Three guidelines for accessibility
Plain language is the process of creating clear content readers can understand, access and use. It’s about audience, accessibility, inclusiveness. It shares these common goals with:
Content Design, the practice of creating user-focused content for websites, as explained by Content Design Centre’s Sarah Richards,
Visual Design, improving user experience on websites, as defined by interaction-design.org.
Together they are the communications reality of the world of Universal Design.
The Rickhansen.com blog, Universal Design 101, outlines the seven basic principles, from an architect’s or planner’s perspective. Each one can be applied to designing clear websites created with plain language content and developed together.
I particularly like:
“Principle 3: Simple and Intuitive Use. Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user's experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.”
This is also one of the key foundations of plain language, clear web content and visual design practices.
Where do I start?
All these new design practices support our goals of effectively sharing online content. Plain language and web development are both team endeavours. When setting up your web project team aim for these three milestones:
- plain language content creator
- clear web platform developer
- user-oriented graphic designer
- and users.
Don’t just talk about ‘universal design’, live it in every project. You and your clients will experience the rewards.
Find out more:
Content Design podcast by Sarah Richards, Content Design Centre, London
Visual Design ideas blog from interaction-design.org
PlainLanguageAcademy.com Creating Clear E-content online, interactive course.