Arkadi Kuhlmann Chairman, President and CEO of ING Direct USA“The busier life gets, the more value there is in simplicity as a point of competitive differentiation.”“It’s good for American society, not just good business sense. Simplicity and clarity make us more productive.”
Marissa MayerDirector of Consumer Web Productsat GoogleHow does she fend off those who wouldmuddy or clutter the home page?“We audition new features on the advanced search page first.”
Less is moreThen, it goes through a scoring system:+ They assign a “point” each time there is a change in type style, type size or color.+ They add up the points; the maximum allowed for a promotion is 3 points.+ The goal is the fewest possible number of points.+ Mayer says, “More points = less simplicity.”
Philips Electronics+ 30% of home-networking products are returned because people can’t get them to work.+ 48% of people have put off buying a digital camera because they see them as too complicated.+ Philips asked 1,650 consumers and 180 corporate customers in 8 countries, to identify big societal issues that the company should respond to. Complexity and fear of technology were the sore points.
Andrea Ragnetti, Corporate MarketingOfficer, Philips“Philips is touching the core of people through simplicity.”
It’s the blend ofart and science that Simplicity requires whichtouches people viscerally.
What does simple mean? + simple is clear. + simple is fresh. + simple is honest. + simple is useful. + simple is inspiring. + simple is smart.
The stranglehold of legaleseUsing the word “not” three times and “included” twicein one sentence creates a brain twister.
Working at cross-purposes“Right now, it’s like we’re trying to keep people out of college, not get them in… The whole thing is, ‘You want to go to college? Here are seven pages of bureaucracy, and here’s what you’re going to have to do to get it.’ As opposed to, ‘Here’s a simple way to do it, and here’s what we’re going to do for you, so you can get it.’ It’s the whole psychology.” –Margaret Spellings U.S. Education Secretary
Don’t take our word for itThis isn’t just our opinion
Perplexity reignsInternet survey developed by Siegel+Gale + 17 commonly-used documents rated on clarity and ease of understanding + Random sample of U.S. consumers + 1709 respondents completed the survey + Response rate of 14%
Most perplexing informationsources in American’s daily livesType of document % of respondents Sample comment: Insurance 18% “Letters from my health insurance company explaining what’s covered and what isn’t.” Financial 12% “Stock market information, mutual funds, money market lingo, etc.” Legal 11% “Anything in legalese (contracts, lease, loan, etc.).” Instruction 11% “Instructions for assembling things like grills or cabinets are difficult.” manuals Computer 9% “Computer user guides.”Source: “Perplexity Poll”, Siegel+Gale, June 2004, 1709 respondents
A better wayHundreds of our clients have found a better way tocommunicate: + Streamlined processes + Customized, relevant content + Plain English disclosure + More powerful use of online capabilities + More cost-effective production
Results of the contracts’simplification+ Reduced and eliminated unnecessary paperwork: + Documents reduced from 12 to 1 + Words from 19,000 to 9,500+ Shorter sales cycle, resulting from reduced legal review times+ 10 point increase in customer satisfaction
Educational ValueDoes the document help clients to understand their accounts or the topic in general?
After preferred the newCustomersstatements, particularly liking the new terminology combineThe new format would motivate customers toaccounts into one mailing didn’t miss a separateCustomersreconciliation worksheet full year of statementCustomers want ahistory online
Cost benefit of statement redesign Annual Savings More combined statements $3,397,403 Fewer pages per statement $1,505,891 Total Annual Savings $4,903,294 One-time expenditure of $ 806,474
The benefits of Simplicity+ Advance and protect an organization’s image + Improved public perception and reputation + Differentiated offerings + Increased consideration, favorability, and likelihood to recommend+ Improve customer experience and make it consistent + Better prepared employees + Increased customer satisfaction and retention+ Make operations more efficient + Reduced customer service call volume/costs + Reduced printing, postage, and mailing costs + More efficient communications development process