Bolster the Effectiveness of Your Client Communications with the Three Principles of the LUNA Methodology

By: Guest Blogger Robert Linsky, Director of Information Design – NEPS

In my previous blog post, I introduced NEPS’ LUNA (Locate/UNderstand/Act) methodology and how, when the LUNA principles are correctly applied, businesses can experience many benefits including:

  1. Increased customer satisfaction, which translates to fewer customer service calls and increased customer retention.
  2. Elimination of excess content thus reducing the cost of paper and postage.
  3. Reduction in document maintenance.
  4. Increase in productivity by reducing NIGOs (Not In Good Order) forms.

These benefits have proven that document re-design using the LUNA methodology is worth the investment. The benefits of LUNA will be the main topic covered during a free webinar presented with the experts at InfoTrends and moderated by Venture Solutions on November 5, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. CST.

To help set the stage for this upcoming webinar, this blog post will be taking a deeper dive into the LUNA methodology to further demonstrate the benefits of applying the LUNA methodology to your customer communications.

“L” – Locate
Ensuring that all stakeholders can Locate information quickly and easily is the first step in creating a successful communication. The placement of information on a document should be taken into consideration for many reasons, the foremost being that studies have shown most people do not go beyond the first page. Organizing content by putting like information together helps to clearly define sections, as well as locate the important information quickly. By creating defined sections through organized content a hierarchy of information can be established by using an array of fonts, weights and point sizes. An example of this is the following admissions form (before and after) where the redesign created a hierarchy and the eye is lead easily through the form by using different font weights and point sizes.

medical document

“UN” – UNderstand
Once stakeholders are able to Locate information they need to be able to UNderstand it. Understanding involves the use of plain language (not “dumbing down” and not using industry jargon), proper use of color (even in black and white documents) and understanding that every communications process involves more than one stakeholder, in fact, often multiple stakeholders.

Two examples of the use of color in a document are shown below. Although color is used to make communications more attractive, it serves a higher purpose, that of clarifying information.

In the first example, the color looks good, but in reality is very confusing. The bar chart shows information about performance while the pie chart shows how assets are distributed. These are two completely different types of information, but the use of the same color in the two charts in close proximity gives the (confusing) impression that they are somehow related.

account performance stats document

In the second example, three colors are used in the pie chart while a fourth (the logo color) is used to highlight different pages and the sections within those pages. Color used properly enhances readability and understandability as shown in this example.

HP document 1

HP document 2

“A” – Act After stakeholders have quickly Located and UNderstood the information, they also need to be able to Act. Simplifying language, avoiding industry jargon and well-organized content with a visual hierarchy helps the stakeholder act on information. An example of document organization is the chemotherapy card below. Having a two-sided card when all of the information can easily fit on one side will make it easier for stakeholders to locate vital information. In addition, reorganizing and prioritizing the information so that the most critical things appear first and are clearly highlighted makes for better patient care and safety, while reducing errors.

Adding contact information was an added bonus to an already confusing card.

LUNA document 1          LUNA document 2
Two-Sided Card

LUNA document 3
Revised One-Sided Card

The bottom line: using the LUNA methodology will save time and money, reduce errors and create a better customer experience. Can your communications pass the LUNA test? If so, then you have achieved clear communications.

To learn more about the LUNA methodology and how applying these principles can improve your customer communications, join us on November 5, 2015 at 1:00 CST.

About the Author: Robert Linsky, Director of Information Design at NEPS, LLC, is an expert in information design and has been creating solutions for a wide range of nationally and internationally recognized financial, insurance and healthcare companies.

Robert has created the methodology, LUNA™ (Locate/UNderstand/Act), the design of information for clear communications. LUNA covers the three pillars of clear communications utilizing the principles of information design, including plain language, typography, graphic design, analysis, psychology, stakeholder management and usability testing.

 NEPS and Venture are part of the Taylor Corporation, one of the largest privately held companies in the U.S., as well as one of the top three graphic communications companies in North America.