Document_Design - HOW TO CREATE EFFECTIVE LAYOUTS Writing...

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HOW TO CREATE EFFECTIVE LAYOUTS Writing the text of a document is only one part of creating effective documents. How the text is presented and where it is placed on the page are equally important considerations. For a document to accomplish its intended mission, it must be effective in all of five phases. Failure in any one of these phases will mean failure of the document. The document must be: Noticed Read Understood Remembered Acted upon Document layout and design can help the document be successful, particularly to be noticed, read, and remembered. Good writing is the critical factor in achieving understanding, and meeting the audience’s need will be the primary driving force behind generating the desired action. To achieve good layout, be sure to let the objective guide all decisions. Therefore, make sure you clearly understand the objective of the message C specifically, what are you trying to accomplish with this document? During the design phase, keep asking yourself how the document’s layout and design can help accomplish the objective? Also, be sure to complete a careful audience analysis . Know who will be reading the document C their age, education, interest in the topic, needs, wants, expectations, feelings about the writer, and so forth Next, analyze the reading context . Where will the document be read, when it will be read, what other documents will be competing with this one, and so forth. With this preliminary information in mind, make all necessary decisions concerning the following: Typography Graphics Color White space The following sections contain guidelines and principles which you’ll find helpful in developing functional, professional-looking management documents. Layout Guidelines When you arrange information on a page (or other medium), remember these basic guidelines. 1. Let your objective, your audience, and document conventions guide your layout. There is no overall right or wrong. 1
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2. People’s eyes generally enter the page in the upper half; therefore, put the most important information in the upper or upper-left portion of the page. 3. Place related items together. Graphics should be located beside the text they relate to. 4. Limit line length and paragraph length for easier reading. Readers prefer reading smaller chunks of text, rather than lengthy paragraphs with limited white space. 5. Use symmetrical balance for more formal, conservative documents; use asymmetrical balance for more informal, contemporary documents. Use asymmetrical balance for more eye-catching appeal. 6. Use subheadings and other variations of type, graphics, white space, and layout to break up gray pages. 7.
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This note was uploaded on 12/01/2011 for the course BIS 288 taught by Professor Karlsmart during the Fall '11 term at Central Mich..

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Document_Design - HOW TO CREATE EFFECTIVE LAYOUTS Writing...

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