Accessible Health Information Technology (Health IT) for Populations With Limited Literacy: A Guide for Developers and Purchasers of Health IT
This evidence-based guide from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality includes a checklist for website developers as well as general recommendations for improving the accessibility of all health IT.
Available at https://healthit.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/docs/page/LiteracyGuide_0.pdf [PDF – 21 pages – 268 KB]
CDC Clear Communication Index
This research-based tool supports the development and assessment of public communication materials.
Available at http://www.cdc.gov/ccindex/
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 http://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/pdf/Simply_Put.pdf [PDF – 36 pages – 3.06 MB]
Clear & Simple: Developing Effective Print Materials for Low-Literacy Readers
This guide, developed by the National Cancer Institute, outlines a process for developing publications for users with limited literacy skills. The process was derived from communication, health education, and literacy research and practice. The guide includes expertise from writers who have experience creating materials intended for limited-literacy users.
Available at http://www.nih.gov/clearcommunication/clearandsimple.htm
Creating Websites That Work
Kathryn and Michael Summers provide step-by-step information and tools for developing effective websites.
Houghton Mifflin Company, 2005
Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content That Works, 2nd Edition
Janice (Ginny) Redish provides a comprehensive and accessible overview of writing web content, with screenshots and examples included throughout.
Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, 2012
National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy
This action plan from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is designed to engage organizations, professionals, policymakers, communities, individuals, and families in a linked, multi-sector effort to improve health literacy.
Available at http://health.gov/communication/initiatives/health-literacy-action-plan.asp
NIA: Making Your Website Senior Friendly
This publication summarizes the best practices of the National Institute on Aging website NIH SeniorHealth. Providing practical guidance to web content developers, this publication uses examples to illustrate strategies designed to better reach older adults.
Available at https://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/checklist.pdf [PDF - 1.2 MB]
Designed to improve communication from the Federal Government to the public, this website contains excellent tools and examples of plain language.
Available at http://www.plainlanguage.gov
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 http://www.usability.gov/guidelines/index.html
This website 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 http://www.usability.gov
Easy-to-Use Health Information on the Web