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About David Sless

David was awarded an MSc by Durham University for his research in communication and information design. In 1976 he became the Foundation Chairman of Standards Australiaʼs Committee on Signs and Symbols, and in 1985 was invited by Industry and Government to set up the not-for-profit Communication Research Institute. He was Foundation Director of the Advanced Studies Program at the International Institute of Information Design, Adjunct Professor in Science Communication at the Australian National University, Adjunct Professor of Information Design at the University of Technology in Sydney, and Visiting Professor of Information Design at the Design Institute at Coventry University. He is a frequently invited speaker at international conferences in NorthAmerica, Europe and Asia, and has authored over 200 publications.

Guidelines: Intranet writing guide

So many writing conventions—newsletters, procedures, instructions…—and so many guidelines for each. But in this intranet writing guide we integrate many conventions. We also draw on all information design stages, from […]

Performance requirements: SoA


A Statement of Advice (SoA) is the legal name for a document an Australian licensed financial adviser must give people when they offer their customers advice.

See our commentary on […]

Welcome plain language!

We welcome plain language’s recently proposed changes.Clarity 79 2018 Many of you will know that I have been a long-standing persistent (and sometimes irritating) critic of routine […]

Bad practice medicine information

As part of its recent changes to medicine labelling regulation, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the Australian Medicines Regulator, changed the requirements for over the counter (OTC) medications. These are […]

Information superhighway

editor’s note
In 1994 in Australia, when this paper was first published, there was much hype in the media about the ‘information superhighway’. Shortly afterwards, half the country was wired […]

Forms of Control

Forms are instruments of control used by organisations to control people. This important paper lifts the lid on the politics of forms in large organisations and the many conflicts and […]

Best practice it is!

Yes, best practice it is! Reluctantly and regrettably I have relented. I don’t like the term best practice, for reasons I explained in an earlier blog on the subject […]

Google – The Paradigm Police

On 1 April 2020, the International Commission on Naughtiness (ICON) took Google Inc. to the World Trade Court on a potential breach of the Usability Services Exchange Regulations (USER). This is deeply ironic.

Plain Language Lies

Plain Language lies, like other lies, are a routine part of life. Today bankers and financial advisers have discovered that people are easily seduced into believing they can understand plain language even when they don’t.

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