Sprechen Sie Belgian?

Since the same language can be spoken in several countries and conversely several languages spoken in the same country, I have never understood why Web designers would choose to use country flags as a way to represent languages visually.

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A holistically unclear service proposition

A recent seminar announcement about “Service Design” reminded me of why consultant babble does not rhyme with effective communication: because of vagueness, neologisms, and hype. But perhaps I should give it a try in my own marketing? ;–)

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Zero tolerance for bad presentations

One reason why we still see so many appalling presentations is that too many audience members put up with them. Fortunately, there is hope: newspeople are starting to complain openly about business presentations they consider torture.

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In the beginning was the verb

Are the titles of your slides phrased as a sentence? If not, they are most likely not getting the message across. The power of an assertion is in its verb.

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Making sure You won’t read any of it

The Programme rental terms & conditions for the Hertz #1 Club Gold are doing everything possible to make me not want to read them: 72 pages of typical legal copy in one of the worst page layout I have seen lately.

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From Latvia with love

While in Riga to run two workshops at the University of Latvia, I recognized three typical issues about pictorial signs, which are certainly worth a reminder.

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Women only?

Interestingly, the criticized use of the word man to designate a human of either sex as opposed to, specifically, a male one has got a direct, language-independent graphical equivalent, as illustrated by signs at the new Terminal 1 of Barcelona airport.

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Suppress, suppress, suppress

The delightful YouTube video of Microsoft redesigning the iPod package exemplifies the widespread phobia of emptiness—on the part of the communicators, not of the audience.

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Audience first, for crying out loud

“Greetings from Apple! Before I start finding a solution to your problem, I want to…” What?! You want to do something else before taking care of my problem? What kind of a helpdesk are you?

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Quit your browser, then click this link

After several decades of user-friendly software development, I would have thought that software companies would have mastered the simple art of writing clear instructions. Not Microsoft, though—at least not when they explain how to download and install the
“Open XML File Format Converter for Mac 1.0”.

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