Full marks to the Competition and Markets Authority for a great new initiative to help businesses understand the Consumer Rights Act 2015. They found through a survey that fewer than half of businesses understood their obligations, so now they’ve produced some clear guides about the key issues, including videos which you can view on YouTube.
It’s great to see the Design of Understanding conference is back. Organised by Max Gadney of the design agency After the Flood, these days were hugely inspiring when he ran them at the St Bride Institute in London each January. This one is on health design, on 29 November 2016 at the Google Campus in London. And it’s free of charge. You can book on Eventbrite.
Last year the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) scrapped the paper tax discs we used to display in our car windscreens. Now these have been scrapped, on the grounds that enforcers can look up online to see if a car is taxed.
But according to the Financial Times (see picture) the lack of a physical presence is having a serious impact on compliance. Some of this may be because people think it’s easier to dodge the tax. But I’d be surprised if it wasn’t also because the lack of a physical reminder makes it easier to forget to renew. Although the DVLA sends out reminders when the payment is due, in past years I have found this to be unreliable. When I read the story I went online to check if my car was taxed. It would have been easier had I been able to just step outside and take a look.
The permanent physical presence of paper – glancable, archivable, markable – is easily forgotten in the rush to a digital future. If ‘glancable’ is not a real word, then it should be – it’s why we put sticky notes on the fridge or write to-do lists. These things give abstract ideas, like our future tasks and commitments, a concrete presence in the room with us.