How to Use the Index

The Index is designed to help you communicate clearly with your intended audience(s). You can use the Index in several ways:

  1. To inform the design and development of a new communication product
  2. To assess the clarity of a communication product prior to public release
  3. To encourage discussion and collaboration between writers and reviewers before or during the clearance process as you work to attain scientific accuracy and clarity of content
  4. To quickly assess the clarity and ease of use of an already released communication product

Directions for Using the Clear Communication Index

The following directions offer different ways to use the Index so that people can do self-study, group training sessions, or refresh their skills previously acquired.


Even when you review the material by using the Index criteria, OC recommends testing materials with the primary audience. You can test draft, revised, or finished materials to confirm the audience understands and can use the material as intended.

OC recommends

  • at least two people independently review a material before deciding on a final score,
  • material developers not review and score their own materials,
  • testing Index-designed materials with the primary audience to confirm the materials are easy to understand and use.

Note: You can use either the downloadable fillable score sheets or the widget on

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