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Inclusivity, Gestalt Principles, and Plain Language in Document Design
In the Library with the Lead Pipe
  • Jennifer M. Turner, Minnesota State University - Mankato
  • Jessica Schomberg, Minnesota State University - Mankato
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Good design makes documents easier to use, helps documents stand out from other pieces of information, and lends credibility to document creators. Librarians across library types and departments provide instruction and training materials to co-workers and library users. For these materials to be readable and accessible, they must follow guidelines for usable document design. Improving document usability requires a basic understanding of accessibility and Universal Design for Learning, plus a few simple tips found in Gestalt and plain language principles. Using Gestalt principles helps connect concepts within the document in a coherent way. Plain language principles emphasize clarity in writing. This includes evaluating linguistic complexity and readers’ comprehension of the text. Keeping the needs of people with visual, motor, and cognitive impairments in mind when creating a document can also improve readability for all users. The authors will demonstrate how adhering to these principles will improve accessibility and functionality of library documentation for everyone who uses them. They will also direct readers to resources to help librarians create usable documentation for library processes and procedures.
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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
Citation Information
Turner, J. & Schomberg, J. (2016, June 29). Inclusivity, Gestalt principles, and plain language in document design. In the Library with the Lead Pipe. Retrieved from: