Design for Non-Designers: What Every Health Professional Needs to Know

Adam Moorman | Salon 1

Creative Director, CommunicateHealth, Inc.

Stacy Robison, MPH | Salon 1

President, CommunicateHealth, Inc.



We rely heavily on the written word for health communication—in printed health education materials and on the web. And while we may agonize (appropriately) over the content of our messages, how we display those messages has great influence over our audiences.

Whether you design your own print and web documents or work with a graphic design department, this workshop is for you! Don’t let small font, drab text or bad clip art compromise your health education products.

Over the course of the workshop, we will look at the many ways visual design affects perception, comprehension, human motivation and decision-making. We will explore the following questions:

  • How can we use visual design to support our health messages?
  • How do visual cues work, and how can we use them to our advantage?
  • How can we use typography to improve readability of health information?
  • How can visual design improve the health literacy of our priority populations?

During this interactive workshop, participants will review key health communication and document design principles and the research behind them. We will discuss specific strategies for designing effective health information including:

  • Font selection and style
  • White space and page layout
  • Image selection
  • Graphical display of data

We will explore how design and layout of health education materials can enhance or detract from your message. Participants will apply what they have learned to critique and improve existing health information products.


Learning objectives:

  • Describe three key visual design principles and their implications for clear health communication
  • Identify at least three specific strategies for designing effective health information for people with limited literacy skills



Building a common foundation