Fwd: Graphics vs Text

Subject: Fwd: Graphics vs Text
From: Ben <baj357 -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 10:21:59 -0700 (PDT)

Beth Siron <beth -at- bdel -dot- com> wrote: From: "Beth Siron" <beth -at- bdel -dot- com>
To: <baj357 -at- gmail -dot- com>
Subject: FW: Graphics vs Text
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2007 10:43:27 -0600


Here's a quick response from my friend. I know she has a few articles coming
out soon.


-----Original Message-----
From: Palmer, Laura
Sent: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 10:32 AM
To: Beth Siron
Subject: RE: Graphics vs Text

Oh...my yes....right up my alley.

So, the old discussion about text vs. graphics....part of what came out of
that thinking was derived from research some 20+ years ago. Nothing wrong
with that....it was good research.

What's key here is the statement, "Doesn't it depend on the user?".
Yup...quite a lot and what I've considered in my research on this topic is
"And how has the user changed over the last 20+ years?".

Really, really, really, really brief summary of my dissertation findings:

I ran 2 learning style inventories. One measured how people process
information--that is, what was their preferred intake method, visual or
textual? In my population of college students 80% (20 out of 25) ranked as
visual learners with 11 of those 20 in the high category of visual.

Did the experiment.

So, what happens when you put a visual learner in a text condition? Crap
happens. Their time on task is much shorter BUT the product shows
significantly less engagement. As well, recall on the post-test for tool
use/function was worse as they weren't as engaged in the task. Also, they
were less motivated to explore--their experiential capabilities weren't as
evolved as they should have been.

What I'd do is get some sample users to do the following inventory:

The typical user might be a strong verbal (text learner) and function well
with words. I think this cohort might be common in older users (next
research study...compare college students and adults). However, it's
important to consider the visual element if a lot of the user population
comes back as visual.

And that is the word today from the world of research--a whole lotta
somethin' about nuthin'.

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