Author Topic: How Plain English could have prevented the Miss Universe 2015 fiasco  (Read 4313 times)

Gerry T. Galacio

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Plain English isn't only about text; it includes visual design. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's Plain English Handbook at puts it this way::

"A plain English document reflects thoughtful design choices. The right design choices make a document easier to read and its information easier to understand. The wrong design choices can make even a well-written document fail to communicate.

"Some documents suffer because no one knew how basic design decisions, like typeface selection, dramatically determine whether or not a document is easy to read. Other documents suffer because expensive design features give them artistic appeal, but at the cost of obscuring the text. In a plain English document, design serves the goal of communicating the information as clearly as possible."

The following articles contend that a badly-designed card led to Steve Harvey mistakenly crowning Miss Colombia, instead of Miss Philippines, as Miss Universe 2015:

"Don’t Blame Steve Harvey: Bad Design Caused the Miss Universe Fiasco" at (article discusses banner blindness, positioning of elements)

"Look at Steve Harvey’s Card – He Was Set up to Fail" at (the author provides two alternative designs that emphasize increasing the font size)

"Steve Harvey Didn’t Ruin Miss Universe, Bad Design Did" at (the author provides a redesigned form that's both functional and artsy)

"We asked design experts if Steve Harvey's Miss Universe flub can be blamed on the ballot card" at (one expert blames flush right positioning of the winner's name as the culprit and compares the card to the 2000 butterfly ballot)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2016, 10:23:15 PM by jciadmin »