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 5: Using Graphics Effectively in Text
Using Graphics Effectively in Text
As we saw in Chapter 3, if graphics are to help people reading about healthcare, choices of graphic styles and location within documents must suit the intended communicative purpose of the graphic. For example, wrong choices can disadvantage older readers because the graphics distract them from the main message. This chapter explains how to make the right choices and has three main sections. The first discusses the different functions graphics can have in health materials. The second highlights what you need to bear in mind when selecting among graphic styles: Will a line drawing be sufficient or is a colour photograph needed? Finally, the third section outlines the problems that can arise, and the design trade-offs ...