Good document design

Assigment

Engineers spend a lot of time designing documents that include both visual information and text. The actual visual layout of a document — literally, the way it looks on a page or screen — is called “document design”. Good document design directs a reader through a text and enhances comprehension. It also reflects the writer’s level of professionalism and credibility.

The goal of this assignment is to familiarize you with the literature in your field — with how it looks online, with the features that characterize academic and trade literature. Throughout the course, this is the only literature you’ll be able to use, so we want you to be able to both recognize it and navigate it confidently.

Note: For this particular assignment, there are few mandatory formatting requirements. In most other assignments, you’ll have very specific formats you will need to follow. For this document, we’re looking for “completeness” (did you address all the elements below) and “readability” (can a reader easily navigate your document). Use the advice given in Chapter 7 to make design decisions about your paper.

Part I — Analyze the “page” design of the online version of a scholarly journal in your field.

  • Go to the online version of a scholarly journal in your field of engineering. Provide the journal name and the URL.
    • Use the Credible Sources ChecklistPreview the document to verify whether this is a scholarly journal. If you cannot check all the boxes, you’re not in an academic research journal.
  • Select a research article. Do not use an editorial for this activity. Provide the title of the article and the publication info (vol, year, page #s). Follow the IEEE format given in our textbook.
  • Using the features of design discussed in Chapters 7-8 to answer the following questions:
    1. How does the page emphasize “important information” about publication information? (authors, date, name of journal, title of article)
    2. What are the parts of the article?
    3. What page features help readers navigate through the document?
    4. What are the options for reading the article? (html, pdf, online/offline, email, etc)
  • Include images to support your analysis. Label images correctly.
    • minimally, all figures must have a label + number + caption, e.g. “Figure 1: HTML outline of article”; in Mic Wor, use the Insert–>Caption for captions (look up tutorials on YouTube for more guidance).

Part II — Analyze the “page” design of the online version of a trade publication in your field.

  • Go to the online version of a trade publication in your field of engineering. Provide the name of the publication and the URL.
    • Use the Credible Sources ChecklistPreview the document to confirm this is a trade journal. Most of the boxes should be checked for a legitimate trade source.
  • Select a feature (informative) article. Do not use an editorial for this activity. Provide the title of the article and the publication info (vol, year, page #s)
  • Using the features of design discussed in Chapters 7-8, answer the following questions:
    1. How does the page emphasize “important information” about publication information? (authors, date, name of journal, title of article)
    2. What are the parts of the article?
    3. What features help readers navigate through the document?
    4. What are the options for reading the article? (html, pdf, online/offline, email, etc)
  • Include images to support your analysis. Label images correctly.

Part III — Analyze graphics in scholarly and trade journals.

  • For each article used above, choose a graphic included with the article. If there is no graphic, then select an image in the journal/publication that is NOT advertising — it should be a graphic meant to add information to an article.
  • What publication facts are included with the graphic? (sources, photo credits) If no information is provided, then who created the image?
  • Does the image have a label/title?
  • Does the image have a number?
  • Does the image have a caption?
  • What is the function of the image?
  • Is graphic effective for its purpose? Why?

Part IV — Comparison Statement

  • Based on the work above, what are the key similarities and differences between the scholarly and trade publications you chose? Please limit your comparison to 200 words.

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