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Connexus : Issue 39
42 Connexus Confidence Confidence Comprehensive, Integrated, Robust, Rigorous Management Reports→Repricing→Scenarios→Regulatory Returns→Strategy→Capital/Liquidity Plans→KPIs → Board Reports www.dacono.com.au firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 61 2 9413 8443 Suite 18, 12 Tryon Rd, Lindfield 2070 You Don’t Drive Looking Backwards You Don’t Drive Looking Backwards Dashboards that look forward not backward Identify future problems and prevent them Identify upcoming opportunities Ensure margin plan meets capital growth targets Delivering Accurate, Auditable, Dependable Data to Decision Makers in a Timely Manner Dynamic Strategy vs Static Strategy Get Better Return from Limited Capital Improve Profits and Grow Capital Model Business Plans for Better Return Having a Finger on the Pulse Robust & Rigor in Enterprise Planning Systems: Wholesale Funding Scenarios – Stress Tests Demonstrate a Robust Business to Fund Managers Minimise PCR through Demonstrating Rigor to Regulators Stress Test Mortgage Quality Fine Tuning Business to Overcome Fine Tuning Business to Overcome Fine Tuning Business to Overcome Basel III Capital and Liquidity Implications Basel III Capital and Liquidity Implications Basel III Capital and Liquidity Implications To Win in a Low Growth Environment To Win in a Low Growth Environment You need Dynamic and Robust Strategic Systems You need Dynamic and Robust Strategic Systems Marketing Online revolution The rise of online communication is changing people’s reading habits. Companies are increasingly using both print and digital platforms to get their messages across. James cautions against the practice of taking printed material and “banging it on a website”. “Hard copy documents are designed to be read from beginning to end,” he says. “The web is a more non-linear environment where people jump around rather than work their way from top to bottom.” Rather than read text as a narrative, they scan. As a result, they need more guidance to help them find what they’re looking for or what was promised. “ Headings become far more impor tant, and the way you use paragraphs is ver y different. It’s about helping people navigate,” says James. “ It may sound like a simple thing, but it’s a revolution in the way we read.” Advocates of plain English say or ganisations need to get over the idea that using clear, simple text is a slur on their professionalism. There is no need for most organisations to continue with officialese – long-winded language histor ically used to imply high status. “ We now have representative government and public ser vice instead of royal cour ts, but we haven’t democratised the language,” says James. Part of the problem is that institutions are slow to react to the way community language is changing. The shift is basically from topic-centred to user-centred text. Topic-centred text tells the reader what an expert in the area knows, says McGregor. “ But it doesn’t necessar ily make that information relevant to what I need to do next in the process. User- centred text starts from what I need to know and do with that information.” Montague says it’s often only when something goes wrong that or ganisations stop and think. “They know the text and procedures so well, they can’t picture the possible misunderstandings. We try to help them stand in the shoes of the user.” Testing communications before they are published is highly recommended. Janice Leong suggests a mix of focus groups and one-on-one inter views with users. “ You need a combination throughout the process so you can design the product using the elements from the testing, and then test the product again to see if it works better,” she says. It’s also critical to get ever yone in the organisation on board during testing so they all value the process of change. “If the text is too difficult for people to interpret, business procedures may suffer,” s ays Leong. Focus groups and testing sessions are also good for senior managers, adds McGregor. “ When they see the problems users have with their material, it can be ver y instructive.” Complete rethink Plain English isn’t difficult to achieve, but it takes time and money. For most organisations, that means a complete rethink of their communications strategy. “It has to be approached on three levels: skills, systems and culture,” says James. “ That means changing things like style guides, templates and procedure documents.” He suggests setting up infor mation technology systems that monitor error rates to determine how many people fill out forms correctly and how long it takes. The same goes for maintaining websites and their link s. With people being mostly task-oriented on the web, website design is cr itical. As new technologies transfor m the way we communicate, language and design will have equal prominence, says James. “ People want specific infor mation – to book a holiday, to apply for a loan. These are things they used to do by walking into a branch and talking to a person. Not by reading a novel.” He says that if people don’t like the look of a website, it doesn’t matter how good your text is; they won’t continue. As a result, graphics are commonly being used as visual clues, to break down text-heav y mater ial. For example, there’s the mater ial a financial institution was sending to clients w ith their end-of-year statements, says Montague. “People didn’t know what to do with all the bits of paper, so we put a little icon at the top cor ner of ever y page that descr ibed what each was for. It made it much easier because clients k new what to give the accountant, what to keep and what not to worr y about.” Cyndi Tebbel is a freelance writer. organisations need to get over the idea that using clear, simple text is a slur on their professionalism. for clearer communication To create effective, easily read text, regardless of your audience or medium: • Address the needs of your target audience. • Write in an active voice. • Break up long sentences. • Use everyday language, especially when communicating to a public audience. • Make sure you recognise, and avoid, jargon. • Break up text with lots of white space. • Use simple headings to help people navigate. • Use a typeface that’s easy to read. • Avoid reverse type (white on black) and don’t use type in pale colours. • Use visual clues such as icons, photos and charts.