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True Customer Service Websites:
User Experience (UX) Testing
and Plain Language
Maximus Plain Talk Conference
March 13, 20...
Overview
1. What PL and UX are + why you should care
2. What we do and how
3. Top problems we see
4. What you can do
5. Re...
1.What PL and UX
are and why you
should care
You are not your users
You
Target
Audience
What’s the Return on Investment?
● Increased customer satisfaction
● Increased compliance
● Increased gov transparency
● R...
Results of UX + PL
Complete tasks 50% faster
70% bump in user satisfaction
Saves $2 million a year by
prioritizing top tas...
What is Plain Language?
● Users understand on FIRST read or hear
● Quickly find what they need
● Understand what they find...
Foundations of Plain Language
● Reader-centered organization* (needs testing)
● Design features like headers, tables, and ...
What is User Experience
The overall experience of a person using a
product (often a website or mobile app),
especially in ...
Goal: Explore user behavior
● Can people get to the
important content?
● Do they understand
how your site works?
● Can the...
User Centered Design (3 phases)
1. Research 2. Design 3. Test
Thanks
Steve!
Things that INCREASE goodwill
● Know what people do on your site...
● … And make them obvious and easy
● Tell me what I wa...
Things that DECREASE goodwill
● Hiding information that I want
● Punishing for not doing things your way
● Asking me for i...
2. About us / What
we do
About Jon
● BA English
● MS Journalism
● Certified Usability Analyst
(Human Factors International)
● GSA for 6 years
● I l...
About Katherine
● BA, MA English
● GSA for 5 years
● Co-chair, trainer for Plain
Language Action and
Information Network
●...
3. Top problems
we see
Top problems
Top problems
1. Confusing navigation
2. Difficulty with top tasks
3. Too much stuff
4. Jargon + acronyms
5. U...
Top problems
Top problems Solutions
1. Confusing navigation Clear labels. Remove clutter. Put
in order of use.
2. Difficul...
4. What you can
do
Things you can do
● Talk to users
● Determine top tasks
● Edit
● Train
● Test
● Look at metrics
● Advocate for your audien...
5. Examples
Before/After Examples
Consent form: Before
It is understood and agreed that the
attending physician or his associates or
a...
Before/after examples
Consent form: After
I understand that in non-emergency
situations the lab technicians who perform
th...
Before/After Examples
Consent forms: Results
Participants who read the revised form
answered an average of 4.52 questions
...
Reading level
Medical information pamphlets often are written using
language that requires a reading level higher than par...
Reading level
We compared the parent reading time and comprehension
of a simplified pamphlet (Louisiana State University, ...
Reading level
A short, simply written pamphlet with instructional graphics
was preferred by high- and low-income parents s...
6. Resources
www.digitalgov.gov/events
govux@gsa.gov
7. Contact us
We’d love to hear from you!
Katherine Spivey
Katherine.Spivey@GSA.gov
@katherinespivey
Jonathan Rubin
jdr613@gmail.com (pe...
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language
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Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language

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Presented by Jonathan Rubin, MA, & Katherine Spivey, MA, on March 13, 2015 at the fifth Center for Health Literacy Conference: Plain Talk in Complex Times.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Jon Rubin & Katherine Spivey - User-Useful Government Websites: Intersection of User-Centered Design and Plain Language

  1. 1. True Customer Service Websites: User Experience (UX) Testing and Plain Language Maximus Plain Talk Conference March 13, 2015 Katherine Spivey and Jonathan Rubin
  2. 2. Overview 1. What PL and UX are + why you should care 2. What we do and how 3. Top problems we see 4. What you can do 5. Resources 6. Contact us
  3. 3. 1.What PL and UX are and why you should care
  4. 4. You are not your users You Target Audience
  5. 5. What’s the Return on Investment? ● Increased customer satisfaction ● Increased compliance ● Increased gov transparency ● Reduced training time ● Reduced help desk calls / emails ● High task completion rate ● Reduced error rate Successful + Happy Customers!
  6. 6. Results of UX + PL Complete tasks 50% faster 70% bump in user satisfaction Saves $2 million a year by prioritizing top tasks Decreased help calls by 10% Mobile site average visits up 50%, some 1000%
  7. 7. What is Plain Language? ● Users understand on FIRST read or hear ● Quickly find what they need ● Understand what they find, and ● Use what they find to meet their needs.
  8. 8. Foundations of Plain Language ● Reader-centered organization* (needs testing) ● Design features like headers, tables, and bullets ● Short sentences and paragraphs ● “You,” “we,” and other pronouns ● Active voice, not passive ● Verbs, not nouns ● Consistent terms, not jargon or acronyms ● Common, everyday words
  9. 9. What is User Experience The overall experience of a person using a product (often a website or mobile app), especially in terms of how easy or pleasing it is to use.
  10. 10. Goal: Explore user behavior ● Can people get to the important content? ● Do they understand how your site works? ● Can they contact you (if needed?) ● Does your search work as expected? ● Do your terms make sense?
  11. 11. User Centered Design (3 phases) 1. Research 2. Design 3. Test
  12. 12. Thanks Steve!
  13. 13. Things that INCREASE goodwill ● Know what people do on your site... ● … And make them obvious and easy ● Tell me what I want to know ● Save me steps whenever you can ● Put effort into making your site easy ● Know what questions I’m likely to have, and answer them
  14. 14. Things that DECREASE goodwill ● Hiding information that I want ● Punishing for not doing things your way ● Asking me for info you don’t really need ● Having me wade through marketing ● Amateurish design
  15. 15. 2. About us / What we do
  16. 16. About Jon ● BA English ● MS Journalism ● Certified Usability Analyst (Human Factors International) ● GSA for 6 years ● I love: Building UX teams, comics, gardening
  17. 17. About Katherine ● BA, MA English ● GSA for 5 years ● Co-chair, trainer for Plain Language Action and Information Network ● I love: editing to reveal the real message and deleting redundant content
  18. 18. 3. Top problems we see
  19. 19. Top problems Top problems 1. Confusing navigation 2. Difficulty with top tasks 3. Too much stuff 4. Jargon + acronyms 5. Unclear audience / Site’s purpose unclear
  20. 20. Top problems Top problems Solutions 1. Confusing navigation Clear labels. Remove clutter. Put in order of use. 2. Difficulty with top tasks Put important info at top. Remove clutter. Prioritize around metrics. 3. Too much stuff Cut text by 50%. Remove useless images. Cut outdated content. 4. Jargon + acronyms Use common words. Put tech words in ( ) 5. Unclear audience / Site’s purpose unclear Taglines. Use words they value. Remove clutter.
  21. 21. 4. What you can do
  22. 22. Things you can do ● Talk to users ● Determine top tasks ● Edit ● Train ● Test ● Look at metrics ● Advocate for your audience
  23. 23. 5. Examples
  24. 24. Before/After Examples Consent form: Before It is understood and agreed that the attending physician or his associates or assistants shall be responsible for the performance of their own individual professional acts, and that the blood typing and the selection of compatible blood are the responsibilities of those who actually perform the necessary laboratory tests.
  25. 25. Before/after examples Consent form: After I understand that in non-emergency situations the lab technicians who perform the blood tests are responsible for determining my blood type. The attending doctor, his associates, or assistants are not responsible for these actions, but only for their own actions toward my care.
  26. 26. Before/After Examples Consent forms: Results Participants who read the revised form answered an average of 4.52 questions correctly; those who read the original (before) averaged only 2.36 correct answers. Participants using the revised form were also faster, averaging 1.64 minutes to answer compared with 2.64 minutes.
  27. 27. Reading level Medical information pamphlets often are written using language that requires a reading level higher than parents of many pediatric patients have achieved. Anecdotal reports suggest that many parents may not readily understand the federally mandated Public Health Service vaccine information pamphlets prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1991. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/97/6/804.abstr act
  28. 28. Reading level We compared the parent reading time and comprehension of a simplified pamphlet (Louisiana State University, LSU) comprising 4 pages, 322 words, 7 instructional graphics, and a text requiring a 6th grade reading ability with the equivalent 1991 CDC vaccine information pamphlet comprising 16 pages, 18,117 words, no graphics, and a text requiring a 10th grade reading level. We measured the reading ability of 522 parents of pediatric patients from northwest Louisiana seen at public clinics (81%) and in a private office (19%).
  29. 29. Reading level A short, simply written pamphlet with instructional graphics was preferred by high- and low-income parents seen in private and public clinics. The sixth grade reading level appears to be too high for many parents in public clinics; new materials aimed at third to fourth grade levels may be required. The new 1994 CDC immunization materials, written at the eighth grade level, may still be inappropriately high. The American medical community should adopt available techniques for the development of more effective patient-parent education materials.
  30. 30. 6. Resources
  31. 31. www.digitalgov.gov/events
  32. 32. govux@gsa.gov
  33. 33. 7. Contact us
  34. 34. We’d love to hear from you! Katherine Spivey Katherine.Spivey@GSA.gov @katherinespivey Jonathan Rubin jdr613@gmail.com (personal) @jonathan_rubin

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