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Monthly Archives: October 2012

Friends Life simplify their business… apparently

Written on October 29, 2012 at 10:06 am, by

We’ll be making a point in this blog of reviewing documents or brands that make claims to be simple. Look for the ‘simple claims’ category. Next up is Friends Life, who sent my elderly father-in-law a booklet called ‘Simplifying Our Business’. Friends Life have several different limited companies managing their various financial products, because they  Continue Reading »

Visual simplicity – lessons from fine art

Written on October 24, 2012 at 11:57 am, by

I’ve recently seen an interesting video on visual representation from the folks over at – presented by Rikke Friis Dam and Alan Blackwell: In the video, Alan and Rikke look at several pieces of fine art collected by Jim Ede (first curator of Modern art at the Tate) I think it reveals a couple  Continue Reading »

Simple truths about small print

Written on October 5, 2012 at 9:48 am, by

I recently posted about the work of Ivan Horabin and Brian Lewis on flow charts to display complex rules and regulations. Their 1978 book Algorithms includes some sharp observations about our attitude to rules that have become so complex we can’t possibly understand them (the bold emphasis is mine). It is obvious that a person  Continue Reading »

Remembering algorithms

Written on October 2, 2012 at 12:23 pm, by

With the current interest in visualisation (of data, issues and processes), it’s worth reminding ourselves of the pioneering work done in the 1960s by Brian Lewis, Ivan Horabin and others, who developed flow chart versions of complex rules and regulations they called ‘algorithms’, or often ‘ordinary language algorithms’ to distinguish them from computer programmes. Two  Continue Reading »