Usability testing from the National Cancer Institute
The information was good, but the title confused people.
A team at the National Cancer Institute tested a brochure on skin cancer prevention. They wanted to make sure that the information, title, and design images worked together well. One of the important messages was that even people with dark skin can get skin cancer. People understood the information in the brochure, but said that the title, "People of Color Get Skin Cancer, Too," made them think it was only for African-Americans.
The team changed the title to "Anyone Can Get Skin Cancer" (along with some other changes from the usability test recommendations) and tested it again. This time, when people were asked who the information in the brochure was for, they correctly identified many different people. More importantly, they all said that the information was "for them," too.
The team included both plain language experts and medical subject matter experts. This case study illustrates three points:
- Plain language experts test their work.
- Even a small change can make a big difference in the success of the project.
Retesting after you make a change is important. The second test may validate your decisions; it may also suggest additional changes.