As Anderson points out, a good document helps readers to read through the document efficiently while emphasizing on the most important contents of the document to the readers. Anderson also suggests that a good document is one that encourages readers to feel good about a communication. (Anderson, 1987)
In this post, I will be discussing the factors that contribute to a good document design while analyzing the slides of my previous presentation to determine whether the document design was good or not.
Firstly, one of the most crucial element in any document design is the heading. A heading captures the essence of the topic of a document. (Svenonius, 2000) Headings are important to direct readers to specific information. Headers neatly divides main points from one another to help readers see when one topic finishes and another begins. (Reep, 2006)
Proportion of page elements also contribute to a good document. Reep states that using the same proportions for text and visual aid would cause the article to appear bland to the reader thus interfere with their ability to understand the document. Each relevant text should be at the size that is helpful to the reader. (Reep, 2006)
Perhaps what could be done to improve it is to use a darker background and break the points into two separate slides so that it doesn’t appear crammed.
Visual aid also contribute to a good document design. Providing visuals like background pictures will increase the readers interest in the article because the document is eye catching and pleasant to look at. (Microsoft Office Online, 2007)
- Anderson, P 1987, “Technical writing : A reader-centered approach,” 2nd edn, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich , Orlando, Florida.
- Microsoft Office Online, 2007, “Tips for creating and delivering an effective presentation,” online, retrieved 7th September 2009, from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/powerpoint/HA102078641033.aspx
- Reep, D C, 2006, “Techincal writing,” 6th edn, Pearson/Longman, New York.
- Schriver, K A, 1997, Chapter 6: Dynamics in document design: creating texts for readers, Wiley Computer Pub, New York
- Svenonius, E, 2000, “The Intellectual Foundation of Information Organization, 1st edn, The MIT Press, Campbridge, Massachusetts.