Medication Instructions That Stick (but Don’t Adhere)

Illustration of medical instructions that stick

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about medication adherence. It’s understandable, of course. Doctors who prescribe medicine want patients to take it as directed. Patients who are prescribed medicine want to feel better. But following prescriptions, especially multiple daily prescriptions, is hard. So let’s not make it worse by using overly complex language to … Continue reading

How Not to Use Illustrations and Infographics

Illustration of how not to use infographics and illustrations.

In our last installment on bad visuals, we talked about the dangers of relying on crummy stock photos. This time, we’re talking about bad and confusing illustrations — like cartoons, charts, graphs, and everyone’s new favorite, infographics. It’s no wonder that health communicators (including us) love illustrations. Good ones can make your point more elegantly and … Continue reading

Rethinking Readability Scores: Part 2

Illustration of Rethinking Readability Scores

We’ve written about the controversial topic of problems with readability formulas — and we’re back to further explain our position. Readability formulas give you a rough idea of how easy a material is to understand, but they’re imprecise and often inaccurate. Nearly everyone agrees on their limitations, yet many agencies and organizations require materials to meet a certain … Continue reading

No Semicolons Allowed

Illustration of No Semicolons Allowed

Many of us behind We ❤ Health Literacy also ❤ the semicolon. If prompted, we might even gush about its unique and graceful qualities. So it’s with a heavy heart that we must declare — once and for all — that the semicolon has no place in plain language communication. Here’s why. First, many people don’t use the semicolon properly, … Continue reading