The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN) is a group of federal employees from many different agencies and specialties. We develop and maintain the content of this site. Our original site was launched in 1994 and for a decade served federal advocates for clarity in government. The redesign began in Fall 2003 by students and volunteers and launched with new information architecture in March 2005.
The Plain Language Action and Information Network (PLAIN)
Originally called the Plain English Network, PLAIN has been meeting informally since the mid 1990s. Our goal is to promote the use of plain language for all government communications. We believe that using plain language will save federal agencies time and money and provide better service to the American public.
We meet monthly to discuss plain language issues. To promote plain language, we
- offer limited editing services to all federal agencies
- sponsor occasional seminars about plain language
- comment on agency documents, especially regulations
- offer a short half day introduction to plain language free of charge to any federal agency
About Our Site
The redesign was begun in 2004 with volunteers from PLAIN and student work facilitated by Thom Haller, writing and information architecture instructor. Read Thom Haller's article about this process.
Students gathered information on audiences, evaluated content based on what we learned audiences would want to do, categorized and grouped content, tested structure and usability of the site, and built the site to respond to user needs. This process, and documents related to site development, can be found at the instructor’s site. www.infodn.com/structure/gecko.html.external link
The Plain Language Action and Information Network continues to monitor and improve the site. Feel free to provide feedback on the site.