Numbers: Alphanumeric phone numbers, one

July 22, 2004: Issue 78

SIM Style: Just dial 800/SAY-WHAT?
When we publish phone numbers like 555-SILK or 555-TILE, we may think we’re helping readers by giving them a handy way to remember those numbers. If we were producing 30-second television or radio spots, that might be the case.

But our readers don’t need tricks to trigger their memories—because they don’t need to remember phone numbers at all. The numbers are printed right in front of them. Making readers hunt down the appropriate buttons on their telephone keypads can actually create frustration.

Try it out. Tell a friend to dial 800/4-KOHLER while you dial 800/456-4537 and see who connects first.

When it comes to phone numbers, make them just that—numbers.

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