pink poster with white text: it’s not dumbing down from GOV.UK

As part of Services Week I gave a talk on ‘Content design: writing for everything’ where I went through the usual stuff:

I talked about user stories and putting ourselves in the shoes of people who read our content.

I noticed I got feedback from a few people concerned about the suggestion we should start to ‘dumb down’ our content. This took me by surprise, but made me stop and think.

Writing to inform

It’s a massive culture shift to move away from that formal…

Neon question mark sign on black background

We’ve just migrated our website to a new platform (Placecube) and asked ourselves the question: how can we make sure our website is just as good (if not better) on the new platform?

The most obvious way was for us to do some user testing on our old site to find out:

· how people search and/or navigate
· how long it takes people to reach information or perform a task
· how difficult or easy they find it
· whether they completed the tasks or not

Now we’re live on Placecube we will repeat the same user tests to…

I don’t. I find myself scrolling through the list, willing my question to come up. It rarely does. Instead I find random questions and wonder how many people actually asked that?! Frustrating.

Some companies might say it’s one of their most popular pages; I’m more inclined to think people end up clicking on the FAQs page because they haven’t found their answer anywhere else. It’s probably the last page people go to before they search for a contact number — a last resort.

Does everyone know what FAQ stands for? …

Claire Ryan-East

Content content designer, lover of plain English and being succinct.

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