I’m a big fan of Axios’ “smart brevity”

Axios smart brevity example
Smart brevity in action. And look at that delightful padding to the left of the numbered list.

I work hard to remember what I like and dislike as a digital reader when I’m working as a digital writer.

I get the sense the folks behind Axios do the same thing. Take a look at this post.

The whole piece is less than 450 words.

The lede gets right to the point. No exposition. Nothing frivolous.

The post is built to be scannable. Every paragraph after the lede starts with a few bolded words that set the stage for the information to come.

  • Why it matters
  • What they’re saying
  • Net neutrality voters care a lot about the issue
  • Net neutrality voters are young
  • For everyone else
  • This strategy is already playing out
  • The other side
  • Our thought bubble

Finally — and this addresses a pet peeve — Axios makes sure that bulleted and numbered lists are indented. I don’t understand why so many sites wipe out the padding on lists. That padding is there for a reason. It makes the lists easier to read.

This careful attention to formatting maps to Axios’ “smart brevity” style. Here’s how they describe the smart brevity approach on their about page:

If you think about your evolving habits for consuming news and information, you realize you have less time, and a shorter attention span. Our content, our ads and our platforms are designed specifically to adjust to these new habits and demands. We aim to make the experience more substantive and meaningful — and therefore more valuable. When we pull this off, it will free people up to spend time on content truly WORTHY of their time, on our platform or elsewhere.