Tuesday, April 26, 2005

All government forms should be zen like...

... and simple.

How many times have I been perplexed by the language used in a form? What exactly is it asking me for? I don’t understand!




My ex-girlfriend worked for the Australian Tax Office, chasing down people. She was perplexed at how I, a software developer, could be frightened of a tax form. When I told her I didn’t understand it, she called me stupid.




I’m looking at the worksheet that is meant to make filling out the forms easier for a friend of mine at the moment.




G1 - Total Sales (inc GST)
G2 - Export Sales
G3 - Other GST Free Sales
G4 - Input Taxed Sales
G5 - G2 G3 G4




G6 - Total sales subject to GST
G7 - Adjustments (if applicable)




G8 - Total sales subject to GST after adjustments (G6 + G7)
G9 - GST on sales




...




It goes on. There is a handbook published and sent out to you. A user manual for a single form? What? I don’t read manuals.




You read the manual. It’s ambigious.




This stops business from being easy. I don’t want to have to have someone dedicated to filling out webforms for me – one button to fill out details is what I want.




Make governments getting data as easy as one, two, three: I shouldn’t have to think about these things!

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