Designing health based literature for low literacy groups

Terry Quigley (Designer)

Research output: Non-textual formArtefact

25 Downloads (Pure)


Overview & Methodology. This artefact is the graphic output resulting from a collaboration aimed at defining the optimal graphic styling and presentation method to communicate healthcare information on the risks and impact associated with developing type 2 diabetes, to low health literacy groups. This output is linked to results obtained in a study (PURE ID: 11449742) which engaged patients as active partners to understand how they respond to existing health literature, and graphical presentation of health based information. A team of Visual Communication academics, working with community group ‘Elemental Software’ and InvestNI (Innovation Voucher) adopted the findings from this study which described a set of visual characteristics in relation to preferred colour palettes, iconography, negative spacing, typography, visual weight, balance and legibility. This learning was used to generate a visual moodboard and style guide from which three graphic outputs (static infographic, animation, printed poster) were produced, each communicating the same information to the patient with regards to Diabetes. ResultsEach of the three outputs were shared with patients through a focus group and via social media to determine which format was most successful. The digital outputs (Infographic, animation) were shared via social media (Facebook, Twitter) to the patient group. The infographic reached more people but was liked/shared less than the animation. The infographic engaged more users via post clicks. The focus group revealed patients felt more engaged with the animation. They preferred to view healthcare information using smartphone technology as opposed to printed poster formats, and preferred use of graphics and icons over text heavy information. ConclusionThis small study demonstrated the importance of engaging patients as ‘active partners’ with the aim of designing health-based literature by understanding the target demographic and how they respond to these interventions. It supports the claim made in (PURE ID: 11449742) that by using innovative digital technology, patient engagement is encouraged which could lead to greater self-care and independence in relation to long term condition management. This work was subsequently used by Diabetes UK NI in a digital marketing campaign, was shared via social media by World Diabetes Day, received support and endorsement from Diabetes North West, The Western Health Trust’s Clinical team responsible for awareness and support in the region. Was used by a Health Living Centre in the campaign around awareness and prevention of Type 2 Diabetes and was used to educate young people in schools in Dubai as part of an Innovation Programme, led by Elemental Software.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 13 Mar 2014


Dive into the research topics of 'Designing health based literature for low literacy groups'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this