- An American colleague tells me that the average US household has 7 unopened parcels. (And it’s not Christmas)
- A digital agency estimates that the average Briton has between 250 and 500 unread emails. (My own small-scale research suggests the real number could be 10 times bigger)
- Overheard from a small meeting in a café. “Oh that was TLDNR”. (‘Too long, didn’t read’.)
- ONS data published Feb29 2016 shows “UK is using far less stuff”...or not.
- I sit in on a presentation and estimate that 80% of the audience is discreetly – or not – looking at another device as we reach slide number 30.
The changing relationship with ‘stuff’ (and it is changing) hasn’t yet worked its way through to a changing relationship with sharing information or attempting to persuade or enlighten. Powerpoint has a lot to answer for.
The business world is still stuck in a sort of information ambush of the audience, hurling more and more parcels of information at the receiver.
They are being ignored, left unopened.
The design technology guru John Maeda constantly extols simplicity. Some words of his used to adorn a wall of the Design Museum. “Simplicity – subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful” , and I think I’m just beginning to understand. Chucking data and information at people is …obvious. It is also, ultimately, meaningless.
Let’s send fewer parcels, but make the ones we send really mean something.