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Josiah Fisk - What Were They Expecting?

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Presented by Josiah Fisk on March 12, 2015 at the fifth Center for Health Literacy Conference: Plain Talk in Complex Times.

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Josiah Fisk - What Were They Expecting?

  1. 1. Plain Talk in Complex Times 12 March 2015 Josiah Fisk President, More Carrot LLC What Were They Expecting? How User Expectations Affect the Success or Failure of Communications
  2. 2. Topics I Will Not Be Covering
  3. 3. Why am I not covering these topics?
  4. 4. • Because I thought you’d find all of them boring? Why am I not covering these topics?
  5. 5. • Because I thought you’d find all of them boring? • Because I don’t have anything to say about them? Why am I not covering these topics?
  6. 6. • Because I thought you’d find all of them boring? • Because I don’t have anything to say about them? • Because you aren’t expecting me to. Why am I not covering these topics?
  7. 7. • Because I thought you’d find all of them boring? • Because I don’t have anything to say about them? • Because you aren’t expecting me to. - we are here for a purpose Why am I not covering these topics?
  8. 8. • Because I thought you’d find all of them boring? • Because I don’t have anything to say about them? • Because you aren’t expecting me to. - we are here for a purpose - that purpose creates certain expectations Why am I not covering these topics?
  9. 9. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  10. 10. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  11. 11. You are okay with this. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  12. 12. You are not okay with this.
  13. 13. Don’t worry, I will spare you this.
  14. 14. EXPLORING EXPECTATIONS Expectations are often more powerful than desires.
  15. 15. What Do People Expect From A Communication?
  16. 16. (The short answer: it depends on the communication.)
  17. 17. 19C British novel
  18. 18. 19C British novel • Sweeping themes.
  19. 19. 19C British novel • Sweeping themes. • Compelling plots and characters.
  20. 20. 19C British novel • Sweeping themes. • Compelling plots and characters. • Elaborate language, manners, and dress.
  21. 21. 19C British novel • Sweeping themes. • Compelling plots and characters. • Elaborate language, manners, and dress. • To be transported to another world.
  22. 22. 20C British television comedy
  23. 23. 20C British television comedy • British accents.
  24. 24. 20C British television comedy • British accents. • Funny costumes and voices.
  25. 25. 20C British television comedy • British accents. • Funny costumes and voices. • Humor that is both intellectual and silly.
  26. 26. 20C British television comedy • British accents. • Funny costumes and voices. • Humor that is both intellectual and silly. • To sit back, relax, and laugh.
  27. 27. In a word: happiness
  28. 28. • Reader/viewer/listener is engaged by choice. In a word: happiness
  29. 29. • Reader/viewer/listener is engaged by choice. • Is open to the message. In a word: happiness
  30. 30. • Reader/viewer/listener is engaged by choice. • Is open to the message. • Expects a positive experience. In a word: happiness
  31. 31. • Reader/viewer/listener is engaged by choice. • Is open to the message. • Expects a positive experience. • Looks for confirmation of that expectation. In a word: happiness
  32. 32. 21C British Easy Read health brochure Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  33. 33. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Feelings of fear and anxiety.Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  34. 34. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Feelings of fear and anxiety. • Prospect of discomfort or pain in near future. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  35. 35. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Feelings of fear and anxiety. • Prospect of discomfort or pain in near future. • Possible need for ongoing treatment. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  36. 36. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Feelings of fear and anxiety. • Prospect of discomfort or pain in near future. • Possible need for ongoing treatment. • Feeling they are in over their heads. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  37. 37. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Feelings of fear and anxiety. • Prospect of discomfort or pain in near future. • Possible need for ongoing treatment. • Feeling they are in over their heads. • Confusing information. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  38. 38. 21C British Easy Read health brochure What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide
  39. 39. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Fear and anxiety, but also boredom. What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide
  40. 40. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Fear and anxiety, but also boredom. • Lecture on lifestyle and habits. What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide
  41. 41. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Fear and anxiety, but also boredom. • Lecture on lifestyle and habits. • Something they can ignore or skimp on. What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide
  42. 42. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Fear and anxiety, but also boredom. • Lecture on lifestyle and habits. • Something they can ignore or skimp on. • Tone at odds with their feelings. What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide
  43. 43. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Fear and anxiety, but also boredom. • Lecture on lifestyle and habits. • Something they can ignore or skimp on. • Tone at odds with their feelings. • Confusing information. What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide
  44. 44. In a word: unhappiness
  45. 45. • Reader/viewer/listener is not engaged by choice. In a word: unhappiness
  46. 46. • Reader/viewer/listener is not engaged by choice. • Is apprehensive about the message. In a word: unhappiness
  47. 47. • Reader/viewer/listener is not engaged by choice. • Is apprehensive about the message. • Expects a negative experience. In a word: unhappiness
  48. 48. • Reader/viewer/listener is not engaged by choice. • Is apprehensive about the message. • Expects a negative experience. • Looks for confirmation of that expectation. In a word: unhappiness
  49. 49. 21C British Easy Read health brochure • Feelings of fear and anxiety. • Prospect of discomfort or pain in near future. • Possible need for ongoing treatment. • Feeling they are in over their heads. • Confusing information. Easy read E01 Upper GI Endoscopy Checking for problems in your stomach Copyright © 2014 EIDO Healthcare Ltd Expiry date December 2014
  50. 50. 21C British Easy Read health brochure About the brochure About the situation • Feelings of fear and anxiety. • Prospect of discomfort or pain in near future. • Possible need for ongoing treatment. • Feeling they are in over their heads. • Confusing information.
  51. 51. 21C British Easy Read health brochure But as the creator of the brochure, you have to deal with all of it. About the brochure About the situation
  52. 52. Irony bonus points
  53. 53. • Much of what is positive in the positive experience is negative in the negative experience. Irony bonus points
  54. 54. • Much of what is positive in the positive experience is negative in the negative experience. - stimulation of emotions Irony bonus points
  55. 55. • Much of what is positive in the positive experience is negative in the negative experience. - stimulation of emotions - removal from ordinary experience Irony bonus points
  56. 56. • Much of what is positive in the positive experience is negative in the negative experience. - stimulation of emotions - removal from ordinary experience - “entertainment factor” Irony bonus points
  57. 57. • Much of what is positive in the positive experience is negative in the negative experience. - stimulation of emotions - removal from ordinary experience - “entertainment factor” - reinforcement of expectations Irony bonus points
  58. 58. EXPLORING EXPECTATIONS Expectations are the environment your message lands in.
  59. 59. The Paradoxical Primacy Of Negative Expectations
  60. 60. Going to a movie
  61. 61. Going to a movie Baseline of expectations
  62. 62. Better Going to a movie
  63. 63. Way Better Better Going to a movie
  64. 64. OMG Way Better Better Going to a movie
  65. 65. OMG Way Better Better Going to a movie
  66. 66. OMG Way Better Better Worse Much Worse WTF Going to a movie
  67. 67. OMG Way Better Better Worse Much Worse WTF Going to a movie
  68. 68. Worse Much Worse WTF OMG Way Better Better Going to a movie
  69. 69. Worse Much Worse WTF OMG Way Better Better Going to a movie Actually up and leave
  70. 70. Reading health literature
  71. 71. OMG Way Better Better Worse Much Worse WTF Reading health literature
  72. 72. Reading health literature Better Worse
  73. 73. Reading health literature Better Worse
  74. 74. Reading health literature Better Worse
  75. 75. Reading health literature Better Worse Partial or full disengagement
  76. 76. Disengagement
  77. 77. • Full: stop reading Disengagement
  78. 78. • Full: stop reading • Partial (“resistant reading”): Disengagement
  79. 79. • Full: stop reading • Partial (“resistant reading”): - skimming, scanning Disengagement
  80. 80. • Full: stop reading • Partial (“resistant reading”): - skimming, scanning - reading inattentively Disengagement
  81. 81. • Full: stop reading • Partial (“resistant reading”): - skimming, scanning - reading inattentively - reading skeptically or resentfully Disengagement
  82. 82. • Full: stop reading • Partial (“resistant reading”): - skimming, scanning - reading inattentively - reading skeptically or resentfully - looking for justification to advance to full disengagement Disengagement
  83. 83. Reading health literature What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide Still reading, still hope
  84. 84. Reading health literature What to do when you have Type 2 diabetes An easy read guide Reading stops, game over
  85. 85. EXPLORING EXPECTATIONS Meeting negative expectations is often worse than exceeding positive ones.
  86. 86. Our Expectations About Our Expectations
  87. 87. Expectation we have
  88. 88. Expectation we have
  89. 89. Expectation we know we should have
  90. 90. “The thing I expected didn’t happen, and I didn’t expect it would.”
  91. 91. “The thing I expected didn’t happen, and I didn’t expect it would.” — Charles Ives, American composer (1874-1954)
  92. 92. High school musical: expected
  93. 93. Club show: laugh with friends
  94. 94. Arena show: “hey, did you hear about”
  95. 95. Super Bowl: instant global meme
  96. 96. High school musical Worse Much Worse WTF OMG Way Better Better
  97. 97. High school musical Worse Much Worse WTF OMG Way Better Better Meme-worthy
  98. 98. Club show OMG Way Better Better Worse Much Worse WTF
  99. 99. Club show Meme-worthy OMG Way Better Better Worse Much Worse WTF
  100. 100. Super Bowl halftime show OMG Way Better Better Worse Much Worse WTF
  101. 101. Super Bowl halftime show OMG Way Better Better Worse Much Worse WTF Meme-worthy
  102. 102. EXPLORING EXPECTATIONS The stronger the expectation, the smaller the leeway.
  103. 103. The Expectations You Create (Knowingly Or Not) SMALL EXAMPLE
  104. 104. Financial disclosure form
  105. 105. What expectation has been created?
  106. 106. Visual cues tell us how to read a form. Label (stacked)
  107. 107. Visual cues tell us how to read a form. Label (stacked) Data
  108. 108. Visual cues tell us how to read a form. Label (stacked) Data Label (stacked)
  109. 109. Visual cues tell us how to read a form. Label (stacked) Data Label (stacked) Data
  110. 110. Effective information design.
  111. 111. Effective information design. (Not the actual design, however.)
  112. 112. Actual design.
  113. 113. Actual design.
  114. 114. Why is this a big deal?
  115. 115. • Authors created expectations. Why is this a big deal?
  116. 116. • Authors created expectations. • Authors failed to notice or meet their own expectations. Why is this a big deal?
  117. 117. • Authors created expectations. • Authors failed to notice or meet their own expectations. • If you’re not aware of your own expectations, how well are you going to do with mine? Why is this a big deal?
  118. 118. The Expectations You Create (Knowingly Or Not) BIG EXAMPLE
  119. 119. Subscriber mailing from insurance provider
  120. 120. Professional design Subscriber mailing from insurance provider
  121. 121. Full-color printing Professional design Subscriber mailing from insurance provider
  122. 122. Photos of happy people
  123. 123. Mock-handwriting font Photos of happy people
  124. 124. Marketing-type language
  125. 125. Call to action Marketing-type language
  126. 126. What kind of communication is this?
  127. 127. • Marketing, obviously. What kind of communication is this?
  128. 128. Which creates what expectations?
  129. 129. • I can say yes or no to the product/service. Which creates what expectations?
  130. 130. • I can say yes or no to the product/service. • I can ignore the entire communication. Which creates what expectations?
  131. 131. • I can say yes or no to the product/service. • I can ignore the entire communication. • If I take no action, nothing will change. Which creates what expectations?
  132. 132. Additional piece in envelope
  133. 133. Least attractive piece in mailing (Most likely to be read last)
  134. 134. Least attractive piece in mailing (Most likely to be read last) ?
  135. 135. “there are two required ways to fill your maintenance medications . . . the Express Scripts Pharmacy or . . . any Express Scripts participating retail pharmacy.”
  136. 136. In other words . . .
  137. 137. • This isn’t a marketing piece, it’s a notice of a change. In other words . . .
  138. 138. • This isn’t a marketing piece, it’s a notice of a change. • You’re getting Express Scripts, like it or not. In other words . . .
  139. 139. • This isn’t a marketing piece, it’s a notice of a change. • You’re getting Express Scripts, like it or not. • We led you to expect you had a choice (= a degree of power) when in fact you don’t. In other words . . .
  140. 140. EXPLORING EXPECTATIONS Unintentionally created expectations: why many communications failures are self-inflicted wounds.
  141. 141. Making Expectations Work For You (Instead Of Against You)
  142. 142. 1. Assess the expectations environment you’re working in.
  143. 143. • Look beyond literal needs and moods, toward what people are actually looking for. 1. Assess the expectations environment you’re working in.
  144. 144. • Look beyond literal needs and moods, toward what people are actually looking for. - Example: response to anxiety could be verbal reassurance, better clarity, or someone to talk to. 1. Assess the expectations environment you’re working in.
  145. 145. • Look beyond literal needs and moods, toward what people are actually looking for. - Example: response to anxiety could be verbal reassurance, better clarity, or someone to talk to. • Good news: the main expectations issues are often not subtle, once you start looking for them. 1. Assess the expectations environment you’re working in.
  146. 146. • Look beyond literal needs and moods, toward what people are actually looking for. - Example: response to anxiety could be verbal reassurance, better clarity, or someone to talk to. • Good news: the main expectations issues are often not subtle, once you start looking for them. • More good news: low expectations, low bar. 1. Assess the expectations environment you’re working in.
  147. 147. 2. Develop a range of strategies for dealing with negative expectations.
  148. 148. 2. Develop a range of strategies for dealing with negative expectations. • For those that are about the communications experi- ence, do everything you can to avoid meeting them.
  149. 149. 2. Develop a range of strategies for dealing with negative expectations. • For those that are about the communications experi- ence, do everything you can to avoid meeting them. • For negative expectations about content: address as directly as you can.
  150. 150. 2. Develop a range of strategies for dealing with negative expectations. • For those that are about the communications experi- ence, do everything you can to avoid meeting them. • For negative expectations about content: address as directly as you can. • Don’t overdo it: actively countering a negative expectation can backfire.
  151. 151. 3. Use marketing tools, but in non-marketing ways.
  152. 152. 3. Use marketing tools, but in non-marketing ways. • Tell, don’t sell. Make the content the focus. Your work should be invisible.
  153. 153. 3. Use marketing tools, but in non-marketing ways. • Tell, don’t sell. Make the content the focus. Your work should be invisible. • Don’t decorate. Use the visual components to do communications work.
  154. 154. 3. Use marketing tools, but in non-marketing ways. • Tell, don’t sell. Make the content the focus. Your work should be invisible. • Don’t decorate. Use the visual components to do communications work. • Talk about your staff/programs/institution — as such — as little as possible.
  155. 155. 3. Use marketing tools, but in non-marketing ways. • Tell, don’t sell. Make the content the focus. Your work should be invisible. • Don’t decorate. Use the visual components to do communications work. • Talk about your staff/programs/institution — as such — as little as possible. • Brevity, brevity, brevity.
  156. 156. 3. Use marketing tools, but in non-marketing ways. • Tell, don’t sell. Make the content the focus. Your work should be invisible. • Don’t decorate. Use the visual components to do communications work. • Talk about your staff/programs/institution — as such — as little as possible. • Brevity, brevity, brevity.
  157. 157. 4. Be the reader’s advocate and guide.
  158. 158. 4. Be the reader’s advocate and guide. • Don’t talk down, up, or around. Be caring but direct.
  159. 159. 4. Be the reader’s advocate and guide. • Don’t talk down, up, or around. Be caring but direct. • Don’t talk empathy, practice empathy. Show that you care by helping.
  160. 160. 4. Be the reader’s advocate and guide. • Don’t talk down, up, or around. Be caring but direct. • Don’t talk empathy, practice empathy. Show that you care by helping. • Don’t oversmile — or undersmile. Both of these put distance between you and the reader.
  161. 161. 4. Be the reader’s advocate and guide. • Don’t talk down, up, or around. Be caring but direct. • Don’t talk empathy, practice empathy. Show that you care by helping. • Don’t oversmile — or undersmile. Both of these put distance between you and the reader. • Write as if you were advising a friend.
  162. 162. Thank you!
  163. 163. less stick www.morecarrot.com

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