Young People and Mediators Appraising the Design of Multimedia Information Texts

  • Author / Creator
    Sivak, Allison J.
  • This study investigates the ways in which the aesthetics of design in multimedia informational materials influence young people’s perceptions of information credibility. The researcher conducted in-person interviews with 12 young people and three designers, regarding a selection of five materials on the topic of the environment. Interviewees were asked about their interpretations of the materials’ design elements, and the extent to which interviewees related design to the credibility of the information presented by those materials. Before the interviews, the researcher conducted a think-aloud protocol to note her own responses to the set of five materials, and a discourse analysis of reviews of the materials, from professional librarian literature, was also conducted. Responses given by the interviewees were analyzed through the framework of Rabinowitz’s “rules of reading.” Findings highlight the complexity involved in the seeing and reading processes, as well as the individuality of responses, based on an interviewee’s own literacy practices and preferences, even as that individual learns interpretive conventions held by communities of readers and viewers. This research disputes long-held assumptions about the “universality” of communication design choices. The findings suggest that mediators of multimedia texts (such as librarians) encourage young readers / viewers to pay attention to their own affective responses when engaging with a text as a part of their literacy practices. Librarians should also ensure different formats and media design of materials are considered in the building of library collections, in order to offer readers / viewers diverse works with which they can read “for contrast, comparison, and exposure of the act of making meaning” (Drucker 62).

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2016
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.