Research has shown that information given to patients and materials designed to influence health behaviour often fail to achieve their aims. As a result, health professionals need proven strategies to ensure that information is selected, designed and presented appropriately for the target audience. In response, Writing for Health Communication provides a practical guide to designing health information, using evidence-based strategies to engage, inform and persuade different audiences.
The book outlines the steps a writer needs to go through in creating successful materials. Starting with an understanding of how people read and process information and how behaviour is influenced, the book then covers the practicalities of
Choosing an approach; Message framing; Text design and layout; Using graphics; Computer tailoring
Each chapter is illustrated with examples - including both good and bad practice and covering a range of health topics. For students and professionals in healthcare, health promotion, health education and public health, Writing for Health Communication is an invaluable guide to best practice.
Chapter 2: Designing Easy-to-Read Text
Designing Easy-to-Read Text
If text is to be persuasive, it must be read. If it is not easy to read, then it will be ignored or misunderstood. In this chapter I focus, not on the content of the text, but on how to arrange the text so that it is easier to read. In particular, I discuss the layout and typographical design of health promotion and medical information, and I provide guidelines that are applicable to posters, books, leaflets and screen-based presentations.