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Promoting Plain Language

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By Melanie Bender November 3, 2009

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You can have the most gorgeous Web site with the most amazing interactive functionality, but if the words on the site don't work for the site's users, you don't have a good Web site. That's why GSA's Office of Citizen Services decided to focus on plain language for World Usability Day 2009, according to Nicole Burton, a usability specialist at GSA.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Plain Language and PlainLangugage.gov, the Nov. 12 activities will include a free seminar on learning to write anything in plain language from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Federal Web managers who can't attend the session can schedule mini phone consultations on plain language with usability experts.

Details on setting up a mini-consultation -- as well as information about the rest of the World Usability Day events and general usability resources -- can be found on Webcontent.gov's World Usability Day page.

Not convinced you need to spend any extra time on Web usability? Burton points out that successful Web operations like Amazon.com spend huge amounts of money on site usability. Additionally, Burton says, following usability practices enables government to work more efficiently and spend less taxpayer money because systems are designed properly the first time.

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