Re: Here's why formatting and layout can really matter:

Subject: Re: Here's why formatting and layout can really matter:
From: Damien Braniff <dbraniff -at- iss-dsp -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 10 Nov 2000 08:05:10 +0000

> I've been following this interest from the design point of view (no other
> interest not being from the US!) and some comments I heard on the news hear
> implied that the design was meant to be easier to understand (?) but, in
> addition, one of the main benefits of the design was the space it took up -
> surely these are two conflicting statements? While compact design CAN be
> easily understood, generally speaking, the more cluttered something is the
> more difficult it is to understand. I remember some work done a few years ago
> by the CRIA (Communication Research Institute for Australia) when they
> re-designed a form (tax I think!). Form size increased by something like 60%
> but the completion and processing time dropped significantly.

Someone suggested a standard return (would each state agree to be like all the
others?!) and this may be the way to go - 5 years to design one and do proper
usability tests.

As an aside, the point was raised as to why this problem with forms hasn't
arisen before. Perhaps it has but has never been flagged - if you didn't
understand a voting form and got it wrong and the candidate won/lost by a large
margin then it may well not have been flagged; it's only when it's a close call
like this that people may feel it's worth raising the issue.

Damien Braniff
Damien Braniff
Technical Author
Integrated Silicon Systems Ltd. Tel: +44 28 90 50 4000
50 Malone Road Fax: +44 28 90 50 4001
Belfast BT9 5BS Web:

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