We usually find that flat content – pages of text – is the best format for our digital advice.
However, when it came to helping people solve problems with post, we needed to get creative.
Deciding the right format for online content
During research, we found lots of people were asking Google for help claiming compensation for lost, damaged and delayed post.
The only online advice out there totalled almost 8000 words and read like terms and conditions. It spoke to lots of different audiences, in very different situations.
We wanted to make it easier for people to claim compensation – but the policy was so complicated that even the best flat content wasn’t going to cut it.
Armed with highlighters and coffee, we broke down the policy into 6 questions with 29 different outcomes. Six weeks and a couple of rounds of user testing later and we have a finished product.
Tools aren’t always the way forward
When choosing a format for a piece of content it’s easy to assume a tool will work best. However it’s best to proceed with caution.
If we can solve a problem with flat content, we do. Creating a tool where one isn’t needed can frustrate users – particularly if something could be explained quickly in a paragraph of plain english.
If flat content becomes long and difficult to digest, a rethink is needed. Often we’ll find ourselves trying to meet too many user needs in one piece, or that it’s time to grab the coffee and highlighters and map out a tool.