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Tech Write Incorporated Providing Effective Visual Communications

Paul Titus, Eric Sprague, & Vincent Colson

Tech Write, Inc 1122 Best Sign Drive Moscow, ID 83406 208.881.2098 208.881.2097 3/29/2012

The purpose of the study was to identify the most effective posted communication that would deter potential trespassers from entering a private property without consent. After having gathered appropriate demographics and exposure to “No Trespassing� type signs via a prescreening questionnaire. A quantitative and qualitative survey was conducted. The results were gathered, graphed, analyzed and prepared for best presentation. Finally, we asserted our recommendations for the most effective design to meet the requirements of the private property owner.


Tech Write Incorporated

Providing Effective Visual Communications

Table of Contents

METHODOLOGY .......................................................................................................................................... 3 RESULTS ........................................................................................................................................................... 4 RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................................................................................................ 5

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Tech Write Incorporated

Providing Effective Visual Communications

1. Methodology The purpose of the usability test was to find out the general effectiveness and understanding of various trespassing signs. Our target audience was aimed at anyone that would come across this sign posted on private property adjacent to the owner’s land or home. We assumed the sign was posted to display that the private property was not to be accessed and was off-limits to anyone without permission of owner. We also assumed that these signs could be ignored by postmen or home delivery personal that the owner would appreciate. Knowing the range of where the sign could be used is important to how people would react upon seeing it. It is commonly understood that “no trespassing” signs are not usually taken seriously. This is one of the reasons the study was conducted in the first place. Therefore finding a sign that could effectively stop people from ignoring posting would demonstrate authority. Gathering the information from the participants in the study was conducted in a way that helped give more than a single piece of information. The participant was first given a background form that established their demographic and previous experience with trespassing signs. The second section was a verbal section that outlined how the participant reacted to the signs upon seeing all three. Information was gained based on verbal and physical reactions. Questions were asked regarding the general purpose and reason for posting such signs. The last section outlined the effectiveness of the signs and gave the participant to agree or disagree to given statements. These particular questions invoked choosing future encounters with theses signs to replicate realistic encounters. The last two parts were conducted per sign, giving a wider variety of answers to compare their effectiveness. The testing environment was given in a quiet area (I.e. a library or unoccupied student lounge). This provided a consistent standard environment so that the participants were not distracted or influenced by others. The second section did consist of a qualitative verbal questionnaire that the surveyor would read and take notes summarizing the respondent’s answers. The results were analyzed and correlations and quantitative facts were compiled. Common trends are deducted with each sign, such as meaning and persuasiveness.

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Tech Write Incorporated

Providing Effective Visual Communications

2. Results Demographics: Average Age: 22.5 Number of People Reviewed=13

Demographics

Ethnicity

Male

Caucasian

Female

Latino

Other

Best Sign 9 8 7 6 5 Best Sign

4 3 2 1 0 German Shepard Sign

No Trespassing

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Beware of Dog


Tech Write Incorporated

Providing Effective Visual Communications

Respondents Opinions Sign 1: The general consensus of the people surveyed was based around the fear of retaliation by the owner of the property by either violence or legal repercussions. The people who chose this sign as the most effective felt it was clear of legal aspect involved with trespassing. Sign 2: A common trend for the believed consequences for this sign was the fear of being harmed by a dog; however a third of the people asked about this sign expressed a general lack of fear for a dog in general. Several people mentioned the release of liability from the land owner in case of injury. The most concerning result of the questionnaire on this sign was that over half of the statements included a statement about disregard for this sign as it is very common and lacks significance. Sign 3: While this sign was perceived to have a fragment of comedy, the mention of specifically a German Shepard doubled the number of people that feared an attack of the dog as German Shepherds are commonly used as police hounds. This sign had an 8% average more influence than the other two signs, however the perceived risk was 36% less than the no trespassing sign. Key Notes: We were lucky enough to have an admitted ex-thief take our survey; this individual expressed his concern for the German Shepard sign and also stated that this particular sign conveyed a “vivid consequence” which induced a greater sense of fear when posted on a home residence. In contrast, we also had a few hunters amongst our respondents. The hunters stated that though the German Shepherd sign presented a more visual threat, they felt the “No Trespassing” sign induced a greater sense of fear or should I say respect for the landowners request for privacy than the other two signs because that is what they were more familiar with

3. Recommendations To effectively find or create a sign that is completely effective we would need to portray a strong message. The message will have to come across as very persuasive to respond to the message. That being said and as mentioned before, “no trespassing” signs are often disregarded. Therefore

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Tech Write Incorporated

Providing Effective Visual Communications

constructing the proper phrase and/info graph to explain the simple message will ultimately be the most effective. Obviously we didn’t use just one sign for this study. This helped us narrow it right away so that we can help identify the best “no trespassing” sign. We found that the sign that incorporated humor in its persuasive text was the most effective. It could be that many people have encountered the other signs and just ignore them. It is also possible that the other more common no trespassing signs are used improperly. This would then give these signs no meaning if they didn’t actually stand for anything. Overall, we recommend the “no trespassing” sign that was simple but clever. Coming up with a saying that isn’t overused on common private property would be our recommendation. Maybe sign with a posting consisting of humor would help engage the person to respect the privacy of the respective property owner.

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Usability Test Plan  

This is an analysis of common signs used to deter trespassers from a private residence

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