Increased effectiveness of an interactive warning in a realistic incidental product-use situation

  • Duffy R
  • Kalsher M
  • Wogalter M
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Abstract

Information about hazards and safe use of products is often provided in warning labels. In recent years, researchers have been exploring factors that influence warning effectiveness. One promising design factor is an interactive label that requires manipulation by users before or during use of a product. In the present research, the effectiveness of two interactive warning labels (with and without a color component) were compared to a standard label in the context of a realistic product-use task. The task involved the setup of video equipment in which participants connected the electrical cords to power outlets - during which they were incidentally exposed to one of three warnings attached to extension cords. Another factor manipulated in the experiment was task load, low versus higher, in which the higher load condition had an extra task that had to be performed within the same time frame. The results showed that the interactive labels were noticed, recalled and complied to more often than a standard on-product label. Increasing task load and adding color to the interactive label showed no significant influence. The results suggest that the interactive label facilitates the capturing of attention, thus increasing the potential for further processing of the message. © 1995.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Hazard control
  • Personal protection
  • Safety
  • Signs
  • Visual displays
  • Warning

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