Keyword: Affect; relevance; visual context; diagram design
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Interdisciplinary Journal of Environmental and Science Education, 2021, 17(1), e2224, https://doi.org/10.29333/ijese/9154
ABSTRACT: Graphics, graphs, diagrams, and visual representations of information play an integral role in science education and communication settings. The production of such graphics involves hundreds of design decisions, from content and layout to colour and illustration style, and any of these decisions has the potential to influence viewer’s experience and interpretation. While many studies have examined the influence of design on information transfer, comprehension, recall and so on, less attention has been given to affective impacts. In this study, we examined the impact of visual context in a biology life cycle diagram on viewers’ perception of relevance, sense of concern, and others. Results indicated that the presence of a contextual background in the diagram was associated with higher perception of relevance (related to personal experience). Context may also correlate with greater concern, though further research is needed to confirm this.