What I mean when I talk about service

A couple of conversations recently made me realise I should write this down. Jane tweeted: "Public Sector Digital peeps, what is now the best definition of a ‘Service’ for people not used to working in our world? The end-to-end journey which enables a user to ‘do a thing’ - am sure many have put it … Continue reading What I mean when I talk about service

Not All Mammals! In defence of designing for “people”

I've been thinking about this exchange with Roberta... @mattedgar Lots of people _talk_ about getting users in the room. This weekend @mHealthLeeds is actually doing it. #mhleeds @RobertaWedge @mattedgar Users of what? In a health-care context, the term covers layers of euphemism. @mattedgar @RobertaWedge fair point. Alternatives to the word 'user' gratefully received. (Often but not always "people" … Continue reading Not All Mammals! In defence of designing for “people”

The risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things

I once worked in a Parisian office where the walls were emblazoned with encouraging slogans in English, "share ideas!" "create!" "go!" But my favourite was always the half metre-high vinyl entreaty to: "do it simple!" In my more cynical moments I would claim this word art spoke volumes about the culture of multi-national business, more … Continue reading The risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things

“Please join me in a drive for better letters”

As a follow-up to the 1951 'No Idle Words' booklet, comes this gem of a letter about writing letters. Its author was Charles Hill, a doctor turned broadcaster and politician who briefly held the office of Postmaster General. Note also the lovely simplification of the royal coat of arms - just remove all the fussy heraldry … Continue reading “Please join me in a drive for better letters”

No Idle Words: a style guide for the age of austerity

Russell Davies' lovely post on the writing style of the GOV.UK beta inspired me to scan this 1951 Post Office writing guide. We inherited it from my wife's grandfather who taught telecommunications at the Post Office's training college, in the days before BT. If anyone knows more about the booklet I'd love to hear from … Continue reading No Idle Words: a style guide for the age of austerity

Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party

I have been using the word "machine" in this connection, because it was the only name by which it was designated at that time. The adoption of a suitable name, however, was being discussed at this time by Mr. Sholes and his associates. "Printing machine" was first suggested, but the name did not meet with … Continue reading Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party