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The 2017 Summer School: what people said

3 October, 2017 at 10:26 pm, by

Every year we ask people to give us feedback via an anonymous survey, and at the end we ask if they’d like to write a message for us to use in publicising the next course. This is what they said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed the 5 days at the information design summer school. The quality of instruction, variety of topics covered, and the professors’ depth of experience was beyond expectation.”

“An intensive and amazingly inspiring course! A great starting point to exploring the world of information design.”

“[The best thing about the course was] the friendliness of the whole group. Rob and co really cared about developing us all as information designers. Such support and encouragement I cannot remember ever coming across in other training or education experiences.”

“Enjoy the possibility of sharing your projects during one week with renowned information designers Robert Waller, Karel van der Waarde, Clive Richards and plain language expert Jenny Waller.”

“We live in a cluttered world where meaning is difficult to find. Information Design is the skill which helps writers and designers extract meaning from chaotic instructions, lengthy descriptive text, contractual documents or opaque statistics. Information Design brings simplicity, clarity and understanding to our daily existence.”

“The summer school in Bath was really inspiring. I had the opportunity to meet interesting people, really good tutors and also attendees from very diverse fields. Sharing experience and find common problems encouraged rich conversations, full of hints and suggestions both practical and theoretical. It’s highly recommended for anyone who deals with information.”

“The summer school was an amazing experience. It was fun and inspiring, and the mix of students coming from different countries and backgrounds made it really special.”

“An excellent group of teachers! World renowned experts summarising their experiences and learnings to help us advance in our line of work.”

2017 summer school

10 September, 2017 at 4:10 pm, by

Here we are at the latest summer school. We had a great time, with learning in both directions – participants shared their own expertise, which included DITA, behavioural insight, health communications, emergency communications, and comic strips. 

Still no response to the consultation on small print

6 July, 2017 at 9:07 am, by

It’s over a year since we submitted a response to the consultation on consumer Terms and Conditions (T & Cs). See the blog post below:

I recently prodded the (renamed) Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and they have replied saying: ‘The Government is committed to making T & Cs more transparent and accessible for consumers. We are still considering the responses and the Government will in due course publish its response to the consultation.’

We’ll continue to keep out eye on this, and we will be running some more Simple Action days soon to work on innovative formats for T & Cs. 

Simple Action 4: the small print

ASA condemn speeded up legal terms in radio ads

29 June, 2017 at 8:26 am, by

If you ever wondered what the point is of the garbled ‘small print’ at the end of radio ads, it’s now official – there is no point to it at all. At least, that is one interpretation of a recent ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in response to a complaint against the broadband provider Plusnet. 

Referring to the content of the spoken small print, the ASA said:

“We considered those conditions were material information that consumers required in order to make an informed decision, and therefore must be presented to listeners in a clear and intelligible manner. We noted that the terms and conditions that followed the statement “Plusnet, we’ll do you proud” in both ads (a) and (b) were spoken at a much faster pace compared to the rest of the ad. We considered that the words were difficult to make out and that they had been delivered too quickly to be understood by listeners. Because those conditions had not been presented in a clear and intelligible manner, we concluded that the ad was misleading.”

So if the information is not relevant to the consumer decision, it is pointless to say it at all. And if it is relevant, it is pointless to speed it up because your ad will be banned.

Plusnet have had to withdraw the ads. Interestingly, the ASA ruling was in response to just one complaint. So it’s worth having a go at other advertisers. 

Summer school now fully booked

23 June, 2017 at 4:52 pm, by

This year the summer school booking was slow to get going, but now we’re fully booked, with the usual interesting mix of people with different interests and backgrounds. We’re really looking forward to it, as always – get in touch if you’d like to ask about 2018… it will almost certainly be in the same place and time (3-7 September 2018).