2011 ClearMark Award Winners

ClearMark Awards logoThe ClearMark Awards are given to the best plain language documents and web sites. They are 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 finalists were selected from several entries.

The 2011 Grand Prize ClearMark Winner

Internal Revenue Service and Siegel+Gale
IRS Notice Improvement Project 2010
Simplified IRS Notices

Additional Child Tax Credit: Before and After
Account Notice: Before and After

Very easy to find instructions and follow them.
Effectively uses “we” and “you” to clearly and personally identify the party who has the duty.
Active voice and clear, concise language used throughout.
Solid use of descriptive, bolded headings.
Good use of white space, bulleting, and bold type for items within main headings.

Website / Dynamic Media: Non-Profit

ClearMark Category Winner

Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota
State Recount Laws Searchable Database

Overview page clearly organized and well-structured, using  descriptive, clearly marked headings.
Language is generally active and clear.
Authors are clearly knowledgeable about various recount laws and  nuances between states’ recount laws.

Website / Dynamic Media: Public Sector

ClearMark Category Winners

Texas.gov
Texas.gov

Great presentation of the search function, front and center.
Great categories for the users, great plain language.
Easy-to-spot top tasks in the top left corner.
Site avoids unnecessary graphics.
Very helpful icons directing users to relevant information.

National Archives and Records Administration, Web Program
National Archives

Good job identifying key audiences and knowing what they want.
Top tasks are easy to find.
Home page and most topic portal pages fit on one screen.
Very clean look and feel.
The site carries top-level navigation to secondary sections.
A very simple-to-use site!

Other Winners:


Website / Dynamic Media: Private

ClearMark Category Winner

Aetna
Aetna Benefits Advisor

This is a very clever website.
Script is easy to understand and dialog has a nice, friendly tone.
Follow up emails were easy to understand and use.
Animations were great.

Other Winners:


Original Document: Non-Profit

ClearMark Category Winner

Herschel S. Horowitz Center for Health Literacy
Horowitz Center for Health Literacy Brochure

Large headings, good use of color, good font size.
Photos help to make information accessible.
Information design, especially the use of color, makes hierarchy clear.
Brochure creates a strong sense of trustworthiness, care and scientific rigor.

Other Winners:


Original Document: Public Sector

ClearMark Category Winner

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Environmental Health, and CommunicateHealth, Inc.
Lead Poisoning: Words to Know from A to Z

Easy-to-read item with language and design appealing to a wide audience, including those with poor literacy skills.Offers calls to action and is likely a piece readers can use in everyday life.

Other Winners:


Original Document: Private

ClearMark Category Winner

JBS International, Inc. / Alzheimer’s Disease Education and Referral Center for: National Institute of Aging
Understanding Memory Loss

Invites a strong participatory response.
Large-type page titles provide a simple structure.
Table of Contents is clear and action-oriented.
Many vignettes with short stories are engaging, set a humanistic tone, and carry the message.
Very strong testing program.

Other Winners:



Revised Document: Private

ClearMark Category Winner

CIGNA, Customer Experience Organization
Explanation of Benefits
Before
and After

Audience and purpose are clear
Information in  revised version is laid out very clearly and is far superior to the original, especially the front page.
Hierarchy of information is well signaled by appropriate heading and text styles.

Other Winners:

  • UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement Marketing and Periscope, Inc.Medicare Part D Plan Guide
    Before and After
  • Aetna, Member Experiences Letters Redesign
    Transition of Care Letter
    After
  • Aetna, Health Literacy Workgroup
    Health Literacy/Plain Language employee intranet

Revised Document: Public Sector

ClearMark Category Winners

Internal Revenue Service and Siegel+Gale
IRS Notice Improvement Project 2010
Simplified IRS Notices

Additional Child Tax Credit: Before and After
Account Notice: Before and After

Very easy to find instructions and follow them.
Effectively uses “we” and “you” to clearly and personally identify  the party who has the duty.
Active voice and clear, concise language used throughout.
Solid use of descriptive, bolded headings.
Good use of white space, bulleting, and bold type for items within  main headings.


Department of Veterans Affairs Insurance Service
Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) Election and Certificate (SGLV 8286)
Before
and After

Document’s clarity suggests that the authors want to make it easy for those filling out this form.
It leaves few unanswered questions and appears very easy to use.
Solid use of descriptive, bolded headings.
Good use of white space, bulleting, and bold type for items within main headings

Other Winners:

  • Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Practice and Procedure, and Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules
    Restyled Federal Rules of Evidence
  • State Bar of Texas
    Texas Pattern Jury Instructions: Admonitory Instructions
    Before and After

Many thanks to our 2011 ClearMark Awards judges!

Meet the ClearMark Awards judges »

  • Robert Linsky, Director of Judging
  • Julie Clement
  • Martin Cutts
  • Wes Erwin
  • Sandra Fisher-Martins
  • Lynda Harris
  • Candi Harrison
  • Anne-Marie Hasselrot
  • Jann Keenan
  • Doug Lincoln
  • Nad Rosenberg
  • Michael Schwartz
  • Paul Silva
  • Cheryl Stephens
  • Kath Straub
  • Kara Zech Thelen
  • Karel van der Waarde
  • Rob Waller

Center for Plain Language (centerforplainlanguage.org)

http://centerforplainlanguage.org/awards/past-years/clearmark2011/

Printed April 17, 2014

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