The Nature of signs

The paper begins talking about how there is an actual need to focus on park signs. People use sign for navigation, to become informed, modify behaviors for the environment. Signs also have a lot of factors influencing how they are read. People could think they already know the message because they are familiar. Or they think the sign is like their mother, nagging the crap out of them to clean their rooms. You never really understand why your mom wants your room clean, why can’t she just close the door if she is tired of looking at it? There for the campers ignore the signs in the same way, and then go on to liter the site.
There are three goals of the study. 1. Determine how affective the sign was based on time looking at it. 2. Evaluate the visitor’s opinions (even though the general population never has anything note-worthy to say about design.) 3. Compare 5 different designs in three different locations.
They then go through what kind of messages apply to people. You are going to remember stimuli that are novel, emotional and have a connection to something you previously know. So they used empathetic appeals, personal anecdotes, humor, telegraphic titles. To me, the sign with the humor was the obvious choice because I actually read through that one beginning to end when I was reading the paper and I skimmed over the other ones.
But it was interesting to see that just because you think something is the best design solution, doesn’t mean anything. The results were layered and some did well and some did well but in different ways to different people. There was no one clear winner. I guess you could say that the Bear Story won, but there were elements in the other signs that had significance. This kinda reminds me of the art world. Humor is a popular medium to communicate artist ideas right now, and so is narrative like in the work of Damien Hirst. The most successful work is the one that shocks your senses and intellect enough for you to take note. Testing is very important in this study, giving out multiple results at the end. I came away with as testing and implantation is just as important as background research.


2 thoughts on “The Nature of signs

  1. Yes but mother knows best. And if it is necessary to get an important message across than repetition is sometimes justified. But like nagging a mother has to alter her delivery as the child gets familiar with the message. I think the vividness of a sign is very important especially in open areas, but the boring regulatory signs would do well in a bathroom stalls where a camper will have plenty of time to read every rule. Because no one sign proved to be more effective than the other, I think that a mixture of signs would work to reach the various states of attention of the campers. Anthony Brown

  2. Overall the bear story was the winner in the study even though other signs did better under different circumstances. I think there needs to be a balance between being vivid and being informative and maybe that could have been achieved by using symbols instead if text.I agree that signs in the actual stalls is a great idea and would give campers that unwanted time to read the rules and regulations, however campers would actually have to use the bathrooms. If your in a secluded area you might not have that luxury.

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