Health Mindset Matters, so Health Language Matters

How does a health mindset affect health behaviors? This was the question asked at Mindset 2021, where Dr. Alia Crum spoke on Harnessing Mindset in 21st Century Healthcare. In Dr. Crum’s talk, she explained: A mindset is a core assumption about a domain or category that orients us to a particular set of expectations, attributions,…

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How can Content Strategists Address Racism in Healthcare?

What can content strategists do to address racism and place-ism in healthcare? In J. Nwando Olayiwola’s TEDx talk Combating Racism and Place-ism in Medicine, she speaks to the serious problem of racism in medicine. Racism leads to higher mortality rates and poorer care for black men and women. For example, health professionals assume black patients…

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How to Be a Content Therapist

I sometimes hear a content strategist joke about being a “content therapist”. But it’s not so far off! Most of content strategy isn’t about writing. It’s about listening. In a way, we are (unlicensed) therapists. Content therapists! In other words, we need to understand how people feel in order to communicate with them. How we…

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How to Handle Content Debt

As we approach the end of the year, many organizations are having their annual conversation around design freezes and technical debt. This year I found myself wondering: why don’t we have end-of-year freezes to spend time on content debt? What is “Debt”? Technical debt typically refers to work that piles up and never has a…

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How to Localize your Examples

When I think about a common snack food, I think of apples and peanut butter. But in many cultures peanut butter is a bizarre food, not a common snack. So in a recent localization conversation, a coworker asked “should we remove all examples?” The answer is no. Localize your examples! As we localize to different…

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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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