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Standard letters


Large information-intensive organisations, such as insurance companies, banks, utilities and government agencies, conduct a great deal of routine correspondence with individual citizens, customers, or clients using standard letters […]

Designing forms in large organisations

Form design in large organisations involves crafts at the micro level of document design, the customer experience level, and the management and politics level in an organisation. This seminal 1994 paper traverses all these levels. Below is a lightly edited version of the published paper. It also incorporates some content not available in the print version.

I am a tax collector: taxation compliance costs

Meet the Elephant in the room of the current taxation debate: taxation compliance costs Taxation compliance costs—what you and I as individual taxpayers and businesses pay to comply with our obligations as taxpayers. This cost is a constant drain on the economy and massively reduces productivity. It's sometimes called 'red tape'. Yet despite successive governments' attempts to reduce red tape, they have failed to do anything but increase taxation compliance costs.

Forms instead of standard letters,

Forms are a special highly constrained type of conversation. When people complete a paper form they bring their intelligence and previous experience to the task. People are smart. They use a great many physical and social clues to guide them; they use the size of the form, its structure, sections and pages to navigate their way through the form, they correct their mistakes, leave their desk to find a document, read an instruction book on what to do, talk to someone, ignore things that do not interest them, and get a new copy of the form and start again. Most public servants are unaware of this smart form filling behaviour and don't see the need to compensate for its absence in digital forms.

Why call it the big shift #2

My last blog described how CRI and other communication and information designers have realised that we cannot predict in advance how people will interact with the information we […]

Tax and complexity

The old saying goes: nothing is more certain than death and taxes. In the contemporary Australian debate about taxation we can add that nothing is more certain than tax and […]

Communicating climate change

In some societies, if you want to make something difficult happen, a witchdoctor performs a ceremony. Take rainmaking. The rainmaker makes complicated preparations, chants special words and […]

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