Sydney Keefer
Sydney Keefer
Helios Scholar
School: Northern Arizona University
Hometown: Glendale, Arizona
Daily Mentor: Jeff Watkins
PI: Jeff Watkins

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Designing effective visuals for TGen’s public tours

My work as a Graphic Design intern in this program was to help TGen enhance their public tours by creating visuals for each stop. We aimed to have one piece of signage per tour stop completed by the end of the Helios program. This project adds the ability to contribute to the tour guide’s explanations so the audience can both see and hear the information. The deliverables we had decided on were infographic posters and handouts that correspond with the posters and contain any outside information that wasn’t explicitly mentioned that people may want to see. Since the public tours focus around a more lay audience, our goal was to streamline the information we were given by the labs so people without a scientific background can follow along. Our department expects that after people take the tours, their memory retention will increase by 10%, and their confidence in understanding the science will increase by 5%, once the signage is added. Before executing anything, I first went on the public tour myself to get an idea of what I would include in the posters. Prior to research, we first established baseline data using a post-tour survey. Since we had no data from previous tour surveys, we had the students within the TGen Bioscience Leadership Academy program take the survey after they took the public tour during their time here. The survey touched on how confident the individuals were after taking the tour regarding understanding what TGen does, understanding how the research is conducted, and the individual’s ability to relay the information they learned to another person. This data was able to give us future insight on how valuable visuals are, and what we can ask in subsequent surveys after future public tours. The next step involved meeting with someone who had expert knowledge from each lab in order to collect the most optimal, current data. After reviewing this information, I proceeded to sketch out concepts for the posters and brainstormed how the information would be organized. We made sure to reconvene multiple times throughout the entire process to identify the most valuable and understandable information and most effective takeaways. After finishing the posters we created handout versions, as well as a document people could refer to for additional information on the labs. We made sure to keep in touch with the scientists we got the information from in order to make sure everything we had gathered and put together was accurate. Although we completed the posters, we are still adjusting information in order to keep it relevant and up to date when people take the tour. We intend to continue to give surveys to people after they attend TGen’s public tour in order to collect and compare data so that we can better tailor our infographics for greater retention and understanding. Overall, we hope the outcomes of this project will not only increase visitor familiarity with TGen, but also promote community engagement and donations.