Each year the Language Council of Sweden awards a prize, the Plain Swedish Crystal, to a public authority or a local municipality for its plain language efforts. Each year’s Crystal has a different theme. In 2016 the theme was “plain language in e-services”.  Of course, an e-service must be well-functioning technically. But it is also important that the keywords are consistent and that the instructions are comprehensible to the user. Buttons, arrows and other symbols must be clear, and the tone must be friendly.   Looking through processes behind the services nominated for this year’s Crystal, we found several key factors that were common to them all:

  • Focus on the users´ needs
  • Knowledge from earlier experiences about what users find difficult  
  • Close co-operation between experts, lawyers, writers, and developers  
  • Short texts – only the necessary content  
  • Consistent and plain terminology 

This presentation will show you examples from three successful e-services, and look into the work behind them.  After the presentation you are invited to discuss best practices for comprehensive and clear e-services.