On this page, you'll find "before-and-after" samples of improved health-related documents. Thanks to the Plain & Simple project partners who submitted them.
To submit your examples, contact Don McCormick at 515-281-6692 or use the Contact Us page.
A common idea in the world of marketing is that thinking strategically means making certain sacrifices. The creators of these fact sheets did just that. The color scheme and use of white space in the original versions was a great start, but there was just too much information to convey. It was overwhelming. For the second set, the developers selected only the information that was most important to their readers, enhanced it with appropriate graphics, and improved reader navigation. Bravo!
The revised version is much more inviting than the relatively "blocky" original. The use of color and graphics increases the likelihood that people will actually read it. Also, the revision has about 20% less text. This increases "white space," which offers the reader visual relief, contributes to an uncluttered look and improves readability. In the revision, more efficient use of the text boxes that go with the WIC check sample also contribute to more white space.
The original letter produced a response rate of only 4 percent. After incorporating comments from those who had received the letter and making use of tools on the Plain & Simple Web site, the Brain Injury Services Program now enjoys a 15 percent response rate with their revised letter!
Submitted by the IDPH Bureau of Nutrition and Health Promotion
Even our partners benefit when our documents are more inviting! The revision makes good use of fewer and more "restful" colors, and the contrast is better. Cascading headlines and curved lines improve flow. Better organization, especially on page two, make the flyer easier to navigate.
Submitted by the Literacy Partners of Manitoba
How do you turn an impersonal form letter into something that is pleasing and easy to read? Click the links below to see how new mothers in Manitoba are benefiting from plain language writing.
Here's a good example of how to improve readability by reducing sentence length.
Submitted by Trinity Regional Medical Center
Click the links below to see how Trinity Regional Medical Center turned a 24-page document into a one-page chart, making it easier for heart failure patients to read and understand.
Join the mailing list! Send a blank e-mail to join-PlanAndSimple@lists.ia.gov.Question or contributions? Contact Don McCormick at 515-281-6692 or use the Contact Us page.
IDPH Home :: A-Z Index :: What We Do :: News Archive :: Calendar :: Definitions
Contact Us :: Site Map :: State of Iowa
© Copyright 2013 Iowa Department of Public Health -- All Rights Reserved
321 E. 12th Street, Des Moines, Iowa, 50319-0075 :: (515) 281-7689 or toll-free at 1-866-227-9878
Comments or questions about this site should be directed to the webmaster