Before this exercise of testing my poster, I did not have a lot of experience with testing my designs. It seems like sensible thing to do, since usually my audience consists of people who are not experts in the area discussed and who are not designers. These people will not necessarily understand you content as well as the students and professors in my class who have heard me talk about the subject. Non- designers will not understand why I made a whole paragraph in all caps just because it looks clean. They might not know how to articulate it but they can give you a feel for how well someone is actually able to read it.
To test my design I showed my posters to my room mate. She is my age and goes to Seattle Pacific University as well. She is well educated but doe snot know a lot about Rwanda. I think that she is typical of the audience that I want to reach which is twenty to 40 years old. When I told her that I was testing my design I explained that I wanted to test my design and not her so that I could make an effective piece. I asked her to look at it for a couple minutes and to tell me where she lost interest and why.
When she was done looking at it she said that she thought it was good. I pressed further and asked her questions like, “at what parts to you get bored or tired of reading?” She then told me that everything was pretty interesting and easy to read until she got to the large bodies of text. At first she told me that she would read them, but then when I asked if she just saw this poster hanging if she would read them and she said probably not. She suggested that I skip the large bodies of text and focus on the main points. This will be hard for me to do because I see them as pretty important. I think that I need to make the text more graphical so that there is less reading and more communicated visually.
I also asked my roommate what the over all message that she took away from the poster is. She said that it was about the injustice that has happened to the Rwandan people. She said that she did not really know what the point of the poster was going to be until she got to the part about the Rwanda Partners and how they help to change the lives of the people and to heal their pain and bitterness. I think that I need to make more of an emphasis on the main message or to make it stand out more so that it has equal weight with the first part of the poster. Graphics will help add interest to the most important part of the message. Overall, this exercise was very insightful and helpful in my process and I look forward to using it in my other design projects.