User testing for complex or technical material

One of the most difficult tasks for anyone in a large organisation is knowing how to communicate complex or technical material to the general public. We see this all the time and empathise.  When you are writing about legal processes, you must use precise language.  We get that. The problem is that members of the general public may not understand it, so in the end you have not achieved your aim.

We live in a world that relies increasingly on digital information, where users typically access that information on their own. Writers often write the copy isolated form the people most likely to read it.  As a result, they often have to rely on their own intuitions about users will understand or already know. In turn, many of our clients over-estimate the ability of their customers to understand.

If you think of the information and resources that you give to you customers as simply 'information' to be delivered like a parcel, you will miss the key idea. People use and explore these resources actively, and in their own way.

Remember: the precise language and terminology that is specific to your department or agency may be ambiguous or confusing to someone else.

This is why we have developed expertise in user testing for content / information usabilty testing 

Information usability is a type of usability testing used by businesses and government when they want to convey information to users, or they want users to convey information to them.

It is for:

  • Landing pages
  • Fact sheets
  • Forms
  • Instructions
  • Labels
  • Letters
  • Statements and
  • Warnings

This form of testing shows you:

  • The words that users don't understand or have to guess the meaning

  • What readers expect at different stages of their journey, and why, and how that shapes what they do

  • How readers read, and where they engage, what they skip over, where they stop, and why.

What you will learn

You will learn about your customers - what they know and what they don't know about your product or service. You will learn the language they use and the language they understand.

  • We teach you about the frame of expectations that your customer use to make sense of the words you use.
  • We identify the words and terms that people do not understand
  • We recommend defining or replacing those works and terms. We give very specific advice about this.
  • We show you how the order to write the information in, for maximum clarity
  • We work closely with you and with your plain language trainers and consultants

Our Making Sense service has been used by many of the largest financial services organisations in Australia. We have helped these organisations create and rewrite their letters, statements, disclosure documents and forms so that people understand them. 


For a quote or a confidential discussion about your research needs