3 things that make this Zika message hard to read

Many people are hearing more about the Zika virus via the media and looking for guidance as mosquito season approaches.

As with all public health risk messages Zika messaging should be clear and readable for everyone.

Yet, that’s not what I’m finding.  So I’m devoting some space to featuring the Zika messages I come across and pointing out the parts that present unnecessary barriers to readers.


Example 1  [Seen in NYC Subway 5/20/16] – #6 train downtown if you’re curious. 


Can you find 3 things that make this Zika message hard to read?

Zika poster-1 copy



And, here are 3 totally fixable things to make this message for understandable. 

more readable Zika poster copy



2 replies
  1. Massiel
    Massiel says:

    I spent some time analyzing this poster myself and do agree with the readability suggestions. Lower caps, the “do” instead of the “by” and the use of action verbs in the present form as opposed to their present progressive form (remove vs. removing), could definitely strengthen the message of this ad. In addition, the “Fight Back NYC” section could be improved by using solid blue colors instead of the faded pattern.

    I came across a new ad for Zika on the 2 train today and couldn’t help but compare it to the Fight Back NYC campaign poster. The new ad seems to be much easier to read for the general audience. The poster is yellow and purple in color and its call to action and steps to follow are summarized in clear steps. It also provides a link “health.ny.gov/zika” which directs you to the latest Zika information as opposed to the Fight Back NYC poster, that simply leads to the department of health’s website. This new Zika poster reads:

    Bug spray
    WIndows Screen
    No standing water.

    Simple Steps. Stop Mosquitoes .

    I haven’t find this actual poster on the DOH’s website yet but here’s a poster that seems to be part of the same series online: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/zika_virus/images/zika_banner_728x90.jpg.

    Glad to see some progress with the ads!

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