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Communicating bad news

A letter from an insurance company

black and red typewriter with the text "stories matter"

A Letter to Customers (A Case Study)

How should you communicate bad news? We all get letters from companies, albeit fewer and fewer thanks to digitalisation and environmentally conscious factors.

This is my insurance bill, informing me of what is due and that there has been a price increase. I get the bill once a year, and it’s the only touchpoint I have with them. Why would they not use this opportunity to build a relationship? Foster loyalty? Or try to up or cross sell me anything?

There is no emotional intelligence, no story-telling in this post-purchase touchpoint. Elements that would help given the bad news of the price increase.

Below you can see the original version, along with our revised mock-up. I think the difference is clear.


Invoice from an insurance company
Invoice from an insurance company
Invoice from an insurance company


The Hidden Traps in Decision Making (here)

Design principles (here)

Cognitive Biases (here)

Looking for Creativity: Where Do We Look When We Look for New Ideas? (here)

Visual Hierarchy: Organizing content to follow natural eye movement patterns (here)

Effective Use Of Negative Space In Web Design (here)