Writing to the World Wide Web
Miscellaneous Issues

I want to revisit some issues we've talked about in past classes and that you've read about.

Layout

Whenever you put together a document, whether it's a term paper, or a newspaper, etc., place the text and other elements on the page following an established grid. The purpose of the grid is to establish an orderly pattern to the information you're presenting on the page, so that your users can look at it and quickly understand the connections between information, establish what's important, and quickly skim to find the information they want.

When establishing a grid, there are a few fairly simple principles that you need to follow.

John December's Presentation

John pointed out a few issues that I think are very important to think about.

Interactivity Design

Chapter 5 in Designing Business concerns where the Web is evolving. Even so, some of the principles that Mok discusses apply to the "lower level" presentation-type projects that you're producing in this class. For example, he presents 10 principles of good GUI design. Try to think through how these principles apply to what you're designing: "Visibility": make sure the user always sees and knows where the links are in your pages (this is especially true of image maps); "Transparency": make sure that the content directs what you put on your pages, instead of putting stuff on your pages to show that you can do so. Etc.

I think the most important principle that Mok points out, though, is in the final section, "Social Science, Not Rocket Science", when he writes: "A designer's work must always be focused on the people who will experience the interactivity and on what is appropriate for a particular community; the technology employed is always a secondary consideration" (page 147).


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