Document Design – Why a specialist?

There is a need for specialist document design

Documents and forms requiring input should be as simple as possible and easy to complete. They should have balance. The information should flow easily and simply. The document should be easy to read and interpret, follow a logical sequence and it must look good.

Look at any document which you are often asked to complete and see how badly designed it is. It is probably confusing and difficult to complete. An access control book at a security entrance, an admission form in a hospital, an application for a credit card, a research questionnaire, an attendance register at a meeting, an accident report and any form which requires your input, is often poorly designed which makes it difficult to complete. You will find spaces too small for the information needed, disjointed layout, confusing questions and a lack of flow.

Often fields or spaces (lines and columns) are made the same size in order to appear uniform or to look ‘pretty’. The result is that a space requiring a 20 to 30 character input is the same size as a space which requires only a 2 digit input. Input and information required can often be provided in different formats and the form isn’t clear as to what you should write.

The date is a good example. Is it 11th July 1984 or 11 Jul 84 or 11/7/84 or 11/07/1984 or 84/7/11 or 1984/07/11 or July 11, 1984. If the day is 12 or less then the day and month can be confused. For example 11/7/1984 is interpreted as November 7th, in some countries.

Everyone has their own style or preference. Entry in a document, however, must leave no room for doubt or confusion. In an insurance form a claim might be repudiated for a supposedly ‘wrong’ date. In matters of medicine and emergency care, a life might depend on the correct information being correctly interpreted, quickly.

A good document needs to be carefully researched and designed. A great document needs to be designed by an experienced professional. I can do that for you.

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