Paper No. 69-10
Presentation Time: 10:45 AM
TAKING A USER-CENTERED APPROACH TO CREATING AND EVALUATING HAZARD- AND RISK-COMMUNICATION PRODUCTS (Invited Presentation)
How can I design hazards- and risk-communication products that are useful to the community? How will I verify that communication objectives have been achieved? For hazards- and risk-communication products to be effective they must be built upon an explicit understanding of who product users are, and what they need. Failing to engage users throughout the product development process can have significant consequences for an agency with a public safety mission, including missed opportunities, wasted resources, loss of credibility, poor planning decisions, and in the worst case, loss of life. If a hazard product is not evaluated prior to dissemination, essential questions will remain unanswered: Has the product changed users’ perception of risk? Has their understanding improved? Has it worsened?
This talk will discuss ongoing work led by the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory to incorporate User-Centered Design and user-experience research concepts, including usability studies, to develop—and verify—that volcano hazard- and risk-communication products associated with USGS volcano hazard assessments are well-defined, consistent, engaging, and effective; in a word: usable. The discussion will outline ways communication product producers can apply these concepts within their own work to advocate for their users throughout the product development cycle and ensure that products meet users’ needs regardless of project scope, complexity, format, or technology requirements.