Leeds School of Design: leading the way in digital design research and human centred global communication
The interdisciplinary Leeds School of Design delivers a range of courses including our innovative and fully online Masters in Digital Design and Communication.
100% of the research conducted at the faculty has been recognised as world-leading (Research Excellence Framework, 2021) and aims to develop new digital design ideas and provide solutions to issues faced in industry and society.
Read our blog to uncover some of the top digital design and communication research projects conducted at the School of Design and find out how studying with us can benefit your career.
1. Improving trust on cyber awareness websites
In collaboration with the University of Hull and Birmingham City University, the Leeds School of Design created an Information Design Process Model to assess how different forms of digital design impacts user behaviour and trust which impacts overall website performance.
Two cyber security awareness websites were investigated, and both concluded that participants located, understood, and recalled information better when the websites displayed more user-centred design principles such as menus, visuals, and search boxes.
The study also determined that dense, complex, and badly designed websites that touch on sensitive topics like cyber security will overwhelm users whereas making the tone of the design more corporate and featuring in-depth information will convey a sense of trust.
2. Enhancing patient understanding around colonoscopy screenings
In healthcare, digital design research has improved the design and content of bowel preparation instructions to increase knowledge amongst patients of a colonoscopy screening procedure. At least 25% of colonoscopies are unsuccessful due to poor bowel preparation which requires the consumption of a prescribed medicine and adherence to a strict diet. This is mainly down to the current health information provided being too complex for as many as 43% of adults.
To overcome this gap in communication, the Leeds School of Design undertook focus groups, surveys, questionnaires, interviews, usability testing, and user performance testing to compare existing designs with new solutions including a redesigned bowel preparation booklet, calendar, video, and companion app. The new forms of digital design content resulted in a clearer understanding of bowel preparation instructions amongst patients as opposed to the designs used previously, reducing anxieties around the invasive procedure.
3. Improving communication in intelligence information
The process of national security intelligence is about knowing the information you need, how to collect and analyse it, and communicating it to decision makers. Four cases of poor communication which resulted in intelligence shortcomings were investigated to identify current practices and opportunities for improvement within UK intelligence communities.
As a result of the research project, the main obstacles to good communication were identified to include information technicalities, time pressure and complexity of threats. The study also established visual communication in the form of presentations and visual cues such as colour, size, and placement to be very important to the intelligence sector. They provide the opportunity to improve the accuracy of intelligence communication.
Learn from academic and research excellence
At the Leeds School of Design, we are ranked 8th in the UK for Art and Design (Complete University Guide, 2023) with creation and innovation at the heart of both our teaching and research.
When you study with us, you’ll learn about designing for multiple digital channels through different platforms and explore the practical aspects of both digital design and communication. You’ll also gain valuable analytical skills which will allow you to implement effective solutions to complex problems and drive innovation in your business. By developing these fundamental creative and technical skills, you’ll gain the knowledge you need to stand out from the crowd.
You’ll also benefit from our cutting-edge research and a dedicated employability lead who offers career events and networking opportunities.
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