The paper deals with issues and concerns relating to the process of pre-‐testing visual illustrations used in educational material in a community communication setting.
The first part of the paper discusses how selected aspects of nutrition education materials meant for elderly care givers in Boipatong were pre-‐tested using questionnaires (n=55) and focus group discussions in order to establish the target group’s views and opinions about different types of visual illustration approaches. The information was subsequently used to guide the production of a visually illustrated nutrition education booklet, which was distributed free of charge in the community as part of a nutrition education intervention.
The second part of the paper deals primarily with the focus group discussions, in which a total of 15 care-‐givers participated. The focus group discussions aimed to augment the questionnaire data, especially with regard to
- the role of the visual images,
- the comprehension of the visual messages, as well as
- the appeal of the illustrations.
Central themes in the focus group transcripts are that the visual component of the nutrition education materials plays a very important role and that the participants regard the nutrition education booklet as essential for their work as care givers. The findings confirm the importance of empirically pre-‐testing educational materials as thoroughly as possible in order to ensure a final product that meets the needs of the specific target community.