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U.S. Department of Health and Health Services
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Health Literacy Online: A Guide to Writing and Designing Easy-to-Use Health Web Sites
Appendix E: Resources for Creating Easy-to-Use Web Sites

CDC Scientific and Technical Information: Simply Put

This guide will help you translate complicated scientific and technical information into material that captures and keeps the interest of your intended audience.
Available at [PDF file, 36 pages, 3.06 Mb]

Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literate Readers

This guide, developed by the National Cancer Institute, outlines a process for developing publications for people with limited literacy skills. The process was derived from communications, health education, and literacy research and practice. Writers who have produced low-literacy materials contributed their expertise.
Available at

Creating Websites That Work

Kathryn and Michael Summers provide step-by-step information and tools for developing effective Web sites.
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005

Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content That Works

Janice (Ginny) Redish provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of writing Web content, with screenshots and examples included throughout.
Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2007

NIA: Making Your Website Senior Friendly

This publication summarizes the best practices of the National Institute on Aging (NIA) Web site, NIH SeniorHealth ( Providing practical guidance to developers of Web content, this publication uses examples to illustrate points such as using action verbs in headers and incorporating video, audio, and pictures to better reach the older population.
Available at

Designed to improve communication from the Federal Government to the public, this Web site contains excellent tools and examples of plain language.
Available at

Quick Guide to Health Literacy

This toolkit from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides content development tips and explains "why" to improve health literacy as well as "how to" do it. You will find user-friendly, action-oriented materials that can be easily referenced, reproduced, and shared with colleagues.
Available at

Accessible Health Information Technology (Health IT) for Populations With Limited Literacy: A Guide for Developers and Purchasers of Health IT

The evidence-based guide from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality includes a checklist for Web site developers as well as general recommendations for improving the accessibility of all health IT.
Available at [PDF file, 21 pages, 268 Kb]

This Web site is a great reference for conducting usability testing and user-centered design. The site includes checklists, descriptions of methods, and sample testing documents and research protocols.
Available at

Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines

These guidelines are based on more than 400 separate sources of research and have been reviewed by experts from across Government, industry, and academia. Each guideline includes a "relative importance" rating as well as a "strength of evidence" rating.
Available at

Easy-to-Use Health Information on the Web

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