We’ve been developing some safety training for folks who work around high-voltage electrical systems. It’s a good feeling, knowing that this course might actually save lives.
I looked at one of the key graphics the other day, and it just wasn’t communicating clearly. You had to think about it a bit to figure it out. It was on screen for only 6 seconds, though, and during that time there was also narration going on.
I started thinking that instructional design has a lot in common with billboard design. We need to get the idea across as clearly as possible, as quickly as possible. We want people to remember our message, not struggle to figure it out. We can’t count on their undivided attention, and we have only a few seconds before we lose their attention altogether.
Look at these examples of great billboard design. How long does it take you to get the point?
They get the point across almost instantly, don’t they? Granted they both go beyond the confines of the billboard itself, but that makes them even better examples of creative thinking. To see more examples, just search for “great billboards” or a similar search term. Also check out http://www.designmybillboard.com/designprinciples.htm and http://www.meadowoutdoor.com/billboard-design/guidelines for some useful design tips.
Here’s our chart before and after revision. Both versions show that the length of a hospital stay decreases dramatically for the worst burns. I think the revised version does a better job explaining why.
What do you think? Is it an improvement? Feel free to give us some feedback in the Comments.
(by Rissa Karpoff)