One of the consequences of the big shift was to see familiar things anew; among the things CRI saw in a radical new way were surveys and forms. We were not alone in this work; others had made major contributions in the decade before CRI started its work (Sless D. 1999. Public forms: Designing and evaluating forms in large organisations, in H. Zwaga, T. Boersema & H. C. M. Hoonhout (eds.) Visual information for everyday use: Design and research perspectives, 135-153. London: Taylor & Francis.

This earlier work made it clear that forms and surveys were the neglected information beasts of burden within organisations. They routinely resulted in unnecessary costs and social inequity. The work also showed that by systematically applying a variety of skills, the quality of information collected on forms could be radically improved.

Building on this work, CRI massively improved surveys and other forms. We totally overhauled the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Standards and Guidelines for creating survey forms; helped the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), Social Security and many other Commonwealth departments transform their forms; and trained many people in specialist information design methods for forms design.

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