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10 Things Every Health Communicator Needs to Know

This post was written by CH alum, Amy Behrens. 

Last week at the Plain Talk in Complex Times conference in Arlington, VA, behavioral psychologist Dr. Susan Weinschenk shared her top tips for designing intuitive and engaging communications. It takes more than clear communication to incite behavior change, and Dr. Weinschenk – a.k.a. @thebrainlady on Twitter – believes that people’s unconscious beliefs and expectations have a bigger impact on what they understand and choose to do (or not do).

Here are Dr. Weinschenk’s top 10 insights for health communicators:

  1. People expect technology to follow the rules of human-to-human interaction.
  2. People have mental models about how things will work – different things make sense to different people.
  3. Look-and-feel is often people’s first indicator for trust.
  4. Fonts matter – people unconsciously equate hard-to-read fonts with hard-to-do tasks.
  5. We pay attention to human faces – faces communicate.
  6. Peripheral vision is important – don’t put all your critical information front-and-center (central vision doesn’t always sync with the brain).
  7. People can only remember and/or deal with 3 to 4 things at a time – not 7, as many people think.
  8. 90% of our mental processing is unconscious.
  9. Too many choices can lead to no choice at all.
  10. People do as little as possible.

What do you think about these points? Leave a comment to let us know!


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