2010 ClearMark Award Winners

The ClearMark Awards are given to the best plain language documents and web sites. They were judged by a panel of international experts, following a strict set of criteria. Revised documents were judged on not just the quality of the final document, but also the quality of improvement. These award winners and finalists were selected from 160 entries for the 2010 awards.

The 2010 Grand Prize ClearMark Winner

screen imageHealthWise
Conversation on Dealing with Low Back Pain

See the website

  • Well done. good explanation, easy flow, good analogies
  • Uses a relaxed, conversational style; Talked to you personally
  • A fun, engaging interface that helps the users make sense of their pain. Responses are caring and helpful, making you feel like you’re talking with a friend. Very well made and very useful.

Website – Private

Aetna Website - ClearMark 2010 winnerAetna
Health and Wellness

See the website

  • Good website with loads of practical information.
  • This is nice, clean, attractive site. Writing is easy to read and generally conversational. Showcasing the top tasks in the boxes on the home page is excellent. The reader can get right to work.
  • I would definitely feel good about Aetna being my insurance company having reviewed this site.
  • Logical, organized the way I think a user would expect

Website – Public Sector

HHS Healthy Living - ClearMark winner 2010Department of Health and Human Services, ODPHP
Quick Guide to Healthy Living

See the website

  • The extensive testing paid off. A very easy-to-use and easy-to-understand site. It does just about everything right. Minimal words. Meaningful words. Active verbs. Print large enough to read. Just enough color & graphics to be interesting without overwhelming.
  • You spent – and continue to spend -the time to do it right, and it shows. You got your money’s worth. More important, citizens got their money’s worth.

City of Gresham Website - ClearMark winner 2010City of Gresham, Oregon
City of Gresham web site

See the website

  • I really, really like this website. You clearly know your audience and understand what they want. Love the navigation titles; live, work, play, city. Especially love the “I want to” It’s clean, and it’s easy to use.
  • Overall a very intuitive site with links to everything a citizen or prospective citizen would need.

Other Finalists:

Original Document: Non-Profit

HealthWise characters - ClearMark winner 2010

Conversation on Dealing with Low Back Pain

See the website

Other Finalists:

Original Document: Private

Aetna Health Literacy Newsletter - ClearMark winner 2010Aetna
Health Literacy Newsletter

See the document

  • They practice what they preach
  • Uses a relaxed, conversational style
  • Makes information easy to understand and to find
  • A good tool for spreading the word about “plain language” and to teach people to use plain language.

Other Finalists:

Original Document: Public Sector

Model Privacy Notice - ClearMark winner 2010Interagency Working Group
Model Financial Privacy Notice

See the document

  • Form is well-designed and well-organized.
  • Easy to read. Consistently uses common words and defines less common words; good sentence structure
  • The sample privacy form is a great improvement over the current situation. They are sure to be a big to consumers.

Other finalists:

Revised document: Non-profit

Group Health Consent Form - ClearMark winner 2010Group Health Cooperative
Informed Consent for Surgery or Invasive Procedure

Before and After

  • From first glance, you see the improvement: print actually readable, the title short and informative; tone subtly more positive. Doesn’t sacrifice content for simplicity and readability.
  • Without sounding condescending, the language lays out the risks in concrete terms. Words and visual design work together to help group ideas for easier understanding and assimilation
  • Used readability measures to confirm differences between original and revision

Other finalists:

Revised document: Private

First Choice Power Customer Statement - ClearMark winner 2010First Choice Power
Customer Bill Redesign

Before and After

  • Revised version was much more user friendly emphasizes the critical information
  • Uses bolding to highlight important information and this makes it much easier to understand. Puts most important info up front
  • Color scheme is excellent – gives it a friendly appearance. Big clear account number
  • Emphasis on consumer service with large customer service numbers

Other finalists:

  • Aetna
    Disease Management Invitation Letter
    Before and After
  • Health Dialog
    Variable Chronic Conditions – Mailer and Inserts
    Before and After
  • Periscope UnitedHealth Group
    Medicare Advisor
    Before and After

Revised Document: Public Sector

Washington State Public Records Request - ClearMark winner 2010Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
Plain Talk for Public Records – Revised Confirmation Letters

Before and After

  • They have results: Before about 10% of phone calls were about these topics. Almost immediately after the new letters, calls dropped to 1% and now rarely receive these calls.
  • Much, much better. Uses second person consistently; gets away from legalese language almost completely.
  • Adding a fact sheet really personalizes the process of FOI requests.

Other finalists:

  • Department of Veterans Affairs, Insurance Service
    Free Financial Counseling Service Brochure
    Before and After
  • Health Outcomes Sciences and Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City
    Consent for Coronary Angiography
    and After
  • Los Angeles County, Internal Services Department
    Model Contract Remodeled
    Before and After
  • National Cancer Institute
    Eating Hints: Before, During and After Cancer Treatment
    Before and After
  • Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State
    Absentee Ballot Instructions for Unregistered Voters
    Before and After
  • Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
    Instruction Cards Help Businesses Late with Payments
    and After
  • Washington State Department of Licensing
    Vehicle Registration Renewal Notices
    Before and After

The judges for the 2010 ClearMark Awards were:

  • Burkey Belser
  • Ann Brewer
  • Julie Clement
  • Candi Harrison
  • Robert Linsky
  • Allen Rotz
  • Michael Schwartz
  • Xanthi Scrimgeour
  • Donna Seifert
  • Dr. Susan Sharpe
  • Carolyn Sherman
  • Cheryl Stephens

Center for Plain Language (centerforplainlanguage.org)


Printed April 20, 2014


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: