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18 Types of Document Quality

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Document quality is the value of a document to its target audience. This has several dimensions:


The quality of writing including fluency, flow, engagement, spelling and grammar. Readability also includes the legibility of text and visual elements.


A document that feels organized with a useful layout.

Least Astonishment

The use of language and visualizations that are familiar to your target audience.

Visual Appeal

A document that is stylish and pleasing to view. For example, the functional use of color to aid comprehension such as a black and white diagram with a single color element that emphasizes a point.


In some cases, a document is expected to be branded according to a corporate style guide.


Content that makes a clear point. For example, wordage that is selected to communicate as opposed to impress or gloss over a lack of knowledge on the part of the author.


Content that gets to the point with no extra information or indirect language.

Information Scent

A document that can be easily scanned to find information without reading the entire document.

Information Density

An appropriate level of information density relative to the purpose of the document. For example, a presentation might have one point per page but an operations manual might be densely packed with complex charts that can be used quickly without traversing too many pages.


A document that highlights important information. For example, an earnings release that gives investors everything they need to know in the first paragraph.

Complexity Hiding

The presentation of information at one level of detail with links to information that is higher-level or lower-level.


The use of the same structure, layout, writing style and visual elements throughout the document.


Lack of factual errors or omissions.


A document that provides the information required to achieve its objectives.


Information that is as unambiguous as possible.


A document that has been well researched. Sources are referenced and acknowledged.


A document has been prepared by an talented individual with an appropriate level of expertise in the topic. Typically evaluated with a process of peer review.


The document achieves its objectives such as conveying knowledge or influencing a target audience.
Overview: Document Quality
Definition (1)
The value of a document to its target audience.
Definition (2)
A document that effectively and efficiently achieves its objectives.
Related Concepts


This is the complete list of articles we have written about quality.
Conformance Quality
Cost Of Poor Quality
Credence Quality
Critical To Customer
Critical To Quality
Customer Satisfaction
Data Quality
Defect Density
Defect Rate
Defensive Design
Design Quality
Document Quality
Ease Of Use
Experience Quality
Figure Of Merit
Fit For Purpose
Information Quality
Non-Functional Testing
Operational Testing
Perceived Value
Planned Obsolescence
Product Quality
Quality Assurance
Quality Control
Quality Culture
Quality Examples
Quality Improvement
Quality Management
Quality Metrics
Quality Objectives
Quality Of Life
Quality Policy
Quality Requirements
Quality Testing
Recovery Paradox
Regression Testing
Reliability Engineering
Service Quality
Types of Quality
Acceptance Testing
Work Quality
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