Improve the web with plain words V1

7563c7a310f9d69458e282fbf0d04bb8?s=47 Ryan Bigge
November 18, 2017

Improve the web with plain words V1

Plain words make the web better for everyone. They’re better for screen readers. They’re easier to understand. Plain words remove doubt and help people complete tasks online. This short talk will show you how to improve a11y by making your words plain.

7563c7a310f9d69458e282fbf0d04bb8?s=128

Ryan Bigge

November 18, 2017
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Transcript

  1. 2.

    • Why plain words are good for a11y • How

    to make your words plain Today I’ll talk about:
  2. 3.

    • Semantic HTML or alt-text • Images, icons, and videos

    • Legibility (font size) and contrast • Link text or forms Today I won’t talk about:
  3. 5.

    • An average American reads at an 8th grade level

    • Simple words make it easier to do things Reading grade level and a11y
  4. 6.

    • Short sentences • Simple words • Avoid adverbs •

    Active voice Readability www.slideshare.net/stephaniehobson/writing-for-every-reader/
  5. 7.

    • No idioms • No pop culture or slang •

    No rhetorical questions or sarcasm • No jargon Understandability www.slideshare.net/stephaniehobson/writing-for-every-reader/
  6. 8.

    • Using company slang to describe things to people •

    Error messages are often full of nerdview • Write in the user’s words • Respect how they think Avoid nerdview
  7. 9.
  8. 10.

    What plain looks like Wow! This doc has changed a

    lot. To sync to the latest version, reload
  9. 11.

    • Original • Clear • Clear, Concise • Clear, Concise,

    Useful https://uxplanet.org/ux-writing-how-to-do-it-like-google-with-this-powerful-checklist-e263cc37f5f1
  10. 12.
  11. 13.

    These are Patreon’s terms of use (stick with us here).

    We know that most people skim through terms of use statements because they’re boring and go right over our heads, but we have done everything we can to make this easy to get through.
  12. 15.

    Plain doesn’t mean dumbed down Boat that goes under the

    sea We’ve always had boats that go under the sea, but in the last few hundred years, we’ve learned to make ones that come back up. Thing Explainer - Randall Munroe
  13. 16.

    - Sarah J. Richards “You aren’t ‘dumbing down.’ You’re opening

    up your information to anyone who wants to read it.”
  14. 17.

    - Sarah J. Richards “We’re writing clearly because we respect

    people’s time, interest and attention.”
  15. 18.

    • Never use a metaphor, simile, or other figure of

    speech which you are used to seeing in print • Never use a long word where a short one will do • If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out • Never use the passive where you can use the active • Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word, or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent • Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous Plain isn’t new - George Orwell 1946
  16. 21.
  17. 23.

    • Grade level on my Nerdview article: 11.3 • Grade

    level on Design words with data: 7.4 Lose your ego
  18. 24.

    Plain words are better for everyone. They’re better for people

    with cognitive challenges. They’re better for people whose first language isn’t english. They’re better for people using assistive technology. And they’re better for anyone who wants to complete a digital task quickly and confidently. Lose your ego
  19. 25.
  20. 26.

    Plain words are better for everyone. They’re better for people

    with cognitive challenges. They’re better for people whose first language isn’t english. They’re better for people using assistive technology. And they’re better for anyone who wants to complete a digital task quickly and confidently. Lose your ego Average grade level = 10 Average grade level = 10
  21. 31.

    Plain words make the web better for everyone. They’re better

    for screen readers. They’re easier to understand. Plain words remove doubt and help people complete tasks online. This short talk will show you how to improve a11y by making your words plain. Lose your ego
  22. 32.

    Plain words make the web better for everyone. They’re better

    for screen readers. They’re easier to understand. Plain words remove doubt and help people complete tasks online. This short talk will show you how to improve a11y by making your words plain. Lose your ego **Average grade level = 6.4**
  23. 33.

    Nerdview: an organizational tendency to use insider language when describing

    products and services to outsiders. Nerdview: Using insider language to describe something to an outsider. Nerdview: Using company slang to describe things to people. Lose your ego every day
  24. 34.

    Fix the web with plain words How to improve the

    web with plain words Improve your site with plain words How I learned to love plain language and made the web better for everyone How I learned to love plain words Lose your ego every day
  25. 35.

    • Write for your audience • Use short sentences and

    simple words • Get to the point • Test your content • Lose your ego Summary
  26. 39.

    • 7 guidelines for writing accessible microcopy: www.invisionapp.com/blog/writing-accessible-microcopy/ • Writing

    for every reader: www.slideshare.net/stephaniehobson/writing-for-every-reader/ • Center for plain language: centerforplainlanguage.org/ • Readable.io: readable.io • Hemingway editor: www.hemingwayapp.com/ • a11y according to people with disabilities: axesslab.com/accessibility-according-to-pwd/ • Thing explainer: xkcd.com/thing-explainer/ • Design words with data: medium.com/dropbox-design/design-words-with-data-fe3c525994e7 • Government design principles: www.gov.uk/guidance/government-design-principles Resources
  27. 40.

    • Dumbing down: http://contentdesign.london/reading/dumbing-down/ • Writing content for everyone: https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2016/02/23/writing-content-for-everyone/

    • Five steps to plain language: http://centerforplainlanguage.org/learning-training/five-steps-plain-language/ • Writing for a human-centered website: https://www.boston.gov/news/writing-human-centered-website • Manifesto on government acronyms: https://medium.com/@lflockwood/a-manifesto-on-government-acronyms-59f58dbd2774#.r13mf7k66 • UX writing at Google: https://uxplanet.org/ux-writing-how-to-do-it-like-google-with-this-powerful-checklist-e263cc37f5f1 • Tips on semantic HTML: https://internetingishard.com/html-and-css/semantic-html/ More resources