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More advice on how to organize an article

The Upcoming changes to Google Drive sync clients page is another excellent example of how not to organize an article.

The section How Backup and Sync users can start using Drive for desktop begins as follows: “To get started with Drive for desktop, you can move your accounts and settings from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for desktop”. At this point the more impatient readers will have already started screaming at the author of this page because no information at all on how to get started was provided. Just above this paragraph is a link to “download Drive for Desktop” so you can assume that by the time your reader gets to this point on the page they have downloaded the software and they are continuing to read the page in order to find out what to do next.

To be more precise, at this point the reader has two questions that they are eager to learn the answer to.

  1. Do I uninstall Backup and Sync first?
  2. Or do I just install Drive for Desktop without first uninstalling Backup and Sync?

In the sentence “To get started with Drive for desktop, you can move your accounts and settings from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for desktop” you have not provided an answer to that question. You have instead annoyed the hell out of your reader. The reader is now screaming “But exactly how do I get started” at the top of their lungs.

The second sentence does not make matters any better: “During the process, you’ll review and confirm the settings for the folders on your computer you’re backing up and syncing with the cloud through Backup and Sync”. The reader is now two thirds of the way through the paragraph and they still have no idea what the answers to the above two questions are.

The final sentence does provide an answer to the question but only indirectly: “Backup and Sync will be automatically uninstalled after you’ve moved your accounts to Drive for desktop”. This sentence implies the answers to the two questions are as follows.

  1. Do I uninstall Backup and Sync first?: No
  2. Or do I just install Drive for Desktop without first uninstalling Backup and Sync?: Yes

The problem is that the impatient reader may have rage quit reading the page before getting this fare because of the issues with the first two sentences in the paragraph. I know that the first time I read this page, while I did manage to restrain myself from screaming, I did rage quit reading the page before I got to this critical sentence. It was not until I returned to the page the following day that I was able to answer my questions.

If a single sentence were added to the start of this paragraph things would be much better for the impatient reader: “You do not need to uninstall Backup and Sync before installing Drive for desktop”.

If the How Backup and Sync users can start using Drive for desktop section were rewritten as follows, this page would be far more useful and far easier to read.

How Backup and Sync users can start using Drive for desktop

You do not need to uninstall Backup and Sync before installing Drive for desktop. To get started with Drive for desktop simply run the Google Drive for desktop installer, GoogleDriveSetup.exe. After the installation of Drive for desktop completes a Move accounts to Drive for desktop form will be displayed to allow you to move your accounts and settings from Backup and Sync to Google Drive for desktop. During the process, you’ll review and confirm the settings for the folders on your computer you’re backing up and syncing with the cloud through Backup and Sync. Backup and Sync will be automatically uninstalled after you’ve moved your accounts to Drive for desktop.