I’ve been tasked with revising the medical and legal content written by the Nightingales team. My main goal with editing the content is to make it easy-to-understand. We’re anticipating that many of our users will be senior citizens on either their computer or mobile phone. Our site will be initially launched in English, and viewing the site requires access to a computer or other device with internet. This narrows our user-base to elders and carers who are educated and probably middle-class or above. Even so, simplifying the language will make it easier to quickly skim and parse through information.
The first step in revising the content is to remove any medical or legal jargon. The content writing interns for Nightingales have done a solid job of defining any necessary medical terms.
One of the biggest challenges I have run into is the use of British English. In my content style guide, I specified that the text will be written in British English because that’s what our users are familiar with. I, however, am not familiar with British English at all! I’ve had to have a British English dictionary open on my computer while editing. Many words that look misspelled to me are actually written correctly.
Another thing I’ve found interesting is that the initial content was written entirely in the passive voice. Pritika and I have done some research into this, and it appears to be a matter of preference coupled with how Indian students were taught English in school. We’re decided to re-write much of the content in the active voice. It makes the text more clear and concise.
There are a few Indian websites comparable to ours that provide medical information for senior citizens. In my opinion, the biggest issues with these sites is that they are incredibly text-heavy. For example, symptoms of a disease are buried in paragraphs rather than in a bulleted list. That’s something easy that we can improve upon with our content.
I’m finalizing my content style guide so that I can pass it off to the Nightingales team. With some style guidelines, they’ll be able to add content to the site in the future that matches the current content.