Week six_1 - Week#6 DESIGNING THE DOCUMENT Let's examine...

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Week #6: DESIGNING THE DOCUMENT Let’s examine the principles of page design, and how those principles impact the documents we create. DESIGNING THE DOCUMENT: If you think about your document as a painting, then the page design would more or less be the frame – it is how we package our document. And each and every one of us is a savvy connoisseur of good page design – every day we see beautifully designed web-pages, magazines, billboards, posters, etc. While we may not be able to point to any one of those items and explain WHY it’s well done, we have no trouble looking at something that’s poorly designed and wrinkling our nose. “Eww. That looks awful.” We might say. Page design is supposed to be attractive – but an attractive page design has several motives. The goals of effective page design are: To make a good impression : Whether we admit it or not, each one of us makes a decision about a document based on appearance. If the document is attractive, it engenders a positive response. We may feel the document is more credible. We may be willing to overlook inconsistencies in the text. I refer to this as the Wizard of Oz rule…remember in the Wizard of Oz, when Toto pulled back the curtain to reveal the bumbling man pretending to be the wizard? And said bumbling man stuck his face into the megaphone and said “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!” in order to divert Dorothy’s attention? We all have a tendency to ignore the substance – the man behind the curtain – if the appearance is impressive enough. To help readers understand the structure and hierarchy of the information: We are schooled from the cradle to recognize certain formats. We read text left to right. Letters that are capitalized and in bold are important. Pictures draw our attention. When we want to refer to a particular item in a magazine or book, we find the table of contents to see what page we need to turn to. We do all this without thinking because we are so used to seeing information delivered in this format. So your page design – your headings, whether or not you use columns, your index – will help your reader make sense of the document. To help readers find information within the document: The use of page numbers, appendices or an index, the table of contents – all of those things “map” your document and allow a reader to fins what they need. To help readers understand the information: The page design, like the graphics, should foster the understanding of the material. To help readers remember the information: We talked last week about how graphics help people retain information – page design can do the same thing.
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Now that you understand what effective page design is supposed to do, it’s important to understand a few basic principles of design . I’ve listed them below. Proximity-
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This note was uploaded on 03/18/2012 for the course ITEC 3290 taught by Professor Dunn during the Spring '12 term at East Carolina University .

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Week six_1 - Week#6 DESIGNING THE DOCUMENT Let's examine...

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