The Science and Art of Clear Communication

Bridging the gap between research and design

Over the last two years, amongst the magazine layouts, logos and lockdowns, I (Adele) have been immersing myself in the fascinating subject of The Psychology of Advertising. 

The course (an MSc at Lancaster University) was an exploration into human behaviour and our responses to advertising. This has enabled Moonloft to offer a more in-depth, science-backed service on how to reach your target audience.

Fear not, this was not a dabble in the Dark Arts (although there was a particularly unnerving module on statistics). Instead it has given Moonloft many wonderful tools that can be used for good.

Here’s a couple of examples:

North West Blood Bikes (Lancs & Lakes)

To better communicate the role of Blood Bikes Controllers

Many of you will have seen a Blood Biker on the roads who whizz about delivering time-critical bloods, breast milk, meds, samples (and the occasional pair of false teeth) from path labs to hospitals and clinics. 

The charity is run solely by volunteers who do an amazing job, working out of hours, 365 days a year, saving the NHS thousands of pounds that would otherwise be spent on taxis and couriers.

Behind each journey is a Controller who takes calls from the hospitals and dispatches the nearest Rider. The charity was struggling to attract and retain new volunteers to this role and it was therefore my mission (my dissertation) to develop an understanding as to why there was a high post-training attrition rate.

I interviewed 21 volunteers who revealed key insights into the perceptions (like responsibilities and commitment); motivations (such as keeping the brain active, being part of a team, working from home and wanting to support the NHS), and barriers (notably, lack of visibility) of the role of Controller.

The data enabled me to address the issues and develop a set of actionable recommendations that more closely align expectation with reality. The charity can now implement these suggestions throughout the whole recruitment journey, from advertising, through screening, to training and whilst in the post.

And if this sounds like time you could give, then contact your nearest Blood Bikes charity group to find out how to get involved.

Lancaster University Gynae Cancer Narratives project

To develop a Sexual Wellness Toolkit

More recently, I have been working with researchers at Lancaster University on the Gynae Cancer Narratives Project. The challenge here is to design a ‘toolkit’ that therapy radiographers can use to aid conversations with patients about sexual wellness during their cancer treatment. Last week I attended a workshop with a group of clinicians to talk about sex. The day was facilitated by Me&Her who brought with them an impressive collection of toys, zines, lubricants and whatonearthisthat? to get everyone in the mood for… creative inspiration.

Despite the blushes, the day prompted hugely important and lively discussions about how to help gynae cancer patients talk about their sexual self and how this might change during radiotherapy treatment. Crucially, the workshop was a collaboration of ideas about how to keep conversations going – comfortably and openly – with patients. It was and is such a privilege to be working with this amazing team who are driven to delivering the best possible healthcare package, who want to empower patients throughout their journey. 

As a result, my brain and notepad are stuffed full ideas about how we can start these conversations, to deliver a patient-centred toolkit that helps them navigate their way through difficult or unfamiliar language, concepts and procedures, in a bid to reduce anxiety and regain confidence with the sexual self.

First Science, then Art

So as you can see, a new Moonloft service has emerged that bridges the gap between research and design. We can either work with your data and transform it into effective design, or start the research planning journey with you, giving you the confidence that your advertising strategy is backed by science.  

And once the science is in place, the artists can get to work!

Please get in touch if you think we can help you.