Designing Usable Texts - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122232602, 9781483217666

Designing Usable Texts

1st Edition

Editors: Thomas M. Duffy Robert Waller
eBook ISBN: 9781483217666
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 26th April 1985
Page Count: 440
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Description

Designing Usable Texts covers the analysis of textual communication processes in the real world of publishing systems and work sites. The book presents topics on designing and understanding of written texts; authoring, editing, and the production process; and training authors of informative documents. The text also describes the policies and processes of editing; lessons in text design from an instructional design perspective; and graphics and design alternatives such as studying strategies and their implications for textbook design. The identification of information requirements such as understanding readers and their uses of texts, modeling users and their use of technical manuals, is also considered. Psychologists and people involved in communication design, document design, information mapping, and educational technology will find the book invaluable.

Table of Contents


Contributors

Preface

Part I Introduction

1. On the Designing and Understanding of Written Texts

Introduction

Constructing and Using Texts

A Model of Comprehension

Text Structures and the Contexts of Comprehension

Explicit Texts and Context-Dependent Texts

Optimal Design of Texts

Design versus Theory

References

Part II Authoring, Editing, and The Production Process

2. The Author: Help or Stumbling Block on the Road to Designing Usable Texts

Introduction

What Is Usable Text

Producing Usable Text: Five Propositions

The Author: Help or Hindrance

References

3. Training Authors of Informative Documents

Introduction

Who Are the Authors

What Are the Writing Capabilities of These Authors

How Does the Job Setting Influence What and How These Authors Write

What Do We Know About Training Writers

What Research Is Needed

References

4. Editing: Policies and Processes

Introduction: Why Bother With Editing

Editorial Policy and Usable Texts

Editorial Policies as House Rules

Some Preliminary Studies of Editing Processes

Concluding Comments on Editing Processes and Policies

References

5. Intuitions, Algorithms, and a Science of Text Design

The Increasing Complexity of Communications

Need for a Multidisciplinary Approach to Text Design

Computer-Aided Format Design

Computer-Aided Language Analysis

Summary and Implications

References

6. Readability Formulas: What's the Use

Introduction

Military Texts

Readability and Prediction

Readability and Production

Alternatives to Existing Readability Formulas

References

7. Lessons in Text Design from an Instructional Perspective

Introduction

Preconditions for the Design of Usable Text

Contributions of Learning Research to Text Design

Managing a Text Design Process

Conclusion

References

Part III Graphics and Design Alternatives

8. Studying Strategies and Their Implications for Textbook Design

Introduction

Important Dimensions of Studying

An Analysis of Textbooks

Structure

Coherence

Unity

Audience Appropriateness

Conclusion

References

9. Results with Structured Writing Using the Information Mapping Writing® Service Standards

Table of Contents

History and Goals

Basic Types of Maps

Structured Writing

Principles of Structured Writing

Standards: Their Goals and Use

Research on Components of Structured Writing

Results of Recent Research

Conclusion

References

10. Design Strategies for Job Performance Aids

Introduction

Definition and Characteristics

Job Performance Aid Development

Design Strategies and Formats

Research on Job Performance Aids

Summary and Conclusions

References

11. Using Pictorial Language: A Discussion of the Dimensions of the Problem

Introduction

What Is a Picture

What Are Pictures for

Description and Narration

Generality versus Particularity

Observation-Based and Concept-Based Images

Synoptic Images and Images Composed of Discrete Elements

Configuration

Conventions of Drawing

Style

Verisimilitude

Berlin's Graphic Variables

The Dimension of Time

Repeatability and Transmission

Cross-Cultural Problems

Learning to Make and "Read" Pictures

Feedback and Evaluation

Credibility of Pictures

References

Part IV Identifying Information Requirements

12. Understanding Readers and Their Uses of Text

Introduction

Plan for This Chapter

The Text Producer as "An Audience of One"

Understanding the Ability of the Reader to "Receive and Decode the Message"

Concepts of Adult Marginal Literates as Learners

Summary

References

13. Modeling Users and Their Use of Technical Manuals

Introduction

Research on Comprehensibility and Usability of Military Manuals

The Content Perspective: Modeling Users' Task Performance

The Readability Perspective: Modeling Users' Reading Comprehension Skills

Summary Critique: Content and Readability Perspective

Research on Use of Information Sources at the Job Site

Modeling Performance at the Work Site

Analyses of Observational Data

Modeling Factors Affecting Performance at the Work Site

Modeling Information Processing during Task Performance

Summary: Modeling Performance at the Work Site

Implications of Research for an Improved Technology

References

14. Testing Design Alternatives: A Comparison of Procedures

Introduction

The Impact of Research on Document Design

Procedures for Evaluating Document Design

A Methodological Comparison of Two Macro-Eye-Movement Procedures

Summary

References

Author Index

Subject Index


Details

No. of pages:
440
Language:
English
Copyright:
© Academic Press 1985
Published:
Imprint:
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
9781483217666

About the Editor

Thomas M. Duffy

Robert Waller