Viewing Tip

If you see a large "X" at the top right of Ask Olive Tree Genealogy blog, click on the "X" to close it. Closing the "X" will give you the best viewing experience and allow you to leave a comment on a blog post

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


K.I.S.S. = Keep it Simple, Sweetie

The image you see below is from a very nice woman.

She's written me before for help.

I like her.

I try to help when I can.

But her last email came in the fonts you see below, and there were 7 paragraphs of those fonts, each paragraph about the size of the one below.

"Big deal, what's the problem?" I hear you asking yourself.

The problem is simple. When you ask someone for help, you should make their life easy not difficult. The easier you make it for them to help you, the more likely you are to get a response.

Keeping it simple = Making it easy.

The best way to keep things simple and make it easy for others to help you is:

* 1. Make your query concise but provide needed details (dates, names, locations).

* 2. Write a query that is easy on the eyes. That means NO FANCY FONTS!! Not everyone has perfect vision. Not everyone can read page after page of fancy fonts.

Those are the two most important "rules" to follow when asking for help.

In the case of the query sent to me in those dreadful fonts - and I say dreadful because they hurt my eyes - I cannot read it. So as much as I like the woman who sent it, it's going in my trash.

Yes, I could copy it and paste it in WORD and change the fonts so that I can see them but why should I have to? Remember the person doing the asking is not supposed to make more work for the person helping!

So the very lovely lady who wrote me using these fonts - please don't be offended that I used your query as an example. I clipped out names so no one would know it was you. I apologize for using your email but it was a good example!

I get many queries in elaborate fonts. I get queries written in coloured fonts (often quite light) on coloured background. I get queries that ramble on for pages. I get queries that have no punctuation. I get queries that don't space out their sentences into paragraphs with nice white spaces between.

I don't respond to those queries. Many times I can't read them! They are too hard on my eyes. Remember not everyone has perfect vision. I don't.

I have very bad eyesight and I use a monitor that is 24 inches wide to make things larger. I also have an eye condition that makes it painful for me to read online or off. And forget light colours on light backgrounds, you may as well write in invisible ink!

The reading I do (queries, website work etc) has to be as painfree as possible.

Remember - K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, sweetie)

And a personal note to the woman who wrote this query above - please resend it in non fancy fonts and I'll be happy to help!


  1. I appreciate you brining up this subject! I am visually disabled and have a hard time reading,,,,,,web sites are the worst. I have e-mailed several webmasters asking them if they can change their fonts/colors.
    Thanks again!
    Laura Flanagan
    LFLan35 at gmail dot com

  2. One thing that I added to my blog was "". I did that because I have family members who are also visually impared to one degree to the next. This way they don't have to struggle to read it - odiogo reads it to them. And the best part - it's a free service!