How to test the style and tone of customer information

Our user testing can show you how not to write in your 'work voice'

I am a professional researcher, user testing specialist, and linguist. I have created a unique user-testing service designed to show you whether your users understand your content and what you can do about it when they don't.

Our specialised form of user testing helps you improve your customers' experience while meeting your compliance and legal obligations

  • Do you explain technical information to the general public?

  • Do you need to instruct customers or users to do something?

  • Do you ask customers to give you information?

These are some of the most difficult tasks faced by large organisations. It can be very difficult for people who work closely with a complex product to know how to explain it in language the customer can understand - and when you are writing about legal processes, you must use precise language.

This is where our specialised form of usability testing comes in. It has been created by an experienced researcher, with decades of experience working with complex financial services products who is also a trained linguist. It has been designed specifically to test content.   

As a large insurer said to us "Thank you. You have shown us exactly what we need to do."

Contact Sue on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or  phone 0409657317


We are independent

Interviewing someone about their level of understanding is a very different thing from conducting a standard user interview.

Some organisations do their own testing. Some testing is better than none. However, the benefits of using an independent researcher for information resources are:

  • It's obvious - independence. People who test their own material sometimes hear what they want to hear. Independent researchers hear everything.
  • The second reason is interviewing skill. Interviewing someone about their level of understanding is a very different thing from conducting a standard user interview. Interviewing someone who is confused and potentially embarrassed about being confused requires professional interviewing skills.  We are research experts who have studied conversation science, so we know what users mean when they 'think aloud'.
  • Standards. We are members of the Research Society. We abide by a Code of Professional Behaviour that mandates privacy protection for example.

Our skill with language

While factors such as site or page design and layout play a key role in user experience, at Susan Bell Research our focus is on language, such as

  • The words that users don't understand or have to guess the meaning
  • How readers read, and where they engage, what they skip over, where they stop, and why.  Much of our work has been on resources that regulators and others want users to read and understand. 

When presenting our findings we use our linguistic expertise to explain to how the information can expressed more clearly, so that more people understand, use or comply with it.


We have tested ...

We have been conducting think-aloud user interviews for at least a decade, on topics like:

  • Where to find legal resources
  • Bicycle safety
  • Making a Will
  • What an investor should do if their broker defaults
  • Applying for insurance
  • Fact Sheets about Exchange traded derivatives
  • Fees and charges for superannuation 
  • and more.

We are used to learning about complex topics and make sure that we have a knowledge-building stage in all our projects



Our user testing helps solve these problems

Our user testing helps solve these problems:

  • Instructions that are so difficult to follow that customers give up, and go to a competitor

  • Information requests that are so difficult to understand that customers give you the wrong information 

  • Technical explanations or product descriptions that are so complex that customers do not understand what they have bought, or what their obligations are. 

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For a quote or a confidential discussion about your research needs