Document Type Master's Dissertation Author Skosana, Delphia Sibongile firstname.lastname@example.org URN etd-02212006-154526 Document Title A usability study of two printed pamphlets designed to inform small scale farmers about best agricultural practices Degree MA(Development Communication) Department Information Science Supervisor
Advisor Name Title Prof M E Snyman Keywords
- Development Communication
- verbal sign
- visual sign
Date 2006-02-16 Availability restricted AbstractThe objective of this study is to investigate the effectiveness of messages designed to communicate information to developing communities and to explore the socio-economic and demographic factors contributing to this. Small-scale farmers in three selected areas in North-West Province, namely, Makouspan, Naaupoort and Kareepoort, were selected for this purpose.
The hypothesis of this study is that the dissemination of information will not be effective if the messages are not stated clearly. In order to test this hypothesis, two messages, namely, “The cultivation of maize” and “How to get your soil tested”, were selected to determine the usability and effectiveness of the messages.
The study reveals a difference in the level of literacy and comprehension among the three experimental groups, as the level of interaction with the messages in Kareepoort was better than that in Makouspan and Naaupoort. Respondents in Kareepoort revealed a higher level of literacy and education, which could be the reason why they showed a better understanding of the messages than was the case in the other two areas.
Poor education, a low level of literacy, old age and poor eyesight not only result in the peoples’ inability or unwillingness to read, but could also be the reason for the high level of unemployment in the areas. Especially older people experienced difficulties with both visual and verbal signs, but the pictures which were used helped most of the respondents to grasp the information and therefore get the message. The pictures also indicate that the way the information was repackaged is ideally suited for the target group.
The hypothesis of this study was proven in the sense that the designed messages were both effective and ineffective, as they were clear to the majority but unclear to the minority of the respondents.
This study raises issues which, if attended to, could improve the dissemination of information to the developing communities, for example, providing messages with real photographs.
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