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Peter Schmidt


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| Health Alert Notice SARS | 
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| Black & Decker Toast -R-Oven Manual | 
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Health Alert Notice


(Full Document)



The purpose of the document is to single out individuals to Customs Officials who might have contracted Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The document also provides the air travelling public with information about SARS and informs them about the possibility of having been infected with SARS.

Once the user has read the document they are to answer three questions and then present the form to a Customs Agent who will return the form to the user who then must keep the document for 10 days.


The audience this document is intended for are people who are going to travel, or have been travelling, by airplane outside of Canada . The document is intended for individuals and families and Canadian citizens – the document is bilingual, English on one side and French on the other.

Once completed, the audience of the document becomes the Customs Official who decides to allow the individual through or be set aside for further screening.


The document is meant to be filled out while the user is waiting in line to go through customs after they arrive in Canada or while in line waiting to either check in for their flight or, if they missed the display at the check in area, waiting to be screened by a Custom's Agent. Two separate copies of the form must be filled out – one before departure from Canada and one after arrival in Canada .


The body text of the document is a Serif typeface which helps the user in the linear processing of the paragraphs, especially because the type size and is small. The x-height itself appears to be typical of a novel. The typeface also denotes a personal touch and a feeling of safety and comfort to the user. In the event the user does present the symptoms listed in the document there will be someone to help.

 The subheadings are a Sans-Serif typeface which gives the user a sense of authority – this is the important information: you must read this – and the bolded treatment of the subheading text aids in the navigation of the document by breaking the document into manageable sections.

However, the instructions on how to complete the survey state to “circle" (circle underlined) the correct response. A more useful approach would have been to circle the world circle in the instructions in order to provide the user with an example of what they are supposed to do. The document is used in a busy and crowded area, when the user’s attention is divided between the form and other aspects of travel like making sure they make their flight, filling out a custom's card…


The document uses spacing well in the form portion of the document – although there is no grid pattern evident. The space provided between questions uses both a numbered list and the Gestalt Principal of Proximity, the space around each question indicates a clear division between questions, to allow for easy understanding and use of the document.

However, outdenting the subheadings in the body of the document would have greatly helped navigation, especially because after the users read the document the first time, they  are to hold onto it (for 10 days) for future reference. The user has the document to scan just in case they think they may have SARS  and asks, “What are the symptoms again?”


The colour used in the document is excellent. The yellow ground gives the user a sense of caution, following Western Conventions. The yellow also provides a good ground for the black figure.

The use of red for the heading is effective because it denotes both a sense of stop and danger to the reader. By the colour of the heading alone the user is told, “Stop! You must read this because there is danger!”


The document is laid-out well following the Gutenberg Theory. The graphics in the upper left and lower right corners help the user to read through the information in the conventional method. By focusing the user’s attention in a diagonal line from top left to bottom right.

 The graphics are not pure sugar as they indicate that this is an official document issued by Health Canada .


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