Articles

Readability in Practice: My Grade Level in Covid

I consider myself something of an expert in readability (and specifically health literacy). Yet I was shocked to find that this spring, consumed by Covid stress, I couldn’t read at all. I now have my own experience to help me empathize with readability challenges. What is Readability? Can you read? It’s easy to think about…

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How to Create Unbiased Mental Models

One of my favorite best practices in UX is the use of “mental models”. Mental models help UX designers and content strategists create experiences that make sense. For example, a mental model of a door has it open from the side. This is a mental model so ingrained that no one would think to design…

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Clear Language Means Clear Understanding

As a content strategist, it’s easy to focus on clear language. But in my experience, the first step is understanding what you’re trying to say. A colleague recently asked me for help making a presentation clearer, before handing it off to a client. He sent me the paragraph of text he was struggling with. As…

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Racism and Bias in Voice UI

“[S]peech recognition is another form of AI that performs worse for women and non-white people.” Voice Recognition Still Has Significant Race and Gender Biases, Joan Palmiter Bajorek In the past year I’ve done significant research into chatbots, conversational interfaces, and voice. What I’ve found shows racism and bias in voice UI. The most recent stats seem…

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Content Strategy and AAVE

I recently started reading Me and White Supremacy, and it has me thinking about content strategy and AAVE (African-American Vernacular English). As a white woman and UX professional, I want to be aware of my bias. I want to prevent my bias from harming BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color). I also want to learn…

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What Does Quality Healthcare Mean?

A few weeks ago I virtually attended the NCQA Quality talks. The goal of the talks is to hear from experts in a variety of areas of healthcare as they consider what quality healthcare means. This year the talks focused predominantly on marginalized communities and challenging situations. While Covid is a daily reminder of the…

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Health Literacy and Social Determinants of Health

Last week, at Mad*Pow’s annual Health Experience Design Conference, someone asked me “what is the correlation between health literacy and social determinants of health?” This was during a workshop on health literacy and plain language. This isn’t a simple question to answer, so let’s explore it. Social Determinants of Health What are social determinants of…

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Writing for Health Literacy Workshop Slides

Rick Allen and I led a workshop on writing for health literacy this morning, as part of the Health Experience Design conference. I’m so grateful to have had a great group of participants. We were able to discuss how health literacy is impacted by social determinants, and resources to write for plain language. Health Literacy…

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