Megan Lane, Empathy
Megan is a strong advocate for plain English. It was clear that others have gained a great deal from the work she has done on the Employment Agreement Builder — saving people and businesses time, stress, and money. The judges liked the way she used terminology and ways of thinking that her design colleagues would understand — such as a ‘suit font’ and ‘sneaker font’ — to help others understand how language could also change to convey more than just words. Well done, and keep up the great work.
Megan is not only a strong practitioner of plain English in her work, she is obviously also a passionate advocate for plain English.
I love decoding jargon and legalese, and translating it into plain English that sings. At Empathy, where I’m content lead, I could write or sub all the words heading out the door… if I cloned myself and did no other work. But then designers would still write like people who prefer to draw, and researchers like people eyeing academic publications.
Nor is it the Empathy way to work in a silo. We love to learn and to collaborate. So I try to champion plain English by doing and by teaching. This ‘teach someone to fish’ method is a great way to upskill my writers and the wider team of designers and researchers.
This makes a difference to the work we do with clients to meet human needs. Long words and jargon might make you sound smart, but is it really that smart to share information no one in the intended audience can connect with?
Plain English is a great way to wear your smarts lightly — and to bring everyone along for the ride.