Our Director’s Soap Box

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There are no wicked problems

Recently (mid 2020), we keep hearing the phrase “wicked problems” being used by politicians, those who lobby them, and their advisors. Someone is obviously doing the executive seminar […]

What is information design?

The multiple skills of information designers Managing this complex intangible process requires a range of techniques not usually found within the training of one individual. Good information design is most often the result of collaboration between a variety of individuals working in a team. The range of skills needed in such a team are interdisciplinary and come from five major areas: communicative arts, philosophy, systems analysis, ethnography, and negotiation.

Good intentions—not enough

When it comes to designing information for people, good intentions are not enough. If you get it wrong, people can die. Nothing so starkly demonstrates this as the thousands […]

Philosophy as design

Paper presented at the 3rd International Conference of the Design Education Association, Cardiff March 14 2002.

Work of this kind is by its nature […]

$60 Billion Government Form Bungle

The error by the government estimating jobkeeper numbers could have been avoided had the Government not used of a poorly designed form. This is the view of Professor David Sless, Director of the Communication Research Institute (CRI), an international not-for-profit based in Melbourne, and a leading expert in public document design: those forms, bills, notices and statements that we all reluctantly put up with.

Designing Philosophy 1

Paper presented at the Design Research Society conference ‘Common Ground’,  Brunel University September 2002.


I start from two assertions: philosophy is our highest form of practical reasoning; design is our highest […]

Scoping Problem Boundaries

Written in 2002, this brief paper was presented to a small group in the Australian Defence Department which was interested in systems thinking as a way of solving major social […]

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 […]

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 […]

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