The service should avoid jargon and make use of language easily understood by all users.
Why is it important?
Clear language contributes to who we are and who we want to be: an accessible and open Library. The language we use helps people easily towards the right information, service or expert. It contributes to our services being simple to use.
Clear language is achieved by:
- Avoiding jargon. Only applying specialist terms when you are sure of your audience and their level of knowledge. (Simple as default, jargon when necessary)
- Seeing things from the users’ point of view and using the right language accordingly. Different audiences (students, researchers and lecturers, external visitors), level of knowledge, type of information, etc
- Following the Library style guide, which includes: using short, active sentences; using sub headers to break up text, etc.
What to do?
- Review how language is used in the most frequently consulted parts of the service. The communications team can help
- Identify a chief content writer within the team who receives training in clear language skills.
- Embed clear and similar language across channels (website, netpresenter, handouts)
- Use user engagement to determine whether information is clear (and also whether it should be presented in English and Dutch)
- Consult the Library Style Guide
- Gov.UK: Writing for User Interfaces