Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Design System

User-Centered Content

Start with user needs

  • Write in a way that suits the situation. Ask yourself: Who is going to read this? What do they need to know? How might they be feeling?
  • Help people find the information they need quickly and easily. Guide them through the process.

Do the hard work to make it simple

  • Use plain language and simple sentences.
  • Choose clarity over cleverness.

Write for everyone

  • Respect the complexity of our users’ experiences.
  • Be willing to be surprised about who’s reading your work.
  • Make all content accessible for users with assistive devices.

Build trust

  • Talk like a person.
  • Tell the truth.
  • Use positive language and concrete examples.

Start small and iterate

  • Make sure your content works for users. Don’t be afraid to scrap what’s there and start over.
  • Write a draft, test it out, gather feedback, and keep refining.