STC Summit, Atlanta, 2009

At the STC Summit in 2009, Caroline Jarrett and Whitney Quesenbery presented a mini-workshop.

We had an hour, early on Wednesday morning after the Tuesday night's banquet, so we were pleased to welcome a full room of participants.

Participants mentioned a wide range of different audiences who might not read easily, including:

  • people with visual impairments
  • people who are reading in a second language
  • people who are distressed
  • people who are stressed
  • people who are working in a difficult environment.

We then tried using a sample of guidelines from three typical sets to improve a page of instructions from a government web site on how to obtain a U. S. passport. Each table in the workshop tried to use one specific set of guidelines from the three.

As at the Design to Read workshop at HCI 2008 in Liverpool,  participants found that they wanted to make many changes to the page based on their own experience as technical communicators. The guidelines did make a difference to the areas of the page that they concentrated on most closely.

We finished with:

  • a dicussion of the role of Plain Language, in the user-centred design sense, for making information more accessible to a wide range of people who do not read easily
  • an introduction to the framework that was described at the previous workshop in Liverpool.

Slides from this mini-workshop (.ppt format, 848 Kb)

Design to read workshop at HCI2008, Liverpool

STC Summit - main conference page