Second part of two… continuation of “Information Product Analysis”.Zarah Z. Arroyo
Master of Digital Information Management
University of Technology Sydney
Justifications of Own Design Decisions
Information Product Content: Australian Endangered Species (identified by the Professor)
Targeted Audience: Museum Visitors
Newsletters are great way to engage intended audience and keep them informed about many aspects of business on a regular basis. Despite the evolution of new technology, the concept of having newsletters as a marketing strategy is never outdated. They are often effective, targeted and consistent only if they are well designed. Unlike other forms of communication that are difficult and inconvenient to personalise. With newsletters, you can tailor fit to include local events and urgent concerns of the company. It can include very specific information. They have also evolved aside from making them available onsite, and being mailed, newsletters are also distributed online. However which way they are produced, the audience is the centre of the decisions to be made in the design as shown in the diagram below of Mockplus (2017).
Aside from that of Mockplus, I have also specifically made use of the model that Garrett (2010) presented as elements of user experience as guide in arriving at a design appropriate for my intended audience.
Moreover, there are three things which I have also considered which I personally believe are needed based from the evaluation which I have made of a newsletter. They needed to be relevant, interesting, and valuable (Chung, 2019).
- Relevant – it relates directly to the reader’s industry, interest, and topics they care about.
- Interesting – it entertains, educates, or delights the reader.
- Valuable – it teaches the reader or provides them with something they find useful.
These are some basic points which I believe newsletters should consider ensuring a consistent and engaged readership.
Publishing Program Used
Microsoft Publisher is the publishing program I have decided to use for four simple reasons, aside from the fact that I have used it since 1998 when I was just starting my work as a teacher:
- Easy to use – whether one is new to digital publishing or just wanted to get started right away, Microsoft Publisher is a pleasure to use. It has a user-friendly interface and the features are easy to understand which makes producing high quality publications no matter what level of skill one has easy breezy.
- Helpful wizards or help tips – Microsoft publisher has a number of helpful wizards and tips as you work on your material which can walk one through designing everything from brochures to newsletters.
- Templates – Although templates are limiting one’s creativity, it is a good way to start. Templates make publication design with minimal effort. There are hundreds of templates available as default as well as online.
- Drag and drop feature – This allows one to quickly insert photos and other media into the publications which saves time.
Understanding the Targeted Audience
The intended audience for the newsletter on Australian Endangered Species are museum visitors. Falk (2010) in his presentation about Understanding Museum Visitors’ Motivation and Learning, he emphasised that customising museum offerings to suit distinct needs of individuals with different identity-related needs will not only better satisfy regular visitors’ needs but also provide a vehicle for enticing occasional visitors to come more frequently. Thus, it is all about identifying the needs of the visitors and personalising their experiences that matter. Each visitor’s experience is of course unique so as each museum. Both are likely to be framed within social and cultural context whether the visit is for exploration, hobby, leisure time rejuvenation, professional or educational. Moreover, a study conducted by Lang (2011) on the Australian Museum Visitor Profile 2008/11 shows the following figures which are taken into consideration for the design of the newsletter:
- 29% aged <35, 35% aged 35-49, 34% aged 50+
- 61% university/postgraduate; 14% technical college; 24% high school
- 71% live in Australia (49% in Sydney); 50% born in Australia; 72% speak English only at home
- Most favourite Exhibition: 33% dinosaurs; 18% level G exhibition; 13% Surviving Australia; 11% Indigenous Australians; 7% Skeletons
Having all these information in mind, I have decided to design the newsletter with a professional look and make the content highly informative and engaging to educated adults. It is also interesting to note that majority are interested in dinosaurs which have gone extinct which I assumed will make the topic on endangered species interesting to them as well as they ay not like the idea of those animals going extinct.
Design and Layout
For the design and layout, I have also made use of these categories as guide: visual elements, logical structure of the document and identification of dominant design elements.
- Visual Elements – The layout chosen is based on the profile of the targeted audience. The overall look is professional and well structured. The layout is easy to navigate as it made use of signposts such as headings having them printed bigger than the body text and in sans serif as suggested by studies. The reading path adopted is the conventional one which is from top to bottom and left to right which is generally the acceptable way to read printed text. The print is linear meaning it is sentence by sentence, and there are no complications in the way sections are separated through the grid layout and bi-modal which means the images and text are by block. The text used is Garamond which is a type of serif and font size is 12 which facilitates readability. Graphics have been carefully chosen based on the appropriateness to the text where the graphics are used. As to the colour, I have decided to use green and yellow being easily identified with Australia and they are colours of nature as well. I have chosen darker hue for the background so that the text will be highlighted in order to draw attention to the information which is the most important.
- Logical Structure of the Document – I have divided the information provided in the rtf into chunks which is clearly identified due to the use of modular grid, labels or titles, and sufficient spaces between articles. The articles are also presented coherently starting of with the basic information about the definition of terms which progresses to a call for action on the part of the government through the recovery program. Every part of the newsletter is labelled as well for easy navigation and findability. A box of “in this issue” in the cover page that serves as signpost leads the audience to what is to expect in the following pages which can cause them to be interested to read further.
- Dominant Design Elements – Spatial cues are observed in the newsletter. Margins are provided as well as the spaces between graphics and text. The use of multi-column grid made the layout more flexible in infusing text and graphics in a page.
Falk, J., 2010, Understanding Museum Visitors’ Motivations and Learning, viewed online 18 September, 2019, https://slks.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/dokumenter/KS/institutioner/museer/Indsatsomraader/Brugerundersoegelse/Artikler/John_Falk_Understanding_museum_visitors__motivations_and_learning.pdf
Garrett, J. J. 2010, The Elements of User Experience: User-Centered Design for the Web and Beyond, 2nd edn. New Riders, Berkeley, CA.
Lang, Chris, Audience Research, 25 July 2011, viewed online 16 September, 2019, https://media.australianmuseum.net.au/media/dd/Uploads/Documents/22103/Australian+Museum+Visitor+Profile+2008-2011.52e12a3.pdf
Microsoft Publisher, https://www.grantmcgregor.co.uk/2015/microsoft-publisher/
Morville, P. 21 June 2004, The User Experience Honeycomb Semantic Studios [online],
Norman, D.A. 2013, The design of everyday things, [e-book] Basic Books, New York
Norman, D. A. 2002, ‘Emotion and design: Attractive things work better.’ Interactions Magazine, ix (4), 36-42, https://jnd.org/emotion_design_attractive_things_work_better/
Source of Images Used in the Newsletter are found in the following links: