This thread on Aviation.SE raises an interesting question: what is the advantage in putting the "DO" actions below the hazard zone on the diagram, rather than below the safe zone?

For context, this maps the area around a jet engine where you risk getting sucked into it.

Turbine engine inlet unsafe area

Would it be that the hazard zone draws more attention than the safe zone?

I'm posting this largely because it triggered a lot of attention on Aviation.SE and I thought it merited analysis, and I imagine there is actually research and a clear answer on this topic.

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    I would suspect that the Do and Do Not is arranged as such merely because of the convention of listing "Do's and Do Not's" in that order, rather than any intention of putting them in the safe zone or hazard zone.
    – TScott
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 20:00
  • 1
    Someone did a bad job of graphic design. The whole point of using gridded design is to do what a painter does: draw the eye to the important parts. Whoever did that poster (or whatever it is) really put their foot in it.
    – MMacD
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 20:33
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    It would be interesting to heat map eye fixations over the whole poster. I suspect the graphic element is much more visually 'interesting' - but the order of the fixations would give some clues as to the order at which the information is looked at.
    – PhillipW
    Commented Dec 20, 2016 at 15:51

3 Answers 3

  • The list states things to DO and NOT to DO.

  • The picture shows the areas where to BE and where NOT to BE.

There is no direct relation between Doing things in the Be area and Not Doing things in the Not Be area. Or put in a different way, Do things should be done independently of the area, and Do Not things shouldn't be done independently of the area.

It would probably be more clear to avoid any kind of visual relation between the Do list and Be picture.


The other text actually refers to the areas in the picture so there it makes sense to layout it in relation to the picture.

  • Oh, there's a relationship all right. "DO (stand in the indicated area), DO NOT (stand behind it)." Of course, you have to ignore the big red line through the people standing in the indicated area, but people are...not always completely on their game. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 11:58
  • "It would probably be more clear..." definitely. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 11:59

I suggest not splitting the Do and Do Not along the safety boundary in the diagram.

Do Do Not

Having them split like that makes one think one is for one side and the other is for the other, just like the "man" and "no man" icons. Next brings the confusion of the "Do" on the hazard side and the "Do Not" on the safe side. More mental processing needs done. And finally after reading the Do's and Don't's one figures out they apply to both safe and hazard zones. Oops.

With the Do and Do Not moved off to one side it's clear these instructions apply to both.


To add to Knuckles's improvements...

I'd have added blood splatter, but it was going to take too much time

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    Humor aside, the added directional arrows seem to detract from the warning to stay out of the orange designated area, and sound like the warning is to not walk into the giant sucking machine. I think the more effective message is STAY OUT OF THE ORANGE AREA. Commented Apr 10, 2019 at 14:20

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