We conduct plain-language audits to help companies benchmark their documents against international best practice and the needs of readers.
Companies have used Simplified audits to:
- see whether they comply with plain-language provisions in laws such as the National Credit Act
- isolate problem areas and find out how to improve their documents
- compare documents across different departments and different channels (such as online and print)
- measure their progress in plain language.
There are two ways to assess whether a document is in plain language: assessments based on objective criteria and those based on testing with users. We believe both are important.
Assessments based on objective criteria
Simplified has developed a set of assessment criteria which we customise for different organisations and document types. The criteria are comprehensive and cover aspects from content, structure and design to using everyday words and short, active-voice sentences. We also offer a software solution to help companies audit their own documents and assess audit results.
Assessments based on testing with users
Objective assessments should always be coupled with user tests. User tests consist of asking task-based questions which test whether users actually understand the content (and not whether they believe they understand it).
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