READING RESPONSE: LYNCH & HORTON’S WEB STYLE GUIDE CHAPTERS 4, 7 & 9

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  1. Navagating through a website is similar to navigating through a website because you are still finding your way through different “sites” as you would find your way through different cities. The web offers similar physical movement to the real world, except when you are searching through websites, its difficult to envision a landscape view of what you visited. The web is similar to the real world because there is a sense of direction. Nowadays, it is easy to locate where you are by looking at the headers and different buttons you can click that leads you to a homepage, or further link. In the real world, looking at a map can lead you in the right direction in the same way.
  2. A menu of links and a search bar are the most common way people like to search the web. I think this is easy and quick for the user to find what they are looking for. When using the search aspect, it is important to add a “return to homepage” button or else the user might not ever see the full website. Also, having 5-7 links on a menu page is beneficial because users are trying to find their information quickly with as few clicks as possible. It is important when designing your website to make it as simple as possible. Overly complex designs make the user unfamiliar with the website and makes it harder for the user to navigate through the site. The entire site should have a similar theme and layout so the user knows what they are looking for in each page. If all the pages are different, it is difficult for the user to navigate through the different pages. Confidence is key to the website. You have to make sure your pages look reliable with good visual elements will aid the user into thinking the website is reliable. Navigation columns are best noticed when they are on the left hand side of the screen. From what we learned in class, most people read left to right in an F pattern. If the navigation column is on the left, there is a higher chance the user will use the navigation column to their benefit. While simplicity and coherence is important in designing a website, the company should also try to make their website unique to other companies. This will make the user remember the website because it is nothing they have ever seen before.

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3. Gestalt theory is how a user organizes visual elements to their advantage to absorb the information. There are a few principles that factor into the gestalt theory; Proximity, Similarity, Continuity, Closure, Figure-ground relationships, and Uniform connectedness. According to CRAP-HATS, contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity, headings, access, typography, and space are all important in visual rhetoric. All of these principals, gestalt theory and CRAP-HATS, revolve around how the user visualizes information in a wholesome form.

4. Making a flexible page design is recommended because fixed layouts do not account for those with different size screens and browser windows. If someone were to open a fixed-layout page on an iPhone rather than a desk top, the user will have to scroll to see the entire page. If the page was flexible, the user will be presented with the entire page and therefore make it easier for the user to navigate and visualize their available options. Page width should be universal and flexible to the browser window. The page width should also not be too long, or the reader will have to hunt for the information instead of reading it thoroughly if the page width was shorter. One of the most important aspects is to have the information going vertically. The article talks about how important typography is and in HATS, one of the elements is typography as well. Choosing a professional font instead of a goofy font will make the reader believe the site is more reliable.

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5. One reason users find reading on the web uncomfortable is because it is awkward to scroll through the information, so the reader just ends up scanning the information. It is awkward because when someone is searching on the web, they jump from page to page rather than when someone is reading a book where they read the pages chronologically.

6. The inverted pyramid looks like an upside down triangle. The base of the triangle is the most important information and it is presented first. We learned in class that “Front loading” is a good technique. This means the designer puts the most important information first. Then the middle of the pyramid is the information elaborating on the important information. The tip of the pyramid is the least important information.

7. Choosing the correct style to present information is crucial. It is important to add keywords throughout the page of information so that when the user searches them in the search engine, they are brought to a page with that word being relevant throughout the site. Titles and subtitles are to be bolded so a user can easily recognize what they are reading. It is evident throughout this Web Style Guide that Lynch and Horton practice this on each page. When using a hyper link, you should explain to the reader that they will be redirected to another page. This is important because the hyperlink should enrich the information on the page instead of distracting them. Lynch and Horton’s website is definitely unique, as I have never seen a website like this before. Since you had to click “next page” to keep reading the information, it helps the reader because if the information was presented in one long page, the reader would become discouraged. Having the site split upon pages gives the reader a sense of fresh information.

Twitterative Design

Rina Sabatello

Science Finds Drinking Alcohol and Energy Drinks has the Same Effect as Cocaine.

1st design: ALCOHOL and ENERGY DRINKS have the same effect as COCAINE?

-Good: shows key words in caps

-Bad: Incomplete sentence?

2nd Design: REDBULL and ALCOHOL mixed has the same effect as COCAINE

-Good: Targets reader, adds the word mixed to avoid confusion, states claim to get readers attention

-Bad: The character count is high

3rd Design: REDBULL and ALCOHOL mixed: COCAINE effects?

-Good: shorter character count

-Bad: leaves the reader without information

4th Design: Mixing RED BULL and ALCOHOL= COCAINE effects

-Good: Equation to make readers think and states a claim

-Bad: equal sign?

5th Design: Mixing RED BULL and ALCOHOL… COCAINE effects?

-Good: Relates issue and keeps the reader thinking

-Bad: Similar to previous iterations.

 

 

 

Reading Response: “Twitter Postings: Iterative Design” and “Writing for Social Media”

  1. Mr. Nielsen needs to design his tweet so that it is more convenient for the reader. Personally, I scroll through twitter pretty quickly and occasionally stop for funny memes and short videos. I am not looking to read a longer tweet unless it has a significant amount of favorites or retweets. By tweaking certain parts of his tweet, he is able to make it easy for readers to quickly read the tweet and maximize the information he is trying to publish.
  2. Throughout the revisions, Nielsen deleted many words in order to make the character count, and make it easier for users to read. The revision with the biggest impact was either the 4th or 5th iteration. I liked how he got rid of the words “are the” and replaced them with a colon. This helps the reader read through the tweet quickly. The 5th iteration changes the phrase “biggest of the year” to “biggest ever”. This is helpful because it makes a bigger clain, causing the reader to be more intrigued. The iteration I didn’t think was that helpful is the 3rd design. I don’t think it is necessary to add the months with the cities. I understand that Nielsen wanted to indicate to the reader that the events were coming up soon, but that is the beauty of Twitter. If he is tweeting this information, obviously the event would be soon unless stated otherwise. I was sort of confused when I saw the months in parentheses next to the city because it didn’t indicate what they represented.
  3. Businesses that want to communicate with clients through social media should be able to know the difference between an email news letter and stream based media. When clients aare on social media, they are only reading the most curent information. Once they scroll past the tweet or post, they will most likely never see it again. Businesses have to be smart about what they post and especially when they post it. I’ve had many personal experiences with posting a photo on Instagram. If you are trying to achieve the most likes, you want to post your picture at the time of day that your followers are most active, or else they might not see your post. Companies should not post too frequently because the client might become annoyed about the repetitive information being posted and might result in an “unfollow”. If the company doesn’t tweet often, the user can potentially forget what company they followed. Picking the correct username and profile picture is essential to the company. The client should be able to instantly recognize which company you are from by only looking at your profile picture. This helps with the users convenience to read quickly down the news feed.
  4. Stated in question 2, the use of the months attached to the cities isn’t that useful because he said in Writing for Social Media that “Users want postings to be current.” However, he practices the use of short posts. The main focus in composing tweets and social media posts is to target the readers convenience. The quicker they can read the tweet, the easier it is for them to comprehend the information.

Reading Response: Some People

Verbal elements are not independent of visual elements, but visual elements are independent of verbal elements. If there was a comic strip with only verbal elements (text bubbles), then it would be hard to determine who was saying what and when they were saying something in relation to the story. If a comic strip only included visual elements (drawings), you can still follow some type of story through colors, people, and expressions. When you put the two together, it makes the story much more comprehensible. Visual elements help tell a story mainly through colors and expressions. A comic can create a sense of “fast forwarding” or “rewinding” by drawing an advancement of a person throughout the desired times. For example in the short story, there are many examples of a “flashback” that is shown by a drawing of the person in his current age, followed by another when he is a little bit older, and repeating this until he is an old man. It is easy to see this because in one photo he looks young with hair on his head, the next he has a beard, and the final one he has white hair indicating that he is old. I also believe that color plays a huge roll in story telling. In the scene where the little girl is holding her mothers hand in the street, you can obviously tell that they are frightened by the mysterious man crossing them. His hood was over his head and was colored in black so that you couldn’t see his face. Just previous to this scene, was a racist story of a dad telling his son not to talk to Pakistanis. It is illustrated by including a scene of a boy with lighter skin who has a crush on a girl with darker skin. Using color helps identify different moods and different settings that are not included by the visual elements.

Reading Response: 911 Report

  1. The information from the written Commission Report showed up in text bubbles in the graphic article. However, only the most important information seemed to make the cut into the comic strip. There were many phone calls and word-for-word stories described in the written article that were not explained as well in the graphic article. The comic added many visuals, as a graphic article should, and gave the reader a better adaptation of exactly what went down on 9/11.
  2. A graphic novel can include descriptive drawings that give the reader a better sense of the situation. Unlike the government document, that is strictly just words on a page. The graphic novels cannot include that many words because their intention is to be quicker than if one to were to read a government document. It is also their intention to represent the situation through pictures and summarize the situation in an appealing way for the reader. A graphic novel has the potential to show the reader what happened instead of telling them what happened. Sometimes this is not as effective because they have to leave out any redundant information and only highlight the important facts. IN the 911 report, I believe the government document did a better job of explaining the attacks because the document was able to elaborate in detail of the pone calls, observations, and step by step stories of each situation. The graphic novel just shows a snapshot in time that is only explained by one little text box. The graphic novel would definitely suit someone that only wants to know the important information right away, and the government document would be suitable for the readers that have more interest and would like to know more about the topic.
  3. I think the two authors had the intention of showing readers what the hijacking of the plane looked like, for those who have trouble wrapping their minds around the horrific incident. Although no body knows, visually, exactly what happened on the flights, the comic shows a light on the situation that can create ideas for people interested on the 9/11 attacks. For someone who is not a big fan on reading, the two authors designed this article to highlight the most important events in the shortest amount of time. The first section of the government document is 14 pages and the adaptation of that reading is 29 pages. Even though this seems like it would take you a lot longer to read, the 29 pages are illustrated events with minimal words that highlight the government document.

Reading Response: Why Academics’ Stink at Writing

  1. Outside of Universities, bad writing comes with a choice. They try to cover up the plain and obvious facts with intricate words, making the audience believe that the author has more talent in writing than he/she actually does. The main reason why academics stink at writing within the university is because the subject matter is very complex. The professionals write in a language that is not easily understood by amateurs. Pinker states that readers always read sentences with the mindset of them either being true or false and that they rely on the accuracy of the work. He also believes that a major contributor of poor work is the way that professors and teachers actually teach. They are focused on the correlation that the more bigger words you use, the more serious you are for your work.

Metadiscourse- When the writer talks about a verbiage, it doesn’t help the reader as intended because the reader has to go out of their way to understand something else added by the author.

Professional Narcissism- Described in two worlds with one being the world the writer studies, and the other being what they do in their profession. The author doesn’t focus on what the reader wants to read, but rather their “federation”.

Apologizing- Self consious authors tell the reader that what they’re about to read is very complex rather than trusting the intelligence of the reader to understand that almost everything is complex and it is up to the writer to write about how they go about the certain topic.

Shudder Quotes- Shudder quotes are used when an author doesn’t want to explain the actual meanings of words.

Hedging- Authors use words that do not give their full agreement towards facts. They use hedging words in hopes that they are safe from the counter argument of someone else’s opinion.

Metaconcepts and nominalizations- Metaconcepts are concepts about concepts and nominalizations refer to suffixes that change verbs into “lifeless nouns”.

3. I feel that in my writing I am prone to using shudder quotes and hedging. Sometimes when I am confused with how to explain something, I’ll quote the phrase. I too am afraid of being shot down by counter arguments, causing me to use words that cut back the full potential of my opinion. I believe these attributes can be cured by the reinforcement of knowledge on a topic. Simply, if someone knows more on their own topic, they will be more confident in writing about said topic.

4. In other writing, I value validity as I catch myself reading with a true/false mindset. When a writer is confident about their writing, the information seems more valid and convincing. I am able to comprehend a topic more rather than having the uncertainty established by the author.

Reading Response: “The Future of Food Production” and “What’s Eating America”

  1. Both authors create a sense of reliability in their writing, but the ways they did were different. Forman’s way of showing his credibility is through a works cited page at the end of his report. This shows where he got all of his information as he included it in his paper. The topic about food production is relate-able to everyone because we consume food every single day so the credibility for his research is already high because people are well aware of how meat is served in our country. Pollan’s way of showing credibility is much different than Forman’s because he includes a little biography in the beginning of his report. Through the biography, shows all of his awards and achievements, as well as his education and profession. In doing this, he lets the reader know that he is smart and knows what he is talking about.
  2. The work of non-fiction writing is used in both reports. Using a non-fiction genre allows people to know the truth about what they are putting in their mouths everyday and how that food came about. The essays sort of persuade me into wanting to eat more cleanly and to really think about how many issues arise from food production.
  3. Forman and Pollan’s essays are similar to the Mapping the Problem Essay because they establish an argument backed up by facts. I think it is important to do this because one can’t simply state they don’t agree with a certain situation without saying why. The Mapping The Problem Essay allows us to create a tone when writing. In Forman’s essay he says that we don’t have to all be vegetarians, but  we should make sure the food production is respectful to the plants and animals. He identifies the argument by saying the food production isn’t well mannered and he stands by his decision to make sure the future of our food is safe. I intend to take a similar stance in my essay because I intend to identify and exhaust every possibilty of every view point but also stand behind my own opinion. I am very passionate about my topic and I want there to be an effective persuasive ability throughout my work.

Reading Response: Dirk’s “Navigating Genres”

  1. To me, genres define what type of writing is being presented. There are many types of different genres and people tend to read or write in which genre they enjoy the most. The genres for movies are very similar to the genres of books. For example, a popular genre for kids book or movie would be narrative, a news writer/producer would write in non-fiction, and an author/director that writes about vampires, Chewbacca, or werewolves would write in science-fantasy(sci-fi). Genres also exist heavily in music such as country, pop, rap, hip-hop, etc. I feel that there can be endless sub-genres to music because one song can fit both categories of genres. I like to think that I enjoy to listen to a very specific sub-genre somewhere mainly within House music, but including hints of EDM, pop, and hip hop. It’s a lot easier to mix genres in music rather than books. I don’t think it would be much fun to read something non-fiction then all of the sudden there is fiction writing because it would get fairly confusing. Overall, genres basically categorize different mediums for the interest of readers, listeners, and watchers.
  2. Dirk’s explanation of genres differ from mine by a lot. Genres rely on so many different aspects that I didn’t even know of before. He starts off explaining the genre of a song, which I understood, but he further explained the origin of the genres. For example, he talked about George Washington’s State of the Union Address and how he created that genre of speech and writing. Genres vary due to their location. Dirk includes that a Facebook status’s genre is much different than a college research paper. The location of the writing helps shape the genre by giving it a certain tone. The purpose of the genre basically states why a certain piece should be read. The situation in Dirk’s essay included an interesting example of a kidnapping. He made it clear that the situation is important when composing such a genre. I wouldn’t think it is appropriate to write a birthday card to your best friend with a thesis statement.
  3. Genre is a baseline. It is the fundamental skill in writing to target a certain group of people, or readers. Genre is a category. It defines a piece of writing so it is easily recognizable by other people.

Reading Response: “Plagiarism: A Misplaced Emphasis”

  1. In the past, I’ve learned that plagiarism can get you in a lot of trouble. It means that you are taking credit for someone else’s work and submitting it as your own work. If you read information somewhere and copy it word for word into your own paper without citing the source, you can get in a lot of trouble. Plagiarizing can get a student a failing grade for the course as well as an expulsion from the University. It is bad to do because you are copying someone else’s work that isn’t your own. It is easily avoidable by using a certain format to cite a source. Following the right guidelines and requirements will lead to a correctly cited source without any fear of plagiarizing. Also, writing about your own personal experiences can avoid plagiarism.
  2. Word for word plagiarism is when someone literally copies a phrase without putting quotations or citing the author. Paraphrasing plagiarism is when someone copies a phrase or passage but only changes a few of the words. Plagiarism of secondary sources is when someone cites information from a secondary source without looking the primary source up. Plagiarizing of ideas is when one takes an original thought from a source and doesn’t entirely use the exact information of that site. Finally, Plagiarizing of authorship is when one simply changes the name of the author to the piece of work.
  3. Some students are taught to plagiarize in high school. They also plagiarize by getting other students to write their papers.
  4. Competitive plagiarism is when the plagiarism is targeted to a few people. Institutionalized is when there are a large number of people in a production that are victimized. Ghost writing and letter writing are examples of plagiarism in bureaucracy and institutionalized plagiarism.
  5. Martin says we should treat plagiarism as a matter of etiquette rather than theft.  If it was treated as anything worse, people can get the idea to start using plagiarism as a plan of attach on another person for worse consequences.

Reading Response: The Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus

  1. The author makes the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus intriguing to look at due to all the photos he includes. The website in general is very appealing to look at and easy to navigate. Honestly, even though this is a rare species, I don’t think they benefit us humans that much. Although I do agree that they should be banned as wearing the octopuses as accessories and I feel the same about any animal and clothing. The article talks about how the octopi were “a nuisance” to lumber jack companies saying that their ink stained the pulp vats. The creation of roads and suburban housing is planned to be built where the octopuses mate and the author is concerned that the creatures will become extinct because of this. Even though it sounds a little harsh, I honestly think we don’t need to do anything about this species and just let nature and human contact run its course.
  2. The main part of the website that has strong ethos is definitely the photos of the octopi. Under the sightings tab, there are many photos of the creatures that people have captured and the backstory of the octopuses is a little heart-wrenching about fashionistas wearing them as hats. Wait… this is all fake. I tried to find some credibility on Lyle Zapato and realized that this is all an internet hoax. The website is very convincing though. At the bottom of the page says that all credibility goes to Lyle Zapato. Upon further investigation, Zapato’s website didn’t include much information on the Tree Octopus. I then thought it was a good idea to Google the Tree Octopus and one of the suggestions was if the Tree Octopus is real or not. Of course it wasn’t a real thing, but I’m wondering if those sighting pictures were all taken by Zapato. If they were, this guy has way too much time on his hands!