Use clear and consistent style for headings and subheadings.
Make a table of contents for long documents. Use an Introduction section in shorter documents. This helps readers find the information they are looking for. It is especially helpful for people with low reading skills.
Type style and size
Make sure the typeface is big enough for your readers. Ten point is the minimum size to use. Consider that some people may prefer a larger type size. Twelve point is a good size for most writing.
Don't use all capital letters as they are harder to read.
A serif typeface makes text easier to read because it leads your eye from letter to letter. A sans serif typeface is good for titles because it draws your eye down into the body of the text. Some examples of serif fonts are:
Use graphics with caution. Make sure that they mean the same thing to your reader as they do to you. Ask people who would be using your document to look over the choice of graphics and illustrations. Don't use too many graphics.
Place all graphics and illustrations as close as possible to the text they refer to. Place them on the page in a way that does not interrupt normal reading patterns.
Make sure all graphics and illustrations are clear and the captions are easy to read. Be wary of using charts to explain information. People with poor math skills can find charts hard to understand.
Try this:Collect several samples of documents used within your organization. Look at the material and identify examples of effective and ineffective presentation of information. Compare these against the guidelines presented here.
Other resources online:
Writing User-Friendly Documents
(U.S. National Performance Review)
"Write in a Visually Appealing Style"
"Use If-Then Tables"
The Plain Language Center in British Columbia