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Organisation: University of Alberta
Name: Delia Cormier
E-Mail: dacormie@ualberta.ca
Category: Student Work

Name of Project: Testing the improvement of first-aid instructions

Description of Project: First aid instructions hold critical information, but often lack good design of their information, or clear sequencing of their steps that makes them understandable. I found out through user-testing that the procedure for making an arm sling appears simple, but is deceiving in that the sling needs to be placed precisely and orderly. If the procedure is not done precisely, the user quickly becomes confused in the process of tying the sling, and fails to immobilize the casualty’s injured arm. During my Bachelor of Design studies, I designed and tested out my own instructions. The solution was derived and validated through a short period of user-testing. My designed instructions follow the clean vector style of illustration often seen on first-aid and medical sites, such as that of St. John’s Ambulance. I strived to balance appealing colour and friendly elements with professional illustration and type, as to make the instructions attractive but serious in tone. For easy access and use, the instructions were designed to fit within the packaging of the triangular bandage. In my initial tests, I observed that the user would always place the knot or corner (apex) of the triangle bandage in an imprecise place along the arm. If the user fails to tie the knot at the shoulder, the apex will not line up with the elbow, and the bandage will not be wide enough to support the whole arm. In my final iteration of instructions, I found through subsequent tests that each participant was able to place the knot and apex in the correct positions, without any prompting. This resulted in a correctly supported forearm, and each user also did not forget to secure the arm at the elbow.

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