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Usability Test White Paper

Usability Test White Paper

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Published by Tianna Rae Drew
Part 2 of the usability test
Part 2 of the usability test

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: Tianna Rae Drew on May 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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InDesign Team 1Tianna Drew, Danie Merriman, Justin Shearer, Aerin TruskeyENGL317 April 13, 2012 
Relative Effectiveness of Positive and Negative Framingin Increasing Public Support for Wildfire Mitigation Efforts Abstract.
 Using differently designed and framed information in the form of “losses” and “gains” frameinfographics, we assessed the effects of each of these frames on participants’ views onwildfire mitigation efforts in the Rocky Mountain west. With a “pre-test” to gather data on theseparticipants’ existing opinions and knowledge, followed by one of the infographic frames, andfinally a “post-test,” we measured whether and by how much each infographic frame changedparticipants’ ideas about wildfire management.The results of our surveys, interviews, and a focus group were admittedly mixed. Certain surveyand interview statements (regardless of frame) produced dramatic changes in participants’responses, while others proved less subject to this change. Furthermore, some of thesestatements showed that subjects changed their answers in response to one infographic framebut not the other. Some of our results may be very helpful to further studies of framing and itseffectiveness in communicating land management agencies’ desired message; however, manyof our participants reported that certain survey and interview statements were confusing, vague,irrelevant, or even all of the above. In light of this we would suggest that any future researchersamend their surveys and interviews to better reflect the information featured in the infographics,and take caution to write these tailored materials clearly and concisely.
 In this pilot study we tested the effects of differently presented information, specifically in theform of two differently designed infographics, on participants’ opinions on and knowledge of fire mitigation efforts (particularly prescribed burns and mechanical thinning). We administeredthese different presentations of information to each participant in one of two forms, calledframes. The “gains” frame, also called the positive frame, presented data and argumentsin terms of what landowners have to gain from taking the suggested action. Its counterpartthe “losses” frame, also known as the negative frame, focused on potential detrimentalconsequences to these same landowners if they did not take the suggested action.Using a numerical Likert scale to gauge subjects’ agreement with certain statements or levelsof knowledge on the topic, we collected their responses both before and after administering oneof the two frames. We have based our conclusions on whether subjects changed their viewsin response to the information we presented to them, and if so, by how much, along with thereasoning underlying their change in response (when available). We are assuming that changesin numerical response are positively correlated with an infographic’s effectiveness in educatingand persuading the subject.The results of this initial study will inform future research into whether positive or negative
InDesign Team 1Tianna Drew, Danie Merriman, Justin Shearer, Aerin TruskeyENGL317 April 13, 2012framing of information is more effective in persuading the public to support their local landmanagement agencies’ wildfire mitigation efforts. Given the results of that later research, saidmanagement agencies might distribute the most effective information to the landowners in their area, garnering the public support that is so important to achieving their land managementgoals.
 In the weeks of March 19th and 26th, researchers conducted a number of surveys, interviews,and focus groups to collect data. Using interview guides and survey sheets, (Appendices B andC) we recorded subjects views on and knowledge of wildfire mitigation on a Likert scale from -3to 3; -3 indicated that subjects strongly disagreed with a given statement, and 3 indicated strongagreement. 0 represented neutral sentiment or no opinion. These guides were used at during allmethods of data collection and then were recorded on a group document so as to compare thedata.
Our team selected participants from existing contacts, and then individual team memberscontacted and questioned each participant. We divided our efforts between each infographicframe; two team members administered to subjects only the positive frame while the other twoused only the negative frame (Figure 1). PositiveNegativeDanie2XJustin2X Aerin 2XTianna 2X
Figure 1
. Assignment of infographic frames administered to subjects.  Although team members were present while participants completed their surveys, this was onlyfor the purposes of answering questions that subjects might have concerning the wording or meaning of a survey statement. We did not read the statements aloud or inquire after subjects’reasoning in responding to any of the survey statements.
Parallel to the survey portion of data collection, our team selected interview candidates froma pool of existing contacts before members met with individual subjects. Again, the team splitinto two groups: those administering the positive frame to our participants and those using thenegative frame (Figure 1).The interview presented to subjects the same set of statements as did the survey, but rather 
InDesign Team 1Tianna Drew, Danie Merriman, Justin Shearer, Aerin TruskeyENGL317 April 13, 2012than letting participants read and respond to the statements alone, we conducted the surveyverbally (see Appendices B and C). We then recorded the participants’ responses on theinterview guides, and asked participants to articulate their reasoning when a statement gavehim or her pause, or in the case of the post-test, when the participant had changed his or her response.. 
Focus group
The final method of data collection for this study was a focus group. Each team member recruited one person to attend the meeting wherein we verbally asked all the participantsto respond to, as a group, the statements contained in the survey and interview guide (from Appendix B/B). That is, we asked the group to come to a consensus on each statement.We recorded the group’s responses, and took note of comments on what could improve theeffectiveness of the infographic or survey.
In four interviews and four surveys using the positively framed infographic, most statementshad a change in opinion from the pretest to the post-test. Nine out of 24 statements showedan average increase in participants’ agreement with the statement in question. 12 out of 24statements showed an average decrease in participants’ agreement, and three statements didnot show any average change in responses from pre- to post-test. 
Figure 2a. 
Using the same process for the negatively framed infographic, participants changed their post-test responses to almost every statement on their survey or interview. 16 out of 24 statementsshowed an average increase in statement agreement. Five out of 24 statements showed

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