Doc Design Pub Announcement

Subject: Doc Design Pub Announcement
From: Karen Schriver <ks0e+ -at- ANDREW -dot- CMU -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 4 Feb 1997 14:24:52 -0500

Hello Folks,

Some of you have mentioned an interest in research about document
design. I hope you won't mind if I tell you about my new book. It may be
one of the first to deliberately integrate ideas about writing and
design, particularly ideas that are based on what readers actually need
and expect from documents.It provides an extensive discussion of why
writers and graphic designers think about words and graphics as they do,
explores how readers engage with the prose and graphics of documents,
and sheds light on what document designers can do to more effectively
meet readers' needs. Following please find a blurb about it.

karen schriver

by Karen A. Schriver

This book is for anyone who writes or designs the many types of
documents people use everyday at home or school, in business or
government. The audience includes professional writers, graphic
designers, information architects, and communications planners--the
people who create high-tech instruction manuals, textbooks, health
communications, information graphics, reports, online information, and
World Wide Web pages.

"Dynamics in Document Design" offers one of the first research-based
portraits of what readers need from documents and of how to take those
needs into account. Drawing on research about how people interpret words
and pictures, this book presents a new and more complete image of the
reader--a person who is not only trying to understand prose and graphics
but who is responding to them aesthetically and emotionally. This image
emerges from studies of a variety of audiences, from inner-city
teenagers responding to drug education literature to senior citizens
interpreting video cassette recorder manuals. These studies show the
importance of taking into account readers' cultural experience, what
they know and believe, what they are trying to do, and the situation in
which they are doing it. Together these studies illustrate the dynamic
interaction among cognitive, motivational, social, and cultural aspects
of readers' interpretations.

These studies also tell us that readers' images of the communications
designed by an organization may influence their image of the
organization itself. This work provides empirical evidence that in the
eyes of the reader good writing and design matter a lot. Moreover, this
work offers practical insights about what document designers can do in
order to become more sensitive to readers' needs and to develop greater
expertise in integrating words and pictures. The book features the

* Case studies of documents before-and-after revision, showing how
audiences think and feel about them

* Analyses of the interplay of words and pictures in a variety of
documents, revealing how prose, visuals, typography, and space work

* A timeline of document design from 1900--1995, portraying the
international evolution of the field and the impact of events in five
areas: (1) rhetoric and writing, (2) graphic design and typography, (3)
the professional development of writers and designers, (4) science,
technology, and environmental awareness, (5) society and consumerism

The book can be employed on-the-job as a resource for research-based
ideas about document design. It can also be used in undergraduate and
graduate courses in professional writing, technical communication,
graphic design, information design, communications planning, and
document design.

CONTENTS IN BRIEF (more detail available upon request)

* CHAPTER 1: What Is Document Design?
* CHAPTER 2: Evolution of the Field: Contextual Dynamics
* CHAPTER 3: How Documents Engage Readers' Thinking and Feeling
* CHAPTER 4: The Impact of Poor Design: Thinking about Ourselves as
Users of Texts and Technology
* CHAPTER 5: Seeing the Text: The Role of Typography and Space
* CHAPTER 6: The Interplay of Words and Pictures
* CHAPTER 7: What Document Designers Can Learn from Readers
* Appendix A: Publications of Interest to Document Designers
* Appendix B: Common Typographic Symbols
* Appendix C: Guidelines for Designing Online Displays
* Colophon

592 pages (includes 246 illustrations)

ISBN #: 0471-30636-3
Copyright: 1997 (available as of Jan. 10, 1997)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

Available in the U.S. through Barnes & Noble, Borders, B. Dalton,
Walden, as well as technical, scientific, and university bookstores

Available worldwide on the net through

Price: $39.95 USA /$55.95 Canada

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