My credit card provider, ICICI, redesigned its credit card statement recently. Typically, you find that redesigns make you unhappy because what was familair is not and what is unfamiliar is (usually) hard to find. Not so with this redesign, which is why I am giving ICICI some blog love.
The image below shows the main part of the statement with the numbers white-ed or grayed out, so you don’t focus on those parts.
If you notice, the statement summary box and the your total amount due box are in a different colour and they stand out right away. Also, the Your Total Amount Due box is bigger than the rest, so you don’t have to search the statement to figure out the two most important things – how much you owe and when you need to pay.
It’s a nice way to present information and to highlight the most important information for the customer (and possibly the credit card company).
I find this statement far easier to read than their previous one, which wasn’t bad but required some scanning to figure out the relevant information. I can think of a couple of statements, that I currently receive, that could do with a similar redesign.
Well done ICICI for keeping the customer in mind.
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I don’t know why people insist on sharing information using MS-Word documents. I’m not talking about documents where you need to collaborate on or edit or whatever else. No, this is about documents which contain information that is only for viewing.
For example, someone will send you an email with directions to their place, where the directions will be typed into a Word document and sent as an attachment to the email. That’ll need you to download the Word document, open it up in Word (or OpenOffice) and then read the information. Too much work. Here’s a tip: just type the directions in the body of the email and if there’s a map (image) to be attached, attach that to the email instead of pasting it into a Word document.
I’ve got nothing against Word; I’ve used it many times and will continue to use it. It just annoys me that people assume that everyone has Word installed on their computer. No, everyone doesn’t because it costs a bit if you want a licensed copy, not a pirated one.
If the information must be sent in a document form, especially stuff that doesn’t need formatting, plain text is a thing of beauty. Text files can be easily viewed on most operating systems and they’re so light, it’s like fat-free documents or something.
If you need to include formatting and / or graphics or need some sort of copy-protection (rolls eyes), you can use PDF. At least the viewer’s free and you can also print / convert PDFs for free. Also, you tend to find a PDF reader already installed on most computers now. It’s not the best format for the web (see my previous rant) but it’s better than a Word doc.
And, there’s always the option of using HTML (or derivatives thereof) when you’re sharing information on the web.
To sum up, Word is good for a lot of things — sharing information isn’t one of them.
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