edc_2011_21 - Chapter 21: Visual CommunicationDocument...

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Chapter 21: Visual Communication—Document Design, Figures, and Tables 205 CHAPTER 21: VISUAL COMMUNICATION—DOCUMENT DESIGN, FIGURES, AND TABLES Chapter outline Document design for written deliverables Figures •T a b l e s Key guidelines for visual communication Make the important components of a figure easily visible and clearly defined Give each figure and table a number and descriptive title Refer to each figure and table in the accompanying text Use parallel grammatical structure in lists Break lists with more than seven items into sub-categories Distinguish different levels of headings by varying the typography (e.g., font size, bold, underlining, italics) Single-space a report, and skip a line after each paragraph Number the pages in a report In the first half of this textbook, you have seen that much of engineering design depends on visual communication—sketching during brainstorms, pre- paring mockups for user testing, and presenting slides and mockups in design reviews. Visual communication also includes document design and page lay- out so your reports will be attractive and easy to read, as well as effective use of figures and tables to communicate information clearly, concisely, and pro- fessionally. (Additional types of visual communication—posters and Power- Point slides—are discussed at length in later chapters.)
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Chapter 21: Visual Communication—Document Design, Figures, and Tables 206 21.1 DOCUMENT DESIGN (PAGE LAYOUT) FOR WRITTEN DELIVERABLES A document’s appearance and organization have an immediate effect on a reader. If it looks professional and makes information easy to find, readers are more likely to read it and to understand and be persuaded of your ideas. For advice about the overall appearance of EDC reports, see Chapter 23. For designing pages that are easy to read, follow the directions below. Each page of a document should look neat and professional, and be easy to read. This section explains how to use line spacing, margins, fonts, page num- bers, and headers and footers to achieve those goals. 21.1.1 Line spacing and paragraphing Use single-spacing and left-justified block margins for most of the documents you write in EDC: memos, reports, even documentation in your project note- book. Skip a line between paragraphs. In long reports, skip two lines between main sections. Use double-spacing for essays. Do not include an extra space between para- graphs; instead, use an indented first line to indicate a new paragraph. Whichever style you use, start paragraphs with a strong, clear topic sentence because readers of technical documents often skim the document to find the material they need. When they skim, they focus on the beginning of para- graphs. See Chapter 25 for more advice about writing effective paragraphs.
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This note was uploaded on 05/30/2011 for the course MATH 203 taught by Professor Xia during the Summer '00 term at Culver-Stockton.

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edc_2011_21 - Chapter 21: Visual CommunicationDocument...

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