About being sensible

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Taking the risk out of routine – having your cake and eating it too

Deirdre Wilson – Monday, November 11, 2013   


Between human nature and the small things, there are lots of things that can trip us up. Business cards are a good example of something (literally) small that can be fraught with problems. In the past we have had first and last names transposed – this can be hard to spot if the name is from a different naming tradition that you aren’t familiar with, we have had incorrect addresses – the wrong location, incorrect phone numbers, …well, you get the picture.

How does human nature come into it – sometimes humans think it will be quicker to retype than to copy and paste… uuurghh!&

So, this is how we solved the problem of small things and human nature. We don’t produce business cards for a lot of different companies but we do produce a lot of different business cards for a small number of companies. Each company now has a pdf form with drop down lists of locations, working days for those who don’t work a full week, opening and closing times, job titles and anything else that is repeated. The form also has a field for telling us how many cards are required so all the required information is collected at the same time. The client fills in the person’s details and clicks on a button that sends us an xml file that we use to populate our design file and voila (not 'walla' as I have seen written elsewhere – uuurghh again) the result is a bunch of business cards that have the exact data in them that the client supplies.

The result is that the client’s job of keeping business cards up to date can sit as an admin task that doesn’t require any ability for managing the consistency of information, like how addresses or working hours are described. A copy of the filled-in form can be kept as a record of who has cards and quantity produced.

Who says you can’t have it all?tweet this

And we get all the info we need in one hit enabling us to quickly and accurately produce cards. Bolt on super quick digital printing and the whole thing is now accurate, quick and cost effective – who says you can’t have it all?

This post is by Deirdre Wilson, Director of Hothouse Design – Australia's most sensible information design company.
Deirdre applies her background in industrial design and design management to the complex and wondrous projects undertaken by Hothouse Design.

Basics. Know what they are. Get them right. Repeat.

About being sensible.

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