We test documents with readers

We use our knowledge of language to test how well readers understand and use business, regulatory and technical documents and forms

Consumer testing

In Financial Services, the term ‘consumer testing’ means testing a document with members of its intended audience to determine whether the document is easy for them to read, use, and understand. We call it 'document testing'. It is suitable for all documents.

Writing to empower or persaude

Good writing is not just about clarity. Writers want readers to pay attention to and engage with the material.  This is how to do that:

  • Design for the eye
  • Make people curious
  • Write about them not you
  • Start with something easy
  • Use signs to show new information 

For more, see our blog post insights-from-document-testing-how-to-gain-attention

How to test

1. Individually. Testing should always be conducted as an individual interview and never in group discussions.

2. Independently. Participants should be members of the intended audience who have not been involved in the design or writing of the document.Testing should be conducted by an independent researcher who has not been involved in designing or writing the document.

Susan Bell Research is an expert in this form of testing. 

Tags: Document Design, Plain language, Consumer testing

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