In academia, we’re notorious for using older, “fancy”, ten-dollar words, when plain language would be clearer and more effective.
As part of your content strategy efforts, you might ask your audience what they would call a piece of content. This helps you make sure that the words you use are relatable and understandable.
For example: When students are talking about the money that they receive at the beginning of the semester, they might call it “my scholarships”, “my financial aid”, or “The Big Check”. One word they don’t use is “disbursement”, even though that is the official term that the University uses.
If you are interested in a terminology review, please fill out the Usability Services Request Form. Then, start thinking of terms you use on your website that you suspect may be confusing for your audience. When we work together, we will focus on 10 or so of those terms, and make sure they are meaningful to your users.