This blog shares some of our thoughts about plain language, and the latest discussions about plain English and clear design in New Zealand, and around the world.

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11 November 2010

But can I use it?

Today is World Usability Day. This year's theme is communication. According to Elizabeth Rosenzweig, founder of World Usability Day, the day will 'serve as an impetus to creating greater awareness for designs, products and services that improve and facilitate communication around the world'.

Usability most often applies to websites. When we're not talking about websites, usability is generally called universal design.

Plain English and usability go hand-in-hand. For people to understand your website, form, manual, email, presentation, or report, you need to communicate clearly. And you need to make sure that your whole audience finds your communication easy to use.

Some usability experts are Whitney Quesenbery, Jakob Nielsen, and Gerry McGovern. New Zealand companies that specialise in usability are AccEase and Optimal Usability.

For information about World Usability Day, see

For information about universal design, see

For information about Whitney Quesenbery, see

For information about Jakob Nielsen, see

For information about Gerry McGovern, see

For information about AccEase, see

For information about Optimal Usability, see

1 comment:

  1. You can see the relationship of Plain English, Usability and Universal Design clearly when you look at the definitions:

    Plain English: writing you can read once, understand, and act on

    Usability: making services and products work the way users expect them to work

    Universal design: making products and environments usable by as many people as possible, regardless of age, ability, or situation

    It's all about making things work for the largest possible audience.