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Pros manage the document creation process

Thanks (again) to the Center for Plain Language, I found a terrific story of the process pros use to manage the creation of a document with a very large and heterogenous audience. Check out the infographic timeline at the Know Before You Owe site (under “How we did it”). It describes the process used by Kleimann Communication Group to help the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau create new disclosure documents.

Their process was exemplary. Like all user-centered design, the key was the involvement of the audience.

We decided to involve the people who will actually use the new forms – consumers, lenders, mortgage brokers, settlement agents – in combining and improving them.

And some version of their process can be used by anyone writing in the workplace.  See Pros Don’t Settle for Platitudes about Audience for a simplified version used when I was creating an accreditation report.

You can also download a copy of the 533-page report in which the folks at Kleimann describe their process and methods in detail at the Know Before You Owe site. The results of their work are impressive. And their report clearly establishes them as pros you want to emulate.

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