Web Style Guide

Like navigating around a city, a web user should be able to know where they are within the site easily and efficiently, and figure out where they want to navigate to next and get there in the simplest way. When a user is navigating the web page they should not get confused as to how they got to where they were, and likewise, it should be easy for them to get back to the page they were at previously without confusion. It is different than navigating a city because it eliminates the “middle man” of traveling to the destination and allows the user to get to the page they want to by the click of a button.

Some best practices to help a user navigate a website is to make sure the website is as simplistic as possible to make sure all the features of your website can be found and it is as user friendly as possible. The more direct your website is, the most certain you are that your viewers will be able to find all the information your website is trying to convey. The design of your website is also important in the sense that it should be well-built and have a design that is familiar to users, designs that are too customized can be confusing to navigate and ruin the overall purpose of the website.

A gestalt theory has to do with the ways people make assumptions when they are given images. When humans relate things together, etc, they are creating their own types of influences which lead to biases in the human mind.

Lynch and Horton recommend diversity in the website design as in allowing the website to be accessible and useable by many different people. The overall message of the website should be easy to comprehend and the design should be simple enough so it doesn’t inhibit any readers from accessibility. Another important practice to remember to make the design of the website great is the overall organization of the website. This means making the designs similar on every page so the viewer can find what they are looking for easily.

Many people find reading a computer difficult because they don’t prefer to read through a screen. It hurts their eyes and it is also a lot less accessible than flipping through actual pages.

The inverted pyramid that journalists abide by starts with the idea that the most relevant information is presented first and foremost. The overall information is shown in an easily accessible and the major facts about the content are offered in a visually organized manor to make the information easy to find.

They practice what they preach by separating their information into areas that can be easy reached by users using the appropriate links they provided. They remembered to incorporate different headings to organize the information so that readers don’t spend immense amounts of time trying to figure out where the information is they are looking for.

Twitterative Design

New technology makes giving back to the community simpler than ever.

This design grabs some reader’s attention, especially those who are interested in giving back and might want to look further into what this tweet is about. It doesn’t do a great job of grabbing the attention of all readers because the information given is pretty vague.

Doing good now available at your fingertips.

This first revision focuses on the amount of words in the tweet in order to make audiences want to spend the time to read through it. By being a little more specific and saying “at your fingertips” it offers a topic that a lot of social media users could relate to and be interested in reading more about.

Easy charity work to be completed right from your smart phone.

This revision provides more specificity on what the tweet meant. Being specific about the work that is being done helps clarify what the purpose of this app even is. Also, actually stating that this new technology has to do with your smart phone narrows in on the purpose of this new invention. Using the word “charity” automatically grabs some users attention who it may not have sparked beforehand.

“Charity Miles” makes you work out to support a charitable cause.

This final revision is the most specific tweet because it includes the name of one of the apps that is talked about in the article. This allows the tweet to give a lot more information on the purpose of the app and it allows those who might be interested in it to look up the app on their own now that they have the name. I also think this revision broadens the types of people who might be interested in this tweet. Since it is talking about an app for working out it will appeal to those who are really focused on fitness, health, etc. This could help the tweet reach more users.

Twitter Postings

When redesigning his tweet, Mr. Nielsen chose to focus on something known as the “5 second rule”. This rule has to do with the concept that readers on social media sites should be able to understand the main idea of the tweet with the content given in roughly, well, 5 seconds. A tweet is known to be short and sweet. There is a 140-character limit for tweets and this is because if the message is too lengthy, it won’t actually get read by other social media users and followers of that account. This kind of takes away one of the main purposes of twitter and other types of social media which aim to advertise for a company or idea. If the tweet has too much content, it won’t be payed attention too like the company would hope. Nielsen’s revisions involved several steps. He first worked to make his tweet concise by removing any information that wasn’t pertinent to getting the message across. After doing this, he realized that by removing some of the phrases he used to introduce the information, he also removed the “news worthy” qualities that his post once had. To fix this problem, he added dates to increase the importance of the conferences which is good, but, he had too many characters this time. He tries to fix this problem by instead of removing information, replacing some of the long words with shorter ones, which allowed him to finally post his tweet. The best practices for businesses is to consider time and information. If the information is not relevant to the company it is wasting users times to sit there and read it. If the information is useless, users will just scroll past the post and never read it. Mr. Nielsen practices what he preaches by focusing on the importance of the overall message his tweet is conveying and not adding in a bunch of unnecessary information. He did a good job of avoiding the use of the “dont’s” that were listed in the articles.

Some People

The visual elements do most of the storytelling by providing images for the reader to picture in their head. The verbal aspects like the text in the speech bubbles only really gives dialogue it doesn’t include personality or do a good job of introducing characters or really being able to be descriptive about a situation like a visual element is able to do. If all the reader had was the verbal aspect of this graphic story they would most likely get confused as to which character talking was which in this story and have a hard time developing the story in their minds. A good element that would be missed without the visuals of what is going on woud be the emotions of the characters in the story. Pearson does a great job including this in his graphic story by showing immense detail to the emotions on the faces of the people in the story. Showing emotion is difficult in a verbal aspect and without the images of the characters faces, etc in the story, this element would be left out. Pictures also do a good job of showing growth in the characters by allowing the characters in the visuals to change and grow. On a smaller scale, pictures can simply identify changes from day to day by showing the character in different clothes or new settings, etc. The visual element makes showing this a lot easier than explaining it through words.

 

9/11 Documents

I think that the content from the 9/11 Commission Report shows up in the graphic adaptation because the graphic adaptation uses a lot of the specific details that are found in the Commission Report. For example, the information about the two planes and their passengers and the exact times that all the events occurred at. The graphic adaptation does a better job of showing the events of 9/11 in a “snapshot” form. By using a visual and concise information to follow, the graphic adaption is an easier source to follow on the topic of 9/11. All of the content still follows with what the Commission Report is addressing, it just includes less details and pulls out the most significant information. A graphic novel is able to, most importantly, reach out to a broader audience. I think for people who are not as familiar with some of the small details of 9/11 or don’t have much background information on the topic of terrorism, they would benefit greatly from looking at a graphic novel because it is a more simplistic version of what the Commission Report is talking about. I think the two authors are trying to show that there are different/simpler mechanisms to get the same overall point across. The remediating of the report also allowed information about 9/11 to get passed on to more people than just having the Commission Report would do. 9/11 is an important event and a lot of older generations are worried that soon it will be forgotten if it is not talked about enough and this remediation is doing a good job of conveying the information further.

 

Why Academics’ Writing Stinks

The popular explanation outside universities for why academics suck at writing is directly related to the language aspect of writing. Scholars and other authors, for instance, tend to use word choice and other vocabulary that is too complex for the average reader, wanting them to think that they are superior in intelligence. On the contrary, within universities it is usually because the actual content is hard to understand, it doesn’t have to do as much with the writing style. Pinker believes that the author is trying too hard to prove themselves as successful writers. The six obnoxious attributes that Pinker names include metadiscourse, professional narcissism, apologizing, shudder quotes, hedging and metaconcepts and nominalizations. I think what I value most in others writing style is the way they organize their pieces of work. I think I may be prone to shudder quotes. I think of these quotations as a way of dramatizing a situation or story and also as a way to show sarcasm. These are two qualities which I definitely have and I find myself using shudder quotes often when I am talking or telling a story. I think organization plays a key role in how the work is portrayed in the end. When a paper or other piece of writing is organized well, it does a better job of showing its purpose and it makes it easier to read. This is important because if a paper has strong vocabulary and good ideas but isn’t really in any sort layout, the message trying to be conveyed by the piece might never get to the reader because they become confused by the organization, or lack of organization.

Food Production in America

I think the authors create an ethos of reliability in their reportings by first including pictures and a small bio of who they are. I think this small piece of information from each author can do wonders when it comes to creating ethos and attempting to get a reader to believe what you are saying. As a writer, you never know who your reader might end up being so by giving them a little bit of background information on yourself it helps them establish a sense of trust in you. Genre features that are shown throughout these essays are graphs and charts that work to help verify the information that is being given and explained in the essays. Also, in the first essay by Sam Forman in particular, the picture of the pigs helped to strengthen his arguments that farms are not always in the best shape to be supporting animals who are going to be used in food production. In the second essay, the pictures of the nitrate fertilizers pollution is astounding and really stands out to the readers who look through this piece of work. The pictures help to make an impact and allow the ideas that are addressed in the essays stick in their minds. Forman and Pollan work to make readers think differently about the industry of food production as a whole. The ways food production is currently being handled is not safe for the environment and honestly is not the most efficient way to handle production either. Chemicals used in food production along with the chemical bi-products of the production that occur now need to change in order to improve our current system.