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ERIC Number: ED371311
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Nov
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
The Rhetoric of Page Design: Making Meaning Visible.
Dubinsky, James Michael
By teaching about and considering the elements of visual design, communication can be effected and the needs of the reader/user more effectively met. As anecdotal interaction with children indicates, information seems to be communicated more effectively when the rhetor incorporates visual elements. To increase the ability of the reader to discriminate and understand the information presented, producers of such information need to be aware of how they present that information visually on the page. Realizing that text can also be graphic in two senses--as writing and as a visual design--is an important concept for the writer, especially the technical writer, who desires to successfully communicate. Text, though simply expressed, can be unintelligible. To create accessible documents, writers, especially technical writers, need to consider design questions, similar to the way in which the poet William Carlos Williams did. Non-visually informative text (such as a memo warning of serious design flaws in the "O" rings of the space shuttle's solid rocket boosters) can be re-written to demonstrate the "laws" of visual design. Significant information on the design problem "hidden" in the memo can be made clear using elements of visual design. Technical writers should be concerned about the intended purpose of the artifacts they create and their ultimate effects on society. (Contains 26 references, a figure of a camouflaged moth, the original memo, and the rewritten memo.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A