‘When I do my job well, I play a small part in making someone’s day easier,’ says Rebecca.
‘Whatever they’re doing — finding information, or completing a form, or using signage to access a building — it should be easier than they expected.’
Rebecca makes it easier by writing with practised clarity. The piece of writing might be instructions, a policy, report, customer communication, or webpage. It could make a reader’s day with an engaging piece of web copy. Or it could change a reader’s life through an application for a benefit or a loan. The need is equally valid, and Rebecca is equally skilled.
She tailors her approach to the audience and the specific purpose of the piece of writing. She is an expert in usability. She learned about usability in her work with web and digital content, and applies it to her other writing work.
Rebecca jokes she has a kind of Midas touch. ‘I want to make sure that everything I touch becomes accessible and inclusive — so every reader who needs it can find, read, and use it, and feels it’s targeted for them.’
Rebecca applies the principles of plain language and of usability to create writing that’s clear and simple, and finely judged for the target audience. She works with topics of all kinds, from complex, serious business and legal material, to warm-toned material for public engagement.
Achieving accessible writing takes skill, and Rebecca says it can’t be faked. ‘I have to empathise with the reader, understand their situation, and recognise their challenges. With that knowledge, I can deliver information in a way that they can find, use, and benefit from .’