Visual Communication: Research Roundup

visual communication research roundup

by: Nicola Brown, MPC2014

Visual communication is not only ubiquitous, it’s fundamental to good communication across all industries. Find out more about MPC students’ research in visual communication:

Intuitive Versus Theoretical Approaches To Visual Communication To Facilitate Knowledge Transfer

Author: Dianne Nubla MPC2011

Abstract: “During the start of the 2002-2003 Ontario youth hockey season, Hockey Canada lowered the age of allowable bodychecking from 12-13 years of age to 9. Dr.Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon from St. Michael’s Hospital, investigated the neurological impact of this rule change on youth players in an effort to educate hockey parents on the dangers of bodychecking. Using Dr. Cuismano’s research data, the investigator created three information graphics through three different design approaches: intuitive, theoretical and content-theoretical. Through a 5-Step practical-based methodology, the investigator sought to understand whether Dondis’basic elements of design and Gestalt theory would guide the design process to create a visual solution geared towards educating hockey parents.

The theoretical checklist played an important role in the creation of the theoretical and content-theoretical designs. Furthermore, the process determined that richness of data generated more robust design solution. When comparing the three designs, it is evident that there is a continual evolution, with each new design extracting strong graphical elements and colour schemes from its predecessor. A blind test was conducted on Dr. Cusimano to determine the success of the visual solutions for the intended target audience. Selected designs included the intuitive and content-theoretical solutions, which Dr. Cusimano felt best represented his research and effectively captured the attention of hockey parents.

This experimental design provides a solid foundation, which can be taken further; the three recommendations made by the investigator are to experiment with data-driven parameters, examine the impact of culture on the information design process or hold a focus group with hockey parents to test the impact of the three information graphics created.”

Read more about Dianne’s research here.

KÖP DEN HÄR! How IKEA North York Visually Communicates Persuasive Messages To Shoppers

Author: Nima Naik, MPC2012

Abstract: “This Major Research Paper (MRP) closely examines IKEA North York as an organization that constructs visual messages in their retail environments and persuasively communicates to its shoppers through visuals in product displays, including display structure, signage, and location, to encourage consumer behaviour and impact purchasing

Three product displays were closely examined in the “Cookshop & Tableware” department of IKEA North York’s Market Hall through a thorough visual analysis of each product display utilizing four guiding concepts derived from document design and visual communication (information hierarchy, white space, colour, and ambience) and examining corresponding consumer behaviour through on-site observations.

Preliminary conclusions state that while IKEA North York effectively designs its retail space on a 2-dimensional plane, further consideration needs to be taken when designing the 3-dimensional nature of the store environment. This research could be furthered through the inclusion of a broader data set and wider criteria for examination.”

Read more about Nima’s research here.

The Use Of Visual Icons And Signs: Investigating The Punctuation Of Text By Emoticons And Communication Clarity In Online Professional Communication Environments

Author: Georgia Metcalfe, MPC2011

Abstract: “Computer mediated communication (CMC) is becoming increasingly prevalent and relied upon as the Internet facilitates the rapid growth of global networks and expands communication borders.

Today, many individuals rely on CMC for professional purposes, such as connecting long distance with co-workers to collaborate and advance workplace tasks. These individuals often rely on professional online collaborative programs that allow them to connect with colleagues across cities, provinces, and around the world. Relying on CMC for the transmittal of important electronic messages places it at the forefront for understanding how technical communication devices and networks function. This also requires an understanding of how ambiguity with online conversations can be decreased through the use of the Internet.

However, what professional collaborative programs currently lack is a singular professional software that integrates both collaborative on-screen practices and online chatting capabilities with visual icons; or professional emoticons.

The following research aims to investigate the communicative value of emoticons within a structured sentence via a study involving professional communication graduate students from Ryerson University and senior marketing communication professionals from a marketing agency in Toronto, Canada. Using concepts from critical visual methodology and a theoretical framework of visual semiotics, emoticons will be examined to see whether or not these pictorial symbols act in a similar fashion to punctuation symbols within a given sentence structure.

The goal of this research was to investigate the use and meaning derived from emoticons in relation to grammatical punctuation for sentence structures in online communication environments. Specific emoticons were selected and used to measure participants‘ interpretation of each symbol within the particular context of a given sentence.”

Read more about Georgia’s research here.