Week 14 – Message Testing

April 6, 2015

In this week’s materials, we were asked to read about how the attitudes and perceptions of a website’s users can impact how the user overall interacts with the site, i.e. the user’s attitude and emotion can have a direct correlation between how the user feels about the site and therefore what they do (or don’t do). The second article reviewed a study of a target audience of a city’s PSA campaign to reduce sugary beverage consumption by children and adolescents.

While I by no means pretend to fully understand the math, science, or statistical analysis of both reports, from the articles it was made clear to me that a person’s emotion and cognitive understanding, and therefore reaction, can be directly related to the desired action of the individual in accomplishing a specific goal or task; the first article about web traffic, the second to reduce sugared soda consumption.

Both articles struck me as a great, detailed analysis into target audiences with the goal of understanding how to better communicate and/or market. While both articles were somewhat data – I thought about how Alibaba in China may have changes to Chinese consumer trends – or the recent efforts by other “get fit” initiatives for families in Philadelphia, both articles demonstrated how understanding the attitudes and perceptions of a user or message recipient can impact their expected behavior.

Additionally, while the first article didn’t go into much detail on how language variation might have played a factor in each country (two national languages in Canada, and multiple dialects in China), it did present an understanding of differing attitudes leading to different results. How do these factors measure out and what weight should they have played in the overall research findings?

Overall, I think that both articles attempting to locate an understanding of the primary audiences, either with existing statistical analysis or by conducting their own surveys, to complete the necessary research in attempting achieving the goals of the project.

  1. How often should you measure, research, or test/retest a message to determine if it’s gaining or losing effectiveness? What data points beyond focus groups, surveys, etc. could be used to complement, accredit or diminish the test?
  2. In referencing the Chinese/Canadian research article, how would you accomplish a project where the end result is a site that is language-specific to the user, but not necessarily the design, layout etc.? When would you recommend two or more sites, versus one translated site?

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Message Effectiveness, Message Testing, Research, Surveys,