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Keeping it Simple, Stupid

From Wizard of Ads blogger Walter Koschnitzke:

According to a study funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts, more than half to students at four-year colleges — and at least 75 percent at two-year colleges — lack the literacy to handle real-life tasks such as understanding credit card offers. (Yahoo story) The study finds that students fail to lock in key skills — no matter their field of study. They cannot interpret an exercise and blood pressure table, understand the arguments of newspaper editorials, compare credit card offers with different interest rates and annual fees or summarize results of a survey about parental involvement in school. Most students at community colleges and four-year schools showed intermediate skills, meaning they can do moderately challenging tasks, such as identifying a location on a map. Here’s the good news. Overall, the average literacy of college students is significantly higher than that of adults across the nation.

…which is another way of saying these are the SMART ones.

The implications of this are…simple: Keep it simple.

This is why our messages have to be so clear and concise.

This is why new technologies spread so slowly and have to be incredibly potent and beneficial and superior in order to catch on at all.

This is why what you call something is so important – because the brand name needs to communicate effectively and efficiently.

This is why the way we handle HD radio is so critical. Confusion and complication do not yield acceptance.

This is why the leading mp3 player, the iPod, has high style but limited functionality and a wheel instead of a bunch of buttons.

This is why simple, old-fashioned radio will long have a lion’s share of the audio entertainment and information market.

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