Quality Mall Product: In Other Words: Communicating Across a Life Span
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Product Information In Other Words: Communicating Across a Life Span

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This article is about the principles of Universal Design and using them in Print and Web-based Communication. The article reviews how Universal Design can aid in the creation of clear messages and effective communication and offers a well-thought out list of suggestions that will produce printed and web-based material that is more accessible to a broader range of abilities.

The article covers the following topics:

Identify the team that will be involved in the design of your communication;

Include user/experts who represent the consumers for whom you are designing;

Balance opposing needs of various users;

Focus on the following components:
Font--Choose a font that is not overly stylized and does not vary too much from what people are used to seeing;

Type size--For regular text, use a type size between 12 and 16 points;

Line length--People with low vision may have difficulty when there are too many words on a line, and people with cognitive impairments may have difficulty when there are too few words per line. In general, most people find it comfortable to read 7 to 12 words in a line of continuous, or running text;

Pictures--Choose pictures that have sufficient contrast between foreground and background;

Paper finish--Glossy paper has a glare that can be difficult to see by people with impaired vision. To increase legibility, use matte paper for all your printed material;

Slide Design--To ensure that overhead slide presentations, such as those created with Power Point, are easy-to-see and easy-to-understand, use a sans serif font as you would for presenting text on the Web. And have no more than 5 lines of text on each slide with no more than 5 words on each line.

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