A year has passed since my earlier post on the topic of similarity between design and management approaches. Fortunately, I feel that this thread should be finished and will continue with more posts on the topic.
The next pattern to discuss is Portions. This is a design pattern from Errorproofing lens:
Can you change the size of the portions or the units of ‘stuff’ you give users?
‘Portion packs’ for snacks give customers the ‘right’ amount of food to eat in one go (sometimes a particular amount of calories).
That is exactly how you should communicate with people. Each person has a capacity. Some can accept a lot of information at once others don’t. Thus, your communication style should consider this capacity and split the information to the messages of a proper size and structure.
You should consider how busy the person is and his reading style. It useless to write a lot to a busy person. He sees that the content is too big and either skips it or put on hold till someday when he has time. That day will never happen for sure.
The number of topics per message should be adopted to the person as well. The best option is to have only one topic per message. However, it varies based on a number of messages per day a person can work with. Some people are more comfortable to have one complicated message rather a dozen of quick three-sentence-notes.
Disclaimer: there are no rules of thumb. Just think about lifestyle of the recipient and adjust your message to make it comfortable for him. That’s it!
Inspired by: http://www.danlockton.com/dwi/Portions