The Impact of variable data print on usability in design

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Title: The Impact of variable data print on usability in design
Author: Wells, William
Abstract: In a world where people see, process and remember information differently, the question arises: Is technology being used in a manner that acknowledges and addresses user differences to the fullest extent? Currently, new print technologies like Variable Data Printing (VDP) are only being used to create customized direct mailing pieces and personalized products for the purpose of marketing, sales and promotion. However, VDP introduces the ability to change data and design elements in printed documents on an individual basis, making it possible to address differences in visual and cognitive abilities, language and culture, and situational considerations. Applying this concept of customization to educational or informational documents would allow a small amount of input from a user to influence unique output (different sequences or layouts, typographic decisions and appropriate content choices) that are more relevant, usable and engaging. While using VDP as a means to explore and achieve this customization, the focus of this thesis study is not the technology, but the development of a graphic design strategy that also accommodates this customization goal to make information more accessible and usable on an individual basis.
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Date: 2007-06

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