Recently, I received the December issue of the WIRED magazine (yes, I am reading the offline version) and was inspired by a great article from Steven Leckart questioning the complex and obfuscated lab reports patients are getting from their physicians. He is asking why such reports are not understandable and asked designers to give them a complete makeover.
The results are amazing and what's best - it is readable without having an "MD" after your name.
But an important fact is missing in this article: Why do these reports look so ugly?
The answer is quite simple. The laboratories focus on analyzing our blood instead of writing good software. Focusing on correct blood results should be their priority as it saves life, however providing patients easy to read results is also important. Obviously, the remakes of the lab reports presented in the magazine are created in designer applications like Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress. But just like MS Word, it is not an effortless process to automate such applications.
I re-created one of those reports with TX Text Control and basic document elements like tables or symbol fonts. No images or other "expensive" elements are used to keep such documents small and flexible (exported as DOCX, the document has a size of 9.43 KB and the PDF only 58.6 KB). This document can be easily used as a template and can be automated using TX Text Control in a very easy way.
Lab reports are just one example. Invoices, quotes, and delivery notes are other examples that can benefit from a facelift. Make them beautiful. TX Text Control helps you with this approach.