|M.Sc Student||Marom Yael|
|Subject||Symbol Design for Safety Signage in an Industrial|
Plant: The Influence of Design Genre on Risk
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Emeritus Gabriela Goldschmidt|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Many work environments of industrial plants nowadays are characterized by visual clutter. The implementation of design tools in such environments can improve the availability of safety related information and promote safe behavior. The present study takes place in a factory which supplies laundry and sterilization services to most hospitals and clinics across Israel. The primary aim of this particular study is to compare the levels of risk perception of four different design genres of safety symbols. We designed relevant symbols for eight risk factors found in the plant and then represented each risk factor using four design genres: Abstract, Silhouette, Neutral Realistic, and Caricature. We expected symbols that present the human figure in an unidentified form (that is, Abstract and Silhouette genres, respectively) to elicit higher perceived risk.
The experiment was carried out in the form of individual interviews composed of open-ended comprehension tests, risk perception evaluations, and a card-sorting task, which were followed by subjective evaluations of symbol preference. A random sample of 44 employees, mostly new immigrants whose mother tongue is not Hebrew, evaluated 8 symbols each. Factor analysis was performed on their ratings to produce a single score of risk perception. As expected, Analysis of Variance showed a significant difference in risk perception between the genres. The comprehension score of all four genres was found to be high. Additional methods were employed to analyze the clustering and preference responses in order to further investigate the effect of genre on symbol perception. Overall, results suggest that given high comprehension, symbols that aim to communicate safety information should preferably be represented with the design genres of Abstract or Silhouette, which were perceived as more “risky”.