Independant Dorset Poster Campaign: Audience Data and Testing

Once the final poster was designed, we had to gather and collect data about our audience to see how people used the mediated space within the Bournemouth University Weymouth house ‘foyer’ which could be best suited to position where to put our poster for the most public viewing.

Here is a map of what we used as a bird-eye view point of shot to see how the audience moved as well as translating where there movements were going, this gave me and the group a much greater understanding in where all the paths would lead to when student/staff/visitors enter and leave the foyer.

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Within my research I managed to find out that within the time of 10 minutes 40 people walked past this was due to the fact it was 11:50 and students/staff have either another lesson or a break to attend to at 12, in which case provided more data for myself as the space in the foyer was still in use.

What I noticed from this study is that there were multiple activities going on around the foyer such as people either standing about, chatting, sitting and/or either waiting/lounging about. This was split in 3 sections of the foyer. The reasons for this is that there were 3 sections that allowed people to interact with or walk straight past, this was the Costa Coffee Counter which you see in the image, the seating areas which split into two sides, on the right is where the couches and more people can sit and the left with tables and chairs.

Other than the obvious people who were sitting down had more intention of staying longer because they were either occupied with another activity such as on there phones or doing work and wasn’t even looking into the space and blanking everything else out. This made us realise that putting our poster in these area would be crucial as there would be no one to look at the poster and engage with it.

This is when we started to realise we needed to know where the walking paths of the people were intended, and this gave us a closer result to finding where to put the poster. I managed to find that people were either walking through the space in either a hurry as if they avoided things around them or walked slowly and looked around while still walking to there intended destination but the biggest finding is that anyone who enters always looks at the Coffee Counter area as they seem to always get a glimpse of whats going on.

Another area in which I discovered when looking into this space of the foyer, is that the walls next to the couches were barely even looked at as they were covered with TV screens and printed based media, this way every person who walked past either assumed that it was there therefore never take a second look onto it creating a NO ZONE area for our poster as there was no engagement.

Here we decided that the poster needed to be in the area of the Coffee Counter area, as we started to deconstruct this was the best place to get our audience to engage with the poster. The reason for this is, all the people have to queue when it comes to purchasing anything from the area as well as need to wait to either be served to pay or wait for there Coffee to be made. This gives times to the people to engage with our poster as there is no other option other than looking around aimlessly while being patient, therefore we create a sense that urges them to read as theres nothing better to do, giving awareness of the poster to the viewer.

Even though this is all the data we collected, it was only limited to 1 day throughout the week, in which I believe if there was more time for us to analyse ‘People watching’ from different times and days we would be able to come up with more accurate results leading to us knowing when to put the poster up as well as knowing what day and time to put it on to make sure there was engagement with the Dorset Poster.

Due to the fast pace of people walking in and out the building, I suggest that using a method that is in an industry standard that using latest technology such as infrared beams, thermal imaging and pressure-sensitive mats would of given a much more clear and precise reading on how many people are in the space moving as counting people by your own eyes and hand can lead to human error with common mistakes of miscounting. This happened when it came to the individual research of each person in our group as we all had different results due to the fact we all saw different area of the space which we made fair by adding it altogether and averaged the total.

 Wikipedia, (2014). People counter. [online] Available at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People_counter [Accessed 18 Oct. 2014].

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