Is the most important information the primary audience needs summarized in the first paragraph or section?

Information Design

Present information so that the amount doesn’t overwhelm the audience. You don’t need to provide all the information you have in one material. Instead, include only the most important information for the main message you’ve selected. You can provide the audience ways to get additional or related information if they want it.

Examples of types of information that may be important include:

  • Basics I need to know (Understanding)
  • I would like to learn more (Assessment)
  • I can do this (Overcoming Barriers)
  • How will this help me? (Motivators)
  • Ways I can take action (Strategies)
  • Where can I go for help? (Community Resources)

A section is a block of text between headings. For a Web material, the first section must be fully visible without scrolling.

Example:

Screenshot of Cervical Cancer Screening website

This screenshot of cervical cancer screening web page information shows an opening paragraph that summarizes the most important information for the primary audience.

Resources
Supporting Plain Language GuidelineExternal: Organize to meet your readers’ needs.
Page last reviewed: August 11, 2014