Color me Beautiful, or Color me Boring? Let us know what you think!

by Andrew Maynard on May 31, 2013

We’ve been experimenting with color on the Risk Bites videos over the past few weeks – sprinkling in a few non-black whiteboard markers to liven up the illustrations.  And now it’s crunch time – we want your opinion: Does adding a bit of color make the videos more effective, or should we revert back to the world of monochrome?

Color me Beautiful frame 750px

Below are two of the more recent videos on the channel.  Please take a couple of minutes to preview them, and fill in the poll below – which will only take a couple of seconds.  Alternatively, please do leave us your thoughts in the comments below.

Is a bit of color a good thing for Risk Bites?

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And if you’re wondering what we’re trying to achieve here (because it might be important in guiding your response), the Risk Bites videos are aimed at providing short, engaging and informative insights into the science of risk – how and why we think and feel about risks in the way we do, and how to make sense of risk when trying to make informed decisions.  Because we want these to be as engaging and useful as possible, it’s pretty important to us that we get them right – color or no color.

Thanks for your help!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Gillian Petrokofsky May 31, 2013 at 4:28 pm

Could you test having SINGLE colours? I find my myself wondering about the significance of the different colours in one strip. (Also your questions are scarcely equal!)


Andrew Maynard June 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

Thanks Gillian – we actually started to think about what significance different colors wold have, but like you, I wonder whether that level of subtlety detracts from the main message.

And yes, the questions were unequal – they wouldn’t pass muster in a more formal survey :-) But I hoped that people would see through the fun and get the idea!


Jennifer Nusbaum June 2, 2013 at 7:24 pm

I agree with Gillian about the wording of the two choices making it seem as if one is more desired than the other. I like them both (which understandably was not an option) but think the use of color should be less gratuitous and more meaningful. I spent more time trying to get at the psychological significance of each color choice rather than considering the actual point of the video.


Hilary Sutcliffe June 3, 2013 at 3:44 am

Agree with Jennifer, not necessary and not particularly adding something and perhaps distracting attention from message. Not sure though that even ‘strategically used colour’ would add any great value.

Was wondering at the weekend for some saddo reason about viewing figures for risk bites and Mind the Science gap by theme or subject. Do you have a chart? It would be interesting to see what people want and not.

Personally I am watching them less now as they aren’t really on subjects I am interested in, so am only watching the ones that are. so perhaps your response depends on your current audience, tricky to branch out to others except by subject area I suppose?

Good work though!


Andrew Maynard June 3, 2013 at 6:44 am

Hi Hilary – it’s a very reasonable question! I’m tracking views on both Risk Bites and MTSG by subject as well as a number of other things. Subject definitely has a big influence over viewers – and drives one-off views as well (as far as I can see) selective subscriber views. That said, I’m not sure I would tailor content too much to what garners the most views, as from an educational perspective it’s important to have a broad portfolio that covers key topics, rather than just going for the stuff that gets the big hits.


Jeff Sepesi June 12, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I believe continuing in black and white is preferable because it keeps the focus on the content. Use of color would undercut the conscious aesthetic and unique style of the Risk Bites presentations. That said, an occasional use of Maize and Blue, perhaps during football season might be OK.

Jeff Sepesi MPH 1984


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