The Blog

Masters of Communication: Lee LeFever

July 24, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Welcome to Masters of Communication: our series of interviews with communication experts. In this episode, I got to chat with Lee LeFever, the founder of Common Craft, author of the book The Art of Explanation, and all-around expert explainer. Lee can explain anything, from copyright to zombies, and even more exciting: he can teach the rest of us how to do it.

Click play below to learn why explanations fail and get some tips on making your ideas, products, and services easier to understand. (If you’re in more of a reading mood today, you can also scroll down to find the full transcript of the interview.)

Masters of Communication: Lee LeFever

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Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something That’s Damn Good Communication

July 15, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

I am a person who is getting married. If you are not a person who is getting married or a person who has gotten married in the past, let me tell you this: weddings are a lot of work.

When you decide to get married and have a wedding, you get your first wedding gift: a to-do list. A to-do list full of things like “book caterer,” “find dress,” and “source doves that represent your pure love.”

Young wedding couple with doves

In the era of Pinterest, you also have the pressure to personalize every detail of your wedding. Custom invites, custom hashtags, and everything DIY. I caught the DIY fever and decided I was going to make a sign out of live flowers, before I remembered that I have no crafting skills, no time, and a brown thumb.

In this pressure cooker environment (a pressure cooker that’s been bedazzled and monogrammed, of course), I get excited about anything that’s easy but still has a personal touch. Enter this email from Uber and Style Me Pretty—a fine piece of damn good communication. (more…)

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Veggies Have Inner Beauty, Too

July 9, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

A classic communication challenge: marketing something that’s uncool, boring—or just plain ugly. We all remember the classic case study about Gargoyle Automotive* and its rapid, very predictable path to failure.

This creative campaign from the French supermarket Intermarché manages to overcome the ugly and boring hurdles with some serious grace. In order to reduce food waste, Intermarché decided to start buying fruit and veggie rejects—the produce that’s totally delicious and nutritious but doesn’t look so great, so farmers throw it away.

Great idea, but…how to get shoppers to take a chance on the homely eggplants, carrots, and clementines? (more…)

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The New Monkey in the Office

June 26, 2014 | Luke Crawford | Behind the Scenes

a gorilla in a suit

We’ve all been the “noob” at one point in our lives. Being a new face in an office can be awfully stressful or extremely exciting, and usually both. But while we’re wandering around trying to figure out where the bathroom is, we don’t usually think about the responsibility that comes with being the new guy. (more…)

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Why Smiley Faces and Virtual Hosts Are More than Just Cute

June 24, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Jellyvision has known for a while that adding some humanity to technology does great things for engagement, learning, and trust. People like the virtual hosts of our Interactive Conversations so much that they tell us they understand the complicated subjects better than before. ALEX, our virtual benefits counselor, has even received marriage proposals.

Of course, we’re not the only ones trying to make technology more human. A great, smiley example: Google’s self-driving car.

Google robot car

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A Better Wet Floor Sign

June 11, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

We, as a society, deserve better than this wet floor sign.

caution wet floor sign

Yes, it’s functional. Yes, it’s moderately attention-grabbing. But does it make you smile? Do you feel a visceral reaction in your tummy, an overwhelming sense of impending slippy doom?

We can do better. And now, we have. Behold: (more…)

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Now This Is How You Give a Company Presentation

June 5, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Behind the Scenes

You’ve probably sat through your share of dull company presentations. Yawn, doodle, drool.

Luckily, most Jellyvision presentations are pretty un-boring—we’re big fans of the GIF and the humorous aside. But even we haven’t had a presentation quite like this before.

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More Caring Care Instructions

May 30, 2014 | Melanie Davis | Damn Good Communication

Have you ever been handed a brochure or pamphlet at the doctor? You know, you’ve just been diagnosed with swamp foot or hummingbird ear, and the doctor hands you something like this:

doctor pamphlet

Image via FY Springfield

These brochures and handouts tend to be pretty dry and impersonal. Sure, there’s important information in there, but they make you work for it. That’s a problem—we wouldn’t want someone ignoring important care instructions because they were buried in the middle of a dull, dense paragraph…the fourth dull, dense paragraph on the page.

So how can we make these important communications easier and more enjoyable to read, so more people pay attention to them and actually follow them? My vet’s office, Roscoe Village Animal Hospital, has one idea. (more…)

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