The Rhetorical Nature ofWeb Designa few preliminary considerations forcolleagues and studentsAmy Goodloe© 2011 All rights ...
PREFACE What follows are notes for a presentation I shared  with colleagues at the PWR Digital Composition  Workshop on A...
COPYRIGHT NOTICEAll the material on these slides is the sole     property of Amy Goodloe © 2011            all rights rese...
The Basic Idea:to inspire you to think rhetorically         about web design        - reading the web         - writing th...
Every element of a web site has a rhetorical purpose.
graphics    layout     color  navigation organizationand of course...      text
Everything works together to             convey:  - a particular mood or tone  - a message about the content  - a message ...
In other words, everyelement of a web sitecommunicates a message...
whether the designer intended it             to...            or not!
(this would be a good place for an          example, eh?)
So how do you design a web sitethat sends the right messages for     your rhetorical situation?
Start by paying attention to how      people read the web.
You probably don‟t remember whenyou learned how to navigate a book.
(if you haven‟t seen this already, go watch it!)
To read a book, you had to  figure out elements like:    table of contents         chapters          sections     page num...
You also learned to pay attention   to a variety of structural and formatting elements for cues tohelp you interpret the m...
Structure   thesis statementspreviews of main points    topic sentences       transitions  sentence structure        headi...
Format           alignment(left, centered, right, justified)            font type          font size  bold, italics, under...
Structural and formatting elements     always convey meaning.
The key is making sure they convey the    meaning you intend to convey.
A little food for thought:If you read the previous slide on aweb page, what meaning would the   underlined word you convey?
That brings us back to the question:so how do people read on the web?
Web sites come in a variety of            layouts,possibly more than are available        in print formats.
But some layouts are more  common than others.
However, more common doesn„t   necessarily mean more          readable. (a variety of factors influence        web site la...
But if a layout is common, that probably means many web readers have been            “trained” to read it.     (more on th...
Research with thermographicimaging shows that readers tend to read web pages in a more or              less       “F” shap...
Like this:
So you wouldn‟t want to  put your most brilliantinsights in the lower right          corner.
(unless, of course, your intention is       to mess with readers‟           expectations!)                * Not recommende...
Common web page layout
Or
For example:
Let‟s take a closer look at that top         navigation menu.
How do you “read” the placement of     the items on the menu?
Many web readers have been  “trained” to expect a home  button on the far left and acontact button on the far right.(A “ho...
Many web readers also expect on-site linksalong the left, and off-site links (if any) along                   the right.
These are just a few of the many rhetorical decisions you‟ll need tomake when you design a class web                site.
Now let‟s take another look at     that header image.
What message does the image convey?
Here‟s what I was going for:- iconic image of Marilyn Monroe is typicallyassociated with cultural ideal of femaleheterosex...
Didn‟t “get” that message yourself?
No problem.The image also has pretty colors thatblend nicely with the rest of the site.
Let‟s take another look.
Don‟t underestimate therhetorical power of pretty colors.
How much time do you want to spend reading this web site?
None!
I will talk more about elements likecolor and header images in another              presentation.
For now, let‟s look at a few other  elements of my class web sitesthat illustrate how design conveys               meaning...
Let‟s turn to more pressing concerns:        how do YOU design  a rhetorically effective web site?
To get you started thinking about    answers to that question
(notice I didn‟t say I would answer it!)
I want to do three things:
(1) Go over the anatomy of   Wordpress - because you‟ll most likely be using Wordpress to build your site - because the an...
(2) Show you what kinds ofdesign    decisions you can make with   your    own Wordpress site
(3) Help you better understand the    rhetorical considerations that    should inform the way you “write”    for web audie...
Continued… My notes on rhetorical considerations for using  Wordpress for class web site design are available in  a separ...
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design
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Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design

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Notes for a presentation I delivered at the August 2011 Digital Composition Workshop, on the subject of web site design.

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  • Explain about TRAINING students to see the top menu by not hyperlinking certain words
  • The value of a sticky postPut the most important info at the top of each sidebarGroup sidebar info together (categories and tags)
  • Notes on the Rhetorical Nature of Web Design

    1. 1. The Rhetorical Nature ofWeb Designa few preliminary considerations forcolleagues and studentsAmy Goodloe© 2011 All rights reserved.
    2. 2. PREFACE What follows are notes for a presentation I shared with colleagues at the PWR Digital Composition Workshop on August 10th, 2011. These notes are part of a larger project I’m working on on the topic of the rhetoric of web design, so please keep that in mind as you move further along in the presentation. TIP: The early slides are meant to be moved through at a brisk pace!
    3. 3. COPYRIGHT NOTICEAll the material on these slides is the sole property of Amy Goodloe © 2011 all rights reserved Do not use without permission!
    4. 4. The Basic Idea:to inspire you to think rhetorically about web design - reading the web - writing the web
    5. 5. Every element of a web site has a rhetorical purpose.
    6. 6. graphics layout color navigation organizationand of course... text
    7. 7. Everything works together to convey: - a particular mood or tone - a message about the content - a message about the author(ethos)
    8. 8. In other words, everyelement of a web sitecommunicates a message...
    9. 9. whether the designer intended it to... or not!
    10. 10. (this would be a good place for an example, eh?)
    11. 11. So how do you design a web sitethat sends the right messages for your rhetorical situation?
    12. 12. Start by paying attention to how people read the web.
    13. 13. You probably don‟t remember whenyou learned how to navigate a book.
    14. 14. (if you haven‟t seen this already, go watch it!)
    15. 15. To read a book, you had to figure out elements like: table of contents chapters sections page numbers appendices index (or is that indices?)
    16. 16. You also learned to pay attention to a variety of structural and formatting elements for cues tohelp you interpret the meaning of printed text.
    17. 17. Structure thesis statementspreviews of main points topic sentences transitions sentence structure headings sub-headings
    18. 18. Format alignment(left, centered, right, justified) font type font size bold, italics, underlining color bulleted lists charts and tables margins
    19. 19. Structural and formatting elements always convey meaning.
    20. 20. The key is making sure they convey the meaning you intend to convey.
    21. 21. A little food for thought:If you read the previous slide on aweb page, what meaning would the underlined word you convey?
    22. 22. That brings us back to the question:so how do people read on the web?
    23. 23. Web sites come in a variety of layouts,possibly more than are available in print formats.
    24. 24. But some layouts are more common than others.
    25. 25. However, more common doesn„t necessarily mean more readable. (a variety of factors influence web site layout)
    26. 26. But if a layout is common, that probably means many web readers have been “trained” to read it. (more on the concept of “training” your readers later!)
    27. 27. Research with thermographicimaging shows that readers tend to read web pages in a more or less “F” shaped pattern.
    28. 28. Like this:
    29. 29. So you wouldn‟t want to put your most brilliantinsights in the lower right corner.
    30. 30. (unless, of course, your intention is to mess with readers‟ expectations!) * Not recommended for class web sites!
    31. 31. Common web page layout
    32. 32. Or
    33. 33. For example:
    34. 34. Let‟s take a closer look at that top navigation menu.
    35. 35. How do you “read” the placement of the items on the menu?
    36. 36. Many web readers have been “trained” to expect a home button on the far left and acontact button on the far right.(A “home” button returns readers to the site‟s opening page.)
    37. 37. Many web readers also expect on-site linksalong the left, and off-site links (if any) along the right.
    38. 38. These are just a few of the many rhetorical decisions you‟ll need tomake when you design a class web site.
    39. 39. Now let‟s take another look at that header image.
    40. 40. What message does the image convey?
    41. 41. Here‟s what I was going for:- iconic image of Marilyn Monroe is typicallyassociated with cultural ideal of femaleheterosexuality- rainbow gradient hints at a possible queerreading- repetition of image underscoresperformative nature of gender
    42. 42. Didn‟t “get” that message yourself?
    43. 43. No problem.The image also has pretty colors thatblend nicely with the rest of the site.
    44. 44. Let‟s take another look.
    45. 45. Don‟t underestimate therhetorical power of pretty colors.
    46. 46. How much time do you want to spend reading this web site?
    47. 47. None!
    48. 48. I will talk more about elements likecolor and header images in another presentation.
    49. 49. For now, let‟s look at a few other elements of my class web sitesthat illustrate how design conveys meaning. (The following slides contain screenshots of my sites, which discussed in the workshop)
    50. 50. Let‟s turn to more pressing concerns: how do YOU design a rhetorically effective web site?
    51. 51. To get you started thinking about answers to that question
    52. 52. (notice I didn‟t say I would answer it!)
    53. 53. I want to do three things:
    54. 54. (1) Go over the anatomy of Wordpress - because you‟ll most likely be using Wordpress to build your site - because the anatomy lesson applies to reading and writing a variety of web sites
    55. 55. (2) Show you what kinds ofdesign decisions you can make with your own Wordpress site
    56. 56. (3) Help you better understand the rhetorical considerations that should inform the way you “write” for web audiences (using a few sample sites, including my own)
    57. 57. Continued… My notes on rhetorical considerations for using Wordpress for class web site design are available in a separate presentation If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me at: http://amygoodloe.com/contact

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