Evaluating Applications for an Informal Approach to Information Design: Readers Respond to Three Articles About Nursing

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Although books in the For Dummies series and other similar series have found commercial success, the approach to information design they use has not received much attention in technical communication journals. This article reports on readers' responses to information presented in the magazine Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! and two other nursing journals. Three groups of readers (two groups of nursing students and one group of nursing faculty members) responded to three articles they read by completing questionnaires and participating in focus groups. Nursing Made Incredibly Easy! was regarded as easy to read and as a good starting point for less-experienced readers, but its tone and style elicited some strong objections as well. The article provides observations and recommendations about using an informal approach to information design.