selecting participants

I’ve initially had quite a lot of interview questions, however after discussion with my dissertation tutor, it was suggested that I should focus my questions on asking what I WANTED to find out, rather than just asking questions which I already know.

This questionnaire was filled in by 10 graphic designers and 10 3D designers, whilst the other 10 participants were other students studying a different profession. I have split the participants equally, and the reasons why I chose to ask students from these specific categories is because I feel I could obtain interesting results with the choice of their difference in professions. I’ve also chose to ask 10 other students from entirely different professions, such as students who study Maths and Science related courses, in hoping to see whether people’s professions will make them choose different answers and why.

After much thought, I feel that it could be difficult to conduct research to answer the question of ‘how does our various perspectives affect our ways of seeing through visual communication?’ if asked people too many questions on analysing images. I feel the best way for me is to just take a more ‘natural’ approach and ask participants to analyse and deconstruct the same image in detail. I feel it is a more natural approach because partipants will be deconstructing the image in their own way; if I asked them to deconstruct the image using the six perspectives, it would feel like the answers will be ‘forced’ and unnatural. So from all the gathered results, I can see whether there is a common process or perspective in how people read images. It would be interesting to evaluate the final results and see if it answers my thesis.

I have initially aimed to interview 12 participants, however only 5 of these were interviews that were ‘face to face’ and the rest were the participants answering the interview questions on paper. I’ve decided to split it this way because I feel that a few people would probably like to deconstruct the images in their own time and in peace, so they can slowly do it to their own pace without rush. After the face to face interviews with a few participants, it made me realize that the paper based interviews were much better as they contained more detailed information. The participants who answered the interview on paper probably felt more at ease, so I’ve decided to do more paper based interviews instead.



Everyone sees differently, however perhaps people do tend to read specific details of visuals first? It would be very interesting to see how people analyse and what they see foremost in the same image. This is why I’ve decided to ask participants to read and try deconstruct the same image to see whether their responses differ or are similar.


The first questions in the questionnaire asked them to put in order of what they think is the most ‘important aspect’ in a piece of artwork.

The options included: ‘the aesthetics’, ‘the meaning behind the artwork’, ‘who the artwork is created by (its artist)’, ‘how the artwork makes you feel’, ‘how the artwork relates to you’.

I’ve always wondered how things look through other people’s field of vision, this is why the second question in my questionnaire was:

What do you first notice in this image, and why? [Unspoken Stories’, a photomontage by Tom Chamber, (1985).]

The last question was a task; it was for participants to analyse and deconstruct the photographic artwork by Sarah Ann Loreth called ‘Insanity’, (2011) . The reason why I chose this particular image is because there seems to be alot to talk about in its visuals; it would be intriguing to see how the participants would read the image.



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