New Zealand

Lynda Harris

Lynda believes we can make the world a better place by using the power of words for good .

Lynda’s organization, Write, has strongly influenced corporate and government writing across New Zealand and beyond. Lynda has developed a number of research-based standards and models including the Write Plain Language Standard™, and the Rewrite for Change™ Model.  In 2015, her international peers awarded her the prestigious Christine Mowat Plain Language Achievement Award.

Lynda is the New Zealand representative for Clarity and a member of the International Plain Language Federation’s Standards Committee. In her spare time, she loves reading and traveling and takes a keen interest in science-based, biological medicine. 


Top Tips for Designing Everyday Documents

Presented by Lynda Harris, Chief Executive Write Limited, New Zealand

When it comes to effective document layout, little things can make a big difference! Emails, letters, reports, notices, PowerPoint shows, and almost any other document can look smarter and work better when you apply a few simple principles. In my short presentation I’ll introduce you to five fundamental principles of good layout that can transform your everyday documents from average to professional — and change the way your reader reacts to them. Four of these principles come from the inspirational Robin Williams, whose seminal work The non-designer’s design book has been our go-to reference for the past 15 or more years.


Join this presentation to understand:

  • how poor design can reduce readability

  • how to use contrast wisely

  • why alignment matters

  • how to help your reader relax with repetition

  • how proximity creates unity

  • how density impacts reader engagement.


Two useful resources

  • A printable ‘cheat sheet’ included in the video

  • A layout checklist available as a pdf on request