Overview for Today
Today is about information design. This is an introduction only, but I should mention we do teach a course on it: ENGL 4182 “Information Design & Digital Publishing.” Remember, I, Robot is coming up, and I know you’ve all finished reading it. Let’s try to follow this:
Using Visuals in Technical Communication
It’s probably obvious to mention that visuals are an important component of Technical Communication. Some people forget that visuals communicate information about technologies and technical subjects. Think about all the illustrations, charts, graphs, etc. that you’ve seen. Why do you think an author included them?
Notice the first two bullet points in Ch. 6. (p. 112). Effective repetition, huh? Let’s head over to the Famous Visual Page to continue our discussion.
Thinking about the Digital Void…I Mean World
Time permitting, we’ll head back to the research page on source credibility:
- Source Credibility (scroll to the bottom of Epistemology page)
- What do you think about these Websites?
English Department Webpages:
Also, what problems could arise if you used Dr. Eastin’s monitor as the “typical” monitor for users of your webpage?
- That monitor was huge–friggin enormous circa 2006. Now, it’s not as rare as it was. However, it’s important to remember that your audience will access your information in various ways, including on mobile devices.
A Note or Two on E-mailing and CMD/CMC*
*CMD–Computer Mediated Discourse
CMC–Computer Mediated Communication
A good friend of mine, a software sales person, has very specific guidelines for the employees he supervises:
- Keep them short
- Change the Reply Subject to something more accurate
- Make them correct so the reader isn’t confused
- Use e-mail when appropriate…let’s discuss
Is there a difference between how men and women participate more in cyberspace? When you have time, take a look at this article “Gender and Internet Usage” by Dholakia, Dholakia, and Kshetri (pdf). It’s a long article, so don’t try to finish it in class. Instead, let’s think about how gender might mediate technology and communication.
Blogs and IM/texting: I realize these are different things/activities, but I often think about them together. Maybe that’s just my peculiarity, but what do you think about the value (in terms of communication) for each?
Keep Up with the Syllabus
Your I, Robot essays are due Thursday, 7/27, so I hope you used your weekend wiser (why not “more wise”?) than I did. Make sure you’ve previewed the I, Robot discussion page to better understand the reasons why this novel is important to Technical Communication. I’m more than happy to explain the reasons further if you just don’t seem to get it. Much will relate to our discussions on the rhetoric of technology, but we’ll also discuss how I, Robot is germane to the nuts & bolts of technical communication. Also, your Proposal, Visual, and Annotated Bibliographies are due on Monday, 6/15.