Orange user guides

As their device range grew, we helped Orange to streamline their international device guide production process, significantly reducing their overheads in the process.

The challenge

Our work with Orange began in 2000. Designing, writing and artworking bespoke guides and boxes for their handset range.

Over the next 5 years the range of devices grew at almost the same incredible rate as the device functions and capability, to over 80 devices across 14 countries. The scale of output meant that the production costs of a bespoke approach were becoming impractical.

In 2006, after this significant year-on-year growth in devices, countries and languages – Orange gave us challenge: Produce more user guides, in more languages, for more countries, at 50% of the previous year’s cost.

The solution

Orange prioritises customer service and information, their device guides and boxes are a key part the customer experience during the immediate post purchase period, ensuring Orange customers are made aware of the functionality of their device and the range of services on offer.

To support the move from bespoke guides to a templated approach required a full analysis of the information within the existing guides. Identifying the different types of information and ranking each on it’s value to customers and the stage within the journey where it was of most use. A final review was then conducted to understand which information was standard across all guides and which was device specific. At the end of the analysis we had significantly reduced the amount of information to be included and restructured the information to create a more engaging guide.

But we hadn’t yet solved the production efficiency problem.

The services provided by Orange are only accessible through interaction with the hardware provided by the manufacturers, so separate guides would only create more work for users. The manufacturers were not in a position to offer the full production process that was being undertaken by Make it Clear and the current solution, which while meeting the quality requirement, failed to meet the cost reduction benchmark.

The complication created by the different owners of the information contributed to the solution. Rather than act as the middleman – drawing in the content in order to act as sole producer, our solution was to retain responsibility for the overall content structure and design but to delegate responsibility for the input and accuracy of the different content types to the authoring organisation.

Brand control was combined with flexibility through the creation of an entire library of template pages, each designed, written and initially artworked by Make it Clear with direction and final sign-off from Orange.

This model enables us to separate the cycles of content creation, with page review, design and creation happening on a quarterly basis with Orange and device guide creation occurring as required, often on a weekly basis by manufacturers and Make it Clear.

The result

The revamped guide production service provides full oversight of all aspects of the guide delivery. As a result Orange has successfully maintained an essential brand communication channel, one that is flexible, fit for purpose and regularly refreshed to meet current organisational objectives.

Directly engaging the manufacturers of the devices in the guide creation process has served to improve the accuracy of device descriptions. The ongoing involvement of Make it Clear means no reduction in design quality, output quality or brand fidelity has been experienced.

The 50% cost reduction target was met in the first year, creating a £7,500 first year saving per device with subsequent reductions each year since, even with continued expansion of the range and complexity of devices.

Now in its 10th year of implementation delivering this essential customer experience channel costs less than a quarter of the 2006 annual total, with no reduction in quality of impact.

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