has another name, too.

carlos Martinez

Hi Lynn,
I love the visuals used for the directions but...

Attendees are required to check in at the main lobby of the Engineering building marked on this map with the black registration flag. For your convenience, please use the garages marked with the red flags (see map).

I would just look for the flags if mentioned in the email. Thank you, Lynn, for your writing your blog!

Business Writing Blog

George and Carlos, thanks for your ideas. I will wait to see whether more people respond before I comment.


Michelle H.

Hi Lynn,

I would recommend something that mentions the name of the building and the label on the map.

Check in is at the main lobby of the Engineering Building (marked "Registration" on map).

I really appreciate your blog, and I've wanted to comment multiple times. I finally did this time for the simple, silly fact that I recognized the map. This college is on my daughter's short list, so we've visited twice. I'm so glad that Admissions provided a bit better instructions.

I'm not sure if you've been to this school before, but I would recommend giving yourself plenty of time to find buildings; they are not as well marked as I would expect.

Business Writing Blog

Thanks for sharing your views, George, Carlos, and Michelle. You can see from the new photo above that the registration site is hard to miss in person--no name of the building needed.

George, I agree that the engineering building needs to be on the map as the instructions stand now, and you are correct that the building has a name, just as the law school does. I found that out today.

Carlos, like you, I am a fan of the map. I believe it would be effective to simply refer readers to the building marked Registration, leaving out that it happens to be the engineering building.

Michelle, I like your suggestion "Check-in is at the main lobby of the Engineering Building (marked "Registration" on map)." Having been at the university today, I noticed that the building has a much longer name than "Engineering Building," so we shouldn't capitalize those words. On another subject, it's great that your daughter is considering this school as long as it fits your budget. I believe it's a wonderful educational community, with many opportunities for classroom and life learning.


Carlos Prieto

As a mapper by profession, I would clearly label the engineering building on the map and may even highlight the outline of the building to draw attention to it. After all, the purpose of the map is for people to find the engineering building.

Business Writing Blog

Excellent point, Carlos. Thank you!


It wouldn't have bothered me, but maybe my brain works differently, I don't know.

Yes, the text reads "look for Engineering Building", but when I first looked at the map I immediately saw "Registration" written twice and quite clearly. So I had no doubt that that must be the building where to go for registration. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Still, I understand your point and I surely would have given better directions!

Business Writing Blog

Hi Deborah,

You are right. I'm one of those literal readers who sees the words "Engineering Building" and goes in search of one.


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