About David Sless

David was awarded an MSc by Durham University for his research in communication and information design. In 1976 he became the Foundation Chairman of Standards Australiaʼs Committee on Signs and Symbols, and in 1985 was invited by Industry and Government to set up the not-for-profit Communication Research Institute. He was Foundation Director of the Advanced Studies Program at the International Institute of Information Design, Adjunct Professor in Science Communication at the Australian National University, Adjunct Professor of Information Design at the University of Technology in Sydney, and Visiting Professor of Information Design at the Design Institute at Coventry University. He is a frequently invited speaker at international conferences in NorthAmerica, Europe and Asia, and has authored over 200 publications.

Designing documents for people to use.

CRI has worked on over 200 public document design projects since it began as a small unit in 1985. CRI investigates practical methods and achievable standards for designing digital and paper public documents, including forms; workplace procedural notices; bills, letters, and emails sent by organizations; labels and instructions that accompany products and services; and legal and financial documents and contracts.

By |2019-03-14T12:31:24+10:00October 26th, 2018|

Medicine Label Usability

This Model CRI Project was undertaken to demonstrate how the application of information design methods could lead to better medicine label usability. Along with a later projects, it was instrumental in bringing about a change in the regulations for Over The Counter (OTC) Medicines.

By |2018-12-27T15:54:56+10:00October 20th, 2018|

Insurers profit, you gamble

Insurers profit while you gamble. What are the odds that your beneficiary will receive, say, a life insurance payout? Imagine if insurance was sold by bookies at a race [...]

By |2018-11-22T10:24:12+10:00October 15th, 2018|

Rethinking communication: the big shift #8

Rethinking communication is not easy stuff and I would not be offended or surprised if many readers of this blog stop at this point and come back when I have something more practical and less abstract to write about.

By |2018-12-27T16:04:01+10:00October 2nd, 2018|

Guidelines: monitoring performance

Monitoring the performance of your information documents is both the first and the last stage in designing effective information documents. Document design is cyclical: to improve your existing documents, you [...]

By |2019-05-16T13:37:43+10:00October 2nd, 2018|

Credibility lost: the banks

Banks have lost credibility Unlike the expulsion from paradise, lost credibility is not a one-way trip, but the journey back for banks is arduous, full of trials and habitual [...]

By |2018-12-30T12:47:32+10:00June 15th, 2018|

A statement of advice

Never ever trust Statements of Advice in their current incarnation. If you live in Australia, reports from the hearings by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry will have revealed some—but not all—of the reasons why today's SOA can't be trusted.

By |2018-11-22T10:24:13+10:00April 27th, 2018|

Usable medicine information

Generalised principles and processes for medicine information design, designing usable labels and leaflets for medicine: a review of research and practice 1994—2001

By |2019-03-14T12:32:35+10:00April 15th, 2018|

Credit Card Statements 2009

Appalling research findings This is the final report of our 2009 international benchmark study of credit card statements. It shows the unacceptable standard of credit card design across the world, [...]

By |2019-03-14T12:38:42+10:00November 1st, 2017|

I am a tax collector: taxation compliance costs

Meet the Elephant in the room of the current taxation debate: taxation compliance costs Taxation compliance costs—what you and I as individual taxpayers and businesses pay to comply with our obligations as taxpayers. This cost is a constant drain on the economy and massively reduces productivity. It's sometimes called 'red tape'. Yet despite successive governments' attempts to reduce red tape, they have failed to do anything but increase taxation compliance costs.

By |2018-11-22T10:24:16+10:00November 5th, 2015|

Information superhighway

editor's note In 1994 in Australia, when this paper was first published, there was much hype in the media about the ‘information superhighway’. Shortly afterwards, half the country was [...]

By |2018-12-28T12:40:55+10:00November 5th, 2015|

Forms instead of standard letters,

Forms are a special highly constrained type of conversation. When people complete a paper form they bring their intelligence and previous experience to the task. People are smart. They use a great many physical and social clues to guide them; they use the size of the form, its structure, sections and pages to navigate their way through the form, they correct their mistakes, leave their desk to find a document, read an instruction book on what to do, talk to someone, ignore things that do not interest them, and get a new copy of the form and start again. Most public servants are unaware of this smart form filling behaviour and don't see the need to compensate for its absence in digital forms.

By |2018-11-22T10:24:16+10:00October 14th, 2015|