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Information Design for marketing and process improvement

We are embarking on the changes for the second edition of a user manual for one of our clients. It’s second outing an indication of its success. Admittedly it doesn’t sound the most engaging of projects does it? But it is for us and not simply because its information design – a favourite of ours. Nor because it is income generating.

The potential for this user manual was clear between ourselves and our client from the outset. A potential far beyond what its title would belie.

Our client is a logistics company and one of the challenges faced is communicating their valuable difference. Mainly because their valuable difference was the very thing that clients and prospects were trying to offload. Namely the detail and worry of getting a consignment from A to B through potentially complex borders and hubs and using two differing standards for dimensions.

The concept was for a thorough and detailed reference manual for how our client went about ensuring they not only delivered but that they also communicated well and took good care of the consignment. What became known as ‘The Standards Manual’ was made as accessible as possible using illustration, easy reference tables, colour coding and iconography.

It has been received extremely well by clients on mainland Europe as a reference for how to go about engaging with our client and what to expect. Interestingly though the main impact with this audience has been in sales and customer relations. Providing evidence of the depth and completeness of our client’s commitment to the marketplace.

And its purpose does not end there. Back at base the ‘The Standards Manual’ has served a a quick reference for ‘who we do things round here’ and ideal tool for interviews, inductions and training.

We think it is an excellent example of how information design can offer an incredible return on investment. An apparently mundane and incidental piece of literature serving at least four valuable roles.

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Article by Rob Harrison