Klein Info Design | 1 Nov 17:04 2005

InfoD-Cafe: media player prevalence

Hi

I’m working with a client that is adding multimedia content to their
website. I did a quick search on prevalence of media players but didn't find
what I need. 

 
My client has no stats on prevalence of media players among their target
audience. Most of their users are engineers and use PCs rather than Macs.
They have many non-US users (Europe and Asia). 

 
I believe the EU made MSFT unbundle Windows media player from its OS — which
player has the highest penetration in Europe?

I’d appreciate pointers to any data that would help me recommend which
players to support (WMP, QuickTime, Real?, other?). 

 
Also safe to assume most users have Flash plug-in?

 
Thanks - Kathleen 

Kathleen Klein
Klein Info Design LLC
www.kleininfodesign.com
206-781-2615 

--

-- 
(Continue reading)

Mark Barratt | 2 Nov 11:43 2005

Re: InfoD-Cafe: media player prevalence

Klein Info Design wrote:

> 
> I’d appreciate pointers to any data that would help me recommend which
> players to support (WMP, QuickTime, Real?, other?). 
> 
>  
> Also safe to assume most users have Flash plug-in?
> 

1: all of them

2: no.

There has been an interesting squabble on another list recently which I 
thought was usefully revealing about the things that developers (and 
sometimes designers) allow themselves to believe. A kind of wishful 
thinking.

In that case the debate was about xforms - an interesting, wonderful, 
xml standard that isn't widely used on desktops [yet] because it 
currently requires either a specialist browser plug-in or Flash. The 
xforms developer community largely believes that the availability of a 
free plug-in/use of Flash means it is usable by almost everyone. 
Respected XML person Elliotte Rusty Harold gave a couple of (I think) 
reminders that might be useful in your context, including the following 
(you can Google AJAX if you don't know what it is):

> Plugins that aren't installed on users' desktops are as useful to a web developer as food sitting on an
Albertson's shelf in Arizona is to a starving person in Kashmir.
(Continue reading)

Andrew Boag | 6 Nov 12:43 2005
Picon

InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

We're doing some work for a child's cancer charity about the length of time
taken to apply for a major governmental allowance scheme, and strategies
relating to the claim form and procedure.

I'm wanting to show some recent good examples of where beurocracy has been
cut in a forms or application process (that has been measured preferably),
and has significantly improved the process for the form fillers or reduced
stress, or speeded up response rates or minimized re-applications due to
incorrect data etc.

I know there was discussion not so long ago about the effect that a redesign
of the US tax form potentially could have and the IRS has constantly stuck
their heads in the sand.

It would be great if the examples were from the UK, but not essential!
For examples where change has had a positive effect I have thought about the
recent Inland Revenue short self assessment form.
And I believe the claim form for Attendance Allowance has recently been
improved, but I've not analysed it yet.
[I also recall there being questions in Parliament not long ago about Police
forms beurocracy, but not sure if any measures were published?]

Anyone got recent examples that spring to mind that could be discussed in
public?

Andrew Boag

-----------------------
Boag Associates
T  +44 (0)20 7420 4887
(Continue reading)

CLEARLY | 7 Nov 15:37 2005
Picon

Re: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

I know everyone's favorite punching bag is the IRS, but it's just not
true that they're ignoring taxpayers. In fact, IRS has started to
make great strides in simplifying employer forms and instructions.
They've started with the Form 941 (used by all employers in the
U.S.... 24 million copies filed a year.) We used a team approach to
identify all the data elements on the form and question their use,
importance, and necessity. We rearranged items so that they were
logical and easy to follow for taxpayers, keeping in mind the special
needs of small employers who still fill the form out by hand. And we
redesigned the form so that it could be scanned, thus reducing
processing time and costs for IRS.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f941.pdf shows you the form and an
article written about the project. The article can be downloaded
from:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/2004_winter_ssa-irs_reporter_english.pdf

IRS has since taken on a similar project with the soon-to-be-released
Form 940 and a new Form 944.

c
 
Carolyn Boccella Bagin

Center for Clear Communication, Inc.
26 Hawthorn Court
Rockville, MD 20850-2028

(301) 340-1747 phone
(301) 340-1296 fax

Clearly <at> aol.com email

For communication that's clearly better... information about our work
___________________________________________________________________

Use the following address to post a message to all subscribers: 
 infodesign-cafe <at> list.informationdesign.org

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your options, visit:
 http://list.InformationDesign.org/mailman/listinfo/infodesign-cafe

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 http://InformationDesign.org

Problems? Write to:
 InfoDesign-Cafe-Admin <at> list.InformationDesign.org
___________________________________________________________________
Robert Linsky | 7 Nov 16:37 2005

RE: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

Carolyn –

 

I’m glad you are having success. When I worked on the 1040 instruction book a few years ago, they were unresponsive to making the book easier to use for taxpayers. The mandate was to cut 4 pages out and still cram everything in. When we questioned their motives, the answer was to make it easier for the editors. Interesting that they were concerned about a handful of people as opposed to the millions who have to file.

 

Robert.

 

From: infodesign-cafe-bounces <at> list.informationdesign.org [mailto:infodesign-cafe-bounces <at> list.informationdesign.org] On Behalf Of CLEARLY <at> aol.com
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 9:38 AM
To: infodesign-cafe <at> list.informationdesign.org
Subject: Re: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

 

I know everyone's favorite punching bag is the IRS, but it's just not
true that they're ignoring taxpayers. In fact, IRS has started to
make great strides in simplifying employer forms and instructions.
They've started with the Form 941 (used by all employers in the
U.S.... 24 million copies filed a year.) We used a team approach to
identify all the data elements on the form and question their use,
importance, and necessity. We rearranged items so that they were
logical and easy to follow for taxpayers, keeping in mind the special
needs of small employers who still fill the form out by hand. And we
redesigned the form so that it could be scanned, thus reducing
processing time and costs for IRS.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f941.pdf shows you the form and an
article written about the project. The article can be downloaded
from:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-utl/2004_winter_ssa-irs_reporter_english.pdf

IRS has since taken on a similar project with the soon-to-be-released
Form 940 and a new Form 944.

c

 

Carolyn Boccella Bagin

Center for Clear Communication, Inc.
26 Hawthorn Court
Rockville, MD20850-2028

(301) 340-1747
phone
(301) 340-1296
fax

Clearly <at> aol.com
email

For communication that's clearly better... information about our work

___________________________________________________________________

Use the following address to post a message to all subscribers: 
 infodesign-cafe <at> list.informationdesign.org

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your options, visit:
 http://list.InformationDesign.org/mailman/listinfo/infodesign-cafe

For all Information Design matters:
 http://InformationDesign.org

Problems? Write to:
 InfoDesign-Cafe-Admin <at> list.InformationDesign.org
___________________________________________________________________
CLEARLY | 7 Nov 17:22 2005
Picon

Re: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

It may all come down to who in the organization is the champion of the project effort. The group I've been working with is a business-related group. Perhaps if the results they achieve are positive, others in IRS will be inspired to follow the same path. It's a long, slow slog.
c
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carolyn Boccella Bagin

Center for Clear Communication, Inc.
26 Hawthorn Court
Rockville, MD 20850-2028

(301) 340-1747 phone
(301) 340-1296 fax

Clearly <at> aol.com email

For communication that's clearly better... information about our work
___________________________________________________________________

Use the following address to post a message to all subscribers: 
 infodesign-cafe <at> list.informationdesign.org

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your options, visit:
 http://list.InformationDesign.org/mailman/listinfo/infodesign-cafe

For all Information Design matters:
 http://InformationDesign.org

Problems? Write to:
 InfoDesign-Cafe-Admin <at> list.InformationDesign.org
___________________________________________________________________
Marc Brisbourne | 7 Nov 19:46 2005
Picon
Picon

Re: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

Andrew,

You may want to look at some of David Sless' work on benchmarking. As 
you may know, he has been very active in developing a process for 
user testing to improve the overall success rate of people filling 
out forms. Although the example is a bit dated, he has a case study 
for an insurance form redesign that suggests there was an annual cost 
savings of $500,000 due to a reduction in errors.

http://www.communication.org.au/cria_publications/publication_id_85_149746393.html

There are other examples of his work here:
http://www.communication.org.au/html/papers_to_read.php

Cheers.
Marc.

>We're doing some work for a child's cancer charity about the length of time
>taken to apply for a major governmental allowance scheme, and strategies
>relating to the claim form and procedure.
>
>I'm wanting to show some recent good examples of where beurocracy has been
>cut in a forms or application process (that has been measured preferably),
>and has significantly improved the process for the form fillers or reduced
>stress, or speeded up response rates or minimized re-applications due to
>incorrect data etc.
>
>I know there was discussion not so long ago about the effect that a redesign
>of the US tax form potentially could have and the IRS has constantly stuck
>their heads in the sand.
>
>It would be great if the examples were from the UK, but not essential!
>For examples where change has had a positive effect I have thought about the
>recent Inland Revenue short self assessment form.
>And I believe the claim form for Attendance Allowance has recently been
>improved, but I've not analysed it yet.
>[I also recall there being questions in Parliament not long ago about Police
>forms beurocracy, but not sure if any measures were published?]
>
>Anyone got recent examples that spring to mind that could be discussed in
>public?
>
>
>Andrew Boag
>
>-----------------------
>Boag Associates
>T  +44 (0)20 7420 4887
>F  +44 (0)20 7420 4858
>http://www.boag.co.uk

-- 
______________________________________

Marc Brisbourne, MDes, LGDC
University of Alberta
Department of Art and Design
Visual Communication Design
3-98 Fine Arts Building
Edmonton, AB Canada T6G 2H7

T: 780.492.1309
F: 780.492.7870

mailto:mbrisbou <at> med.ualberta.ca
http://www.ualberta.ca/artdesign/
___________________________________________________________________

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 infodesign-cafe <at> list.informationdesign.org

To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your options, visit:
 http://list.InformationDesign.org/mailman/listinfo/infodesign-cafe

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 http://InformationDesign.org

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 InfoDesign-Cafe-Admin <at> list.InformationDesign.org
___________________________________________________________________

Caroline Jarrett | 7 Nov 22:24 2005
Picon

Re: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

As well as Carolyn Bocella Bagin's excellent work with the IRS on 
specific forms:

- Kleinman Consulting Group has also been working with them on 
Notices, with some notable success

- I don't have any examples that I can share but the IRS was pretty 
receptive to usability messages when I taught my forms design class 
there a couple of years ago, and again they asked me back for some 
refreshers over the summer.

With the IRS, progress towards usability is extremely slow. I 
attribute this somewhat to inertia, but much more to other pressures. 
For example, did you know that Congress took time out of its busy 
schedule to pass a law that prevents the IRS from printing forms in 
more than two colours? In our classes, we were using a current form as 
an example. It was horrible, but it got that way mostly because its 
design was greatly influenced by and had to be approved by an 
enourmous committee of lawyers, policy people, etc etc. Many of the 
features that I especially objected to had been included over the 
explicit recommendation of the forms people.

And now back to the substantive point: forms improvement examples. I 
have a case study on my web site that's now a little old but still 
valuable:
http://www.effortmark.co.uk/casestudy.html
The crucial point about the case study is that the client saved enough 
in printing costs alone in the first year to justify the entire 
project. A much bigger saving arose because previously they'd had a 
special team dealing with errors on forms, and they were no longer 
required (they got deployed to other duties).

Hope this helps
Caroline Jarrett
caroline.jarrett <at> effortmark.co.uk
01525 370379

Effortmark Ltd
Usability - Forms - Surveys
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <CLEARLY <at> aol.com>
To: <infodesign-cafe <at> list.informationdesign.org>
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2005 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

> It may all come down to who in the organization is the champion of 
> the
> project effort. The group I've been working with is a 
> business-related group.
> Perhaps if the results they achieve are positive, others in IRS will 
> be inspired
> to follow the same path. It's a long, slow slog.
> c
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Carolyn Boccella Bagin
>
> Center for Clear Communication,  Inc.
> 26 Hawthorn Court
> Rockville, MD 20850-2028
>
> (301) 340-1747 phone
>
> (301) 340-1296 fax
>
> Clearly <at> aol.com email
>
> _For communication  that's clearly better... information about our 
> work_
> (http://hometown.aol.com/clearly/myhomepage/clearly.html)
>

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

> ___________________________________________________________________
>
> Use the following address to post a message to all subscribers:
> infodesign-cafe <at> list.informationdesign.org
>
> To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your options, visit:
> http://list.InformationDesign.org/mailman/listinfo/infodesign-cafe
>
> For all Information Design matters:
> http://InformationDesign.org
>
> Problems? Write to:
> InfoDesign-Cafe-Admin <at> list.InformationDesign.org
> ___________________________________________________________________
> 

___________________________________________________________________

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___________________________________________________________________

Andrew Boag | 10 Nov 13:28 2005
Picon

Re: InfoD-Cafe: Form improvement examples

Many thanks to those who've provided some pointers.

I hadn't intended to knock the IRS at all, and it's very helpful to have the
attachments Carolyn. However, if you are able to provide any statistical
data on the reduction in processing costs this would be most helpful (and
what the costs relate to, i.e. Helpline calls, reduced number of forms
returned due to errors, etc.)

Any news of projects that have measured, and have specific data for,
improvements in response rates, service take up, helpline call reduction,
stress reduction, etc., would be gratefully received!

Andrew Boag

-----------------------
Boag Associates
T  +44 (0)20 7420 4887
F  +44 (0)20 7420 4858
http://www.boag.co.uk

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Andrew Boag | 10 Nov 13:34 2005
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InfoD-Cafe: Parliamentary design lobby group

Some time ago I met a representative of a group that specifically lobbies
parliament (UK) about design issues, but I've lost contact and don't seem to
be able to track them down online. Does anyone know about them?

Andrew Boag

-----------------------
Boag Associates
T  +44 (0)20 7420 4887
F  +44 (0)20 7420 4858
http://www.boag.co.uk

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Gmane