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Visual Design Best Practices for Handouts

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Visual Design Best Practices for Handouts

  1. 1. Visual design best practices for handouts Cameron Romney Center for Foreign Language Education Momoyama Gakuin University (St. Andrew’s University) March 23, 2013
  2. 2. Agenda• Introduction• Typography• Page Layout• Graphics: Illustrations/Photographs, etc.
  3. 3. ConnectTheory and Practice with ‘Best Practices’
  4. 4. Do you know anything about typography/ page layout/graphics? Do you think it (they) are important? Why or why not?
  5. 5. “Unfortunately, most of the materials made athome, no matter how good in content, areatrocious in terms of layout. In my experienceswith both publishers and students, I have cometo the conclusion that layout is just as important as...no, even more important than...content” Curtis Kelly, 1998
  6. 6. Visual design effects on readers• Motivation Smiley (2004); Misanchuk (1992); Bell & Sullivan (1981)• Comprehension Gasser, Boeke, Haffernan, & Tan (2005); Romney (2004); Smiley (2004); Walker (2001), Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997); Garofalo (1988), Lewis & Walker (1989)• Recall Gasser, Boeke, Haffernan, & Tan (2005); Smiley (2004); Lewis & Walker (1989)• Efficiency/Speed Smiley (2004); Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997)
  7. 7. “...more easily perceiving ... text on apage ... less attentional resources arerequired for the process of reading. Moreattentional resources can then bedevoted to attending to the message inthe text, which results in deeperprocessing and an easier recall of theinformation presented.” (p. 185) Gasser, Boek, Haffernan & Tan (2005)
  8. 8. Typeface i.e. font
  9. 9. Common Problems for L2 Learners
  10. 10. Legibility
  11. 11. LC l and UC I
  12. 12. LC d, b, q and p
  13. 13. Lowercase i and j
  14. 14. Lowercase c and o
  15. 15. Lowercase f and t
  16. 16. Double story minuscules Images from Wikipedia
  17. 17. Best Practice #1Use the font students are FAMILIAR with
  18. 18. “people most easily read materialprinted in the typefaces withwhich they are most familiar.” (p. 32) Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997)
  19. 19. Copyright page
  20. 20. Identifont & WhatTheFont www.identifont.com http://new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont (includes an iPhone app)
  21. 21. Best Practice #1 (version two)Use a font with good LEGIBILITY
  22. 22. Recommended Typefaces Serif Sans Serif• Georgia • Verdana• (Bembo) Schoolbook • Helvetica Textbook
  23. 23. GeorgiaImage from Identifont
  24. 24. Bembo Schoolbook Image from Identifont
  25. 25. VerdanaImage from Identifont
  26. 26. Helvetica Textbook Image from Identifont
  27. 27. Best Practice #2set the typeface at a LARGER size
  28. 28. • Less skilled readers benefit from larger text Carter, Day & Meggs (2006); Petterson (1989)• 9-12 pt is standard for adults Carter, Day & Meggs (2006)• 18 pt for 1st grade, 14 pt for 3rd grade, 11 pt for 6th grade Hoener, Salend & Kay (1997)
  29. 29. Best Practice #3 Use typography tosignal different sections
  30. 30. Example
  31. 31. Tip Don’t forget thePRINTING & COPYNG
  32. 32. Page Layout
  33. 33. Best Practice #4Use INCREASED line spacing and white space
  34. 34. Theory (line spacing)“...the reader has an effortlessreturn path to the left edge ... forthe next line.” (p. 115) White (2002)
  35. 35. Theory (white space)“Space attracts readers bymaking the page look accessible,unthreatening, and manageable” White (2002)
  36. 36. Best Practice #5Use lines & shapes toORGANIZE the page
  37. 37. Theory“...directing the readers eyearound the page, drawing attentionto specific parts... breaking copyinto sections” (p.86) Dabner (2004)
  38. 38. Graphics
  39. 39. Best Practice #6Only use graphics with INSTRUCTIONAL purpose
  40. 40. “The fear of ‘wasted space’ drivesdesign novices to fill in any emptyspace with unnecessary clipart.” (p. 37) White (2002)
  41. 41. TheoryGraphics can be a distraction Evans, Watson and Willows (1987); Peeck (1987) Clark & Lyons (2011); Romney & Bell (2011)
  42. 42. “If instructional facilitation is nothighly probable, then ... graphicsshould not be used in instructionalmaterial.” (p. 239) Misanchuk (1992)
  43. 43. Putting it all together A Before and After
  44. 44. Thank Youromney.cameron@gmail.com LinkedInTwitter: @CameronRomney CameronRomney.com

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