Views

And Now, a Pickup Truck

And Now, a Pickup Truck

November 26, 2016

And Now, a Pickup Truck I remember reading “The One to One Future” in the 90s and feeling bemused, overwhelmed and even a little excited about the customized, personalized experiences that the not-so-distant future had in store for consumers. “It is information about individual consumers that will keep a marketer functioning in the 1:1 future. … Read More

Would That ’twere So Simple

Would That ’twere So Simple

October 14, 2016

The town of Trenton, Maine, where we spend time in the summer, has no municipal trash pickup. Homeowners are responsible for taking their garbage to the dump or having it collected. Vinal Tainter operates The Trash Truck and is our go-to provider in this arena. Apart from the fact that the company, seriously, picks up … Read More

Building a Community of Trenitalia Riders

Building a Community of Trenitalia Riders

August 5, 2016

A trip to Italy this summer saw us traveling the length and breadth of the peninsula via Trenitalia, the country’s primary train operator. I’m pleased to report that the trains DO run on time (with the notable exception of that local from Bologna to Ravenna that just never showed up). We bought tickets online from … Read More

Hey Hey Hey, Why is it Always This Way?

Hey Hey Hey, Why is it Always This Way?

April 11, 2016

Banking in the 21st century, as practiced by MBB (MyBigBank). Here are some of the highlights of our recent application for a Home Equity Line of Credit. The application process itself was not too onerous. The loan origination people were on it, and we didn’t have to do all that much re-supplying of information they already … Read More

Do The Dead Receive Mail?

Do The Dead Receive Mail?

December 13, 2015

Do the dead receive mail? The short answer is, of course they do. You know the kind of thing — in the case of my father, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 85, it’s mostly catalogs, copies of Smithsonian magazine and the occasional invitation to subscribe to American Handgunner. I mark it all “deceased” and … Read More

Strengthen Your Brand by Simplifying the Client Experience

Strengthen Your Brand by Simplifying the Client Experience

December 12, 2015

Attracted to Merrill Lynch by its promise of a positive wealth management experience, a new client was expecting quality when he opened his account. He also got quantity. In his first 90 days as a client, he received a small avalanche of mail, which he promptly hauled down to his broker’s office in protest. There … Read More

Designing from the Inside Out

Designing from the Inside Out

April 15, 2015

The year was 1930, and Henry Dreyfuss—later to become known as the founder of industrial design in America—had been asked by Bell Labs to join a multi-agency effort to design “the phone of the future.” As Dreyfuss described it in his seminal work Designing for People: “…I suggested that a telephone’s appearance should be developed … Read More

No Menus! Getting Results with Information Design and Plain Language

No Menus! Getting Results with Information Design and Plain Language

April 13, 2015

Of all the quality-of-life concerns faced by my former neighbors in brownstone Brooklyn, restaurant menus and promotions pushed through their mail slots seemed to get them the most incensed. A walk through the neighborhood showed how some are trying to stave off this existential threat. By looking at a few examples, we can learn just how … Read More

The Presidential Debate—A Plain Language Perspective

The Presidential Debate—A Plain Language Perspective

October 12, 2012

By Max Dietshe and Andy Austin, Simplifcation Strategists The chattering classes have been busy for the last week parsing the frst 2012 presidential debate. What should President Obama’s strategy be? Will Governor Romney use his strong showing to reinvigorate the party base? Will the president be more aggressive with Romney in the next two debates? … Read More

My New Year’s Wish: Customer-Friendly Insurance Billing

My New Year’s Wish: Customer-Friendly Insurance Billing

January 5, 2012

When my dad’s health declined late last year, I took over his financial and medical affairs. Since I analyze incomprehensible financial and medical communications for a living, I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised to find myself on the receiving end of a blizzard of complex financial, legal and medical paperwork. Since my dad had … Read More