Tested with hundreds of patients and found to work
Most health materials are rarely tested with their audiences to determine if they work before the money is spent on printing. To make sure that the these Worldwide Breast Cancer materials were done right, several studies were done to get the visuals and the messages just right. Here are some results from those studies. Designing began by doing a general survey of the public, to find where the gaps in education were and what the materials needed to inform the public about. Over 200 people took part in this survey.
It was found that half of patients didn’t know what a cancerous lump felt like. So a poster illustrating what the anatomy of a breast felt like was designed. This poster was tested alongside a traditional line drawing of anatomy which was common in education materials. The results were dramatic:
Interestingly, most people didn’t read the text in the second poster. Their knowledge was based mostly on looking at the images.
“Does seeing breast anatomy in this visual way improve your understanding of what to feel for when you are doing a breast self-exam?”
97% said yes.65% said it also made them feel more confident in their ability to recognize breast cancer.
It was also discovered that many people didn’t know that breast cancer could be presented in other ways besides a lump. A poster was designed to illustrate these signs. One study with 67 people looked at how accurately they could interpret the symptoms without any text. This would determine if this poster could communicate to more people across the world despite language differences.
Testing revealed that people could identify most of the signs by appearance alone. This led to improvements in the appearance of the images to increase their ability to communicate accurately. It also identified which symptoms needed a simple text label to help them interpret what they saw more accurately.
After improvements to the image were made, another patient group was used to test the text labels with the image, bringing the interpretation of the signs of breast cancer to near perfect levels, resulting in the finished poster:
“Would you be able to recognize these signs on yourself better now that you’ve seen this image?” 89% said yes.