Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Lead judge: Best Plain Language Document — Public sector

Rob Waller

Information designer, Simplification Centre, London, UK

Rob Waller is semi-retired from a 45-year career in information design, where he has long advocated the close connection between plain language and design. He coordinates the Simplification Centre — a UK non-profit that advocates clear communication and runs the annual Information Design Summer School. He is also the current President of the International Institute for Information Design. Rob has worked on simplified communications for many UK government departments, as well as service brands such as Vodafone, Barclays, and British Gas. He is closely involved with the recently emerging field of legal information design and has been a member of Clarity International since the early 1990s.

Literacy is about writing as well as reading

People struggle with reading because organisations struggle with writing. The concept of literacy needs to be turned on its head. People often blame themselves when they find a document hard to use, but the organisation who sent it is the ‘illiterate’ one.

People read the design as well as the words

Higher level reading skills are about using information, not just deciphering the words – searching for answers, making connections, comparing options, getting an overview. Information design makes these tasks easier.

Meet the judges for the Plain Language Awards

How the judging process works