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Enc 3241 document_design1


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Enc 3241 document_design1

  1. 1. Document DesignENC 3241Clayton Benjamin
  2. 2. Understand The Basics• Know what decisions to make• Choose a design that fits your situation• Plan your design from the beginning• Reveal your design to the reader• Keep your design consistent
  3. 3. Know what decisions to make• Know the rhetorical situation • Why are you creating this document? • Who will read your document? • What type of document is it? • Does your company already have a standard format? • If not, ask your technical writer before editing the document
  4. 4. Choose a design that fits yoursituation• Make it usable!• Choose graphics that highlight the information• Don’t add extra information • No table of contents or appendixes for smaller documents• People want to scan and find information • Bullets and numbering help!
  5. 5. Plan Your Design From theBeginning• Ask yourself • How will readers use this document? In which environment? • Will it be read from beginning to end, or will people jump around? • Will it be skimmed? • Will it be referenced later? • Are readers familiar with the subject? How much background will you include? • How familiar are users with this type of doc? Mental Model…
  6. 6. Reveal Your Design to theUser• Information must be organized• Use table of contents, headings, figure numbers and page numbers• In online, content headings link to pages whose titles are like that in paper documents• Eg:
  7. 7. Keep Your Design Consistent• Make sure you format all figures the same, you update your table of contents, version numbers are correct• What types of information will you use? • Graphics? Lists? Paragraphs? Quotes?• Format all headings the same • H1, H2, H3, H4
  8. 8. Design Effective Pages andScreens• Use white space to group information• Eg: Acura Acura Honda Honda Ford Ford Chevrolet Chevrolet Tomato Apple Apple Peach Peach Orange Orange Couch Chair Couch Ottoman Chair Ottoman
  9. 9. Design Effective Pages andScreens• Single space! Add an extra space between page elements • A computer screen can typically only display 1/3 of a page at a time Use a ragged right margin (block or indented?)
  10. 10. Help Readers Find Info• Use frequent and descriptive headings • Is your user coming to the document with questions? Then use questions as the headings • Is the user coming to the document to complete a task? Then use verb phrases • Avoid just using nouns because it is harder to predict the info. • Match size to importance • More space before than after
  11. 11. Parallel Structure Nonparallel Headings Parallel Headings Graph Modifications Modifying a graph Data Selection Updating Changing the data To Add or Delete Columns Adding or deleting columns How to Change Color or Patterns Changing the color or patterns Titles and Legends Can Be Included Adding titles and legends
  12. 12. Page Numbers and Headers andFooters• Number your pages!• Include a header or footer or both • In them you will find: • The company name • The date of creation • Page number • Version number • And possibly the recipient
  13. 13. For next time• Read chapter 6