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UC design research points the way so you won't get lost at the hospital
Date:8/6/2009

TESTING BEGINS IN SEPTEMBER

A first round of testing on the student-created symbols will begin in September 2009. That's when students' final symbol designs will be reviewed in a series of recognition and comprehension tests.

The symbols judged to be the best performers in terms of comprehension and recognition will then be integrated into surveys administered in pockets of language groups (both English and non-English speakers) in Cincinnati, Ohio; Kent, Ohio; and Ames, Iowa.

Finally, the symbols that "make the grade" in terms of this community user survey/testing will be made available to actual health-care settings, pilot sites already working to implement health symbols as signage. These are

  • Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, Ga. (the largest hospital in Georgia)

  • International Community Health Services, Seattle, Wash.

  • The Children's Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Mo.

  • Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, Providence, R.I.

"These four facilities are currently designing wayfinding systems which will incorporate signage using symbols from our original set of 28 as well as those symbols, designed by the students, which successfully pass through the first test phases," said Partida.

UC graphic design senior Jesse Reed, 22, of Youngstown, Ohio, said that the testing of the students' work could be both "the most rewarding part of the project or the biggest letdown. That's when it'll be seen if the users understand what we're trying to communicate. I know that I think my designs are effective but users' reactions will certainly be the real test."

This communication challenge has also added a lot of fun to the project, he added, stating, "We want to have the least amount of parts or elements possible to communicate a very specific message. We're always asking ourselves: Where can we start subtracting. Where can we continue taking it
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Contact: M.B. Reilly
mary-bridget.reilly@uc.edu
513-556-1824
University of Cincinnati
Source:Eurekalert  

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