Effective Communication Design









Design methods for meaning discovery: a patient-oriented health research case study 

David Craib, Lorenzo Imbesi 

Carleton University, Sapienza University


Keywords: design tools, meaning creation, semiotic square, communication design


Communication designers encode messages into verbo-visual presentations to be decoded later by message receivers. This demands that designers choose what meanings to encode. Various tools enabling the exploration and understanding of meaning have been developed through the disciplines of psychology and semiotics, but generally have been used as meaning-analysis tools to analyse texts, and not primarily for meaning creation. Do tools exist to empower a designer to determine the meaning of a message they are tasked to create? Are these tools scalable, able to be used iteratively, and are they efficient? We explore various meaning-analysis tools and apply one of these tools to create meaning, within a real-world design project, within a limited timeframe, for the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). 

This paper is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence.

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Cite this paper: Craib, D., Imbesi, L. (2016). Design methods for meaning discovery: a patient-oriented health research case study. Proceedings of DRS 2016, Design Research Society 50th Anniversary Conference. Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016.

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