Clarity, confidence, and consistency in messaging promotes product reliability.
We strive to elevate the field of healthcare by producing high-quality, well-researched, and actionable layouts and content. We aim to do away with superficial, keyword-stuffed content pieces that waste everyone’s time.
Not everyone is a confident writer, but everyone can improve what they write by making sure it responds to the needs of their audience - in this case, care teams.
- Remember that real people rely on your app every day to provide quality care to real people at their most vulnerable.
- The products, features, or apps you build make a big difference to the people that use them and to the people who, as a consequence, benefit from higher quality of care.
- Take the time to learn about who uses what you build, what they need, and the language they use.
Long messaging is not always more helpful. Be concise; understand your users’ needs in a given situation, and provide them with just enough information to be successful. If an interaction is obvious, don’t add messaging. A wordy product is an eyesore.
- Write short sentences (no more than 15–20 words).
- Always use industry-standard, clinical terminology.
- Avoid jargon and choose short, simple words over long and complicated ones.
- Avoid idioms and phrases with indirect or ironic meanings. Be direct.
- Edit out unnecessary or repeated words.
- Write for small screens first. Constraints can help you focus on the most important message.
- Read your content out loud. If you get tripped up or it doesn’t sound like something a human being would say, then your content needs to be edited.
- Start the process
If you click this button, then you will initiate a process that does something. Doing something is essential for something else.
Consistency gives users peace of mind. You want people to feel comfortable navigating your product. Surprises and uncertainty make people uncomfortable. Consistent messaging frees users to focus on what they’re doing, instead of worrying about what the product is trying to tell them. To help users understand key concepts and actions they can take, use consistent nouns (words used to identify objects: people, places, or things) and verbs (action words) wherever possible.
- Get in the habit of making a list of all the most important verbs and nouns in the experience you’re building.
- Look at your word list. Does each word clearly describe the object or action it represents in the simplest way possible?
- Does your language reflect how physicians think and the words they use?
- Identify synonyms (a word or phrase that means exactly or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language), and eliminate them. Each important object and action should have a single word to represent it.
- People: Resident, Attending, Chief
- Places: OR, ICU, Room
- Things: Diagnosis, Labs, Meds
Be confident and encourage action
Care teams use apps to get things done. Content should be written and structured to help users understand and take the most important actions. Be bold! Take confidence in what you say! The way you provide information sets the tone for what users expect. Products that exude confidence put users at ease when making difficult decisions.
- Calls to action on buttons and links should start with a strong verb that describes the action taken when they are clicked.
- Always prioritize the most important information and task — don’t make physicians dig to find what they care about.
- Break down complicated tasks into steps that help physicians focus on one thing at a time.
- Use the active voice to clarify the subject and the action.
Use present tense throughout product messaging. Promote the product as being alive; that it helps you immediately by telling you what to do now. When you click a button, it won’t do something later; it accomplishes the task immediately.
Remember, your writing style sets the tone for your product. Show people you care by guiding them with sensible, consistent messaging.