The Web’s Compass
When designing a web page, many features and characteristics must be considered. Three important features for navigational tools are text, icons, and photographs. The use of these elements must consider benefits to the user and navigation throughout the site. I will discuss text, icons, and photographs and why each feature can help or hinder the navigation of a site.
When deciding whether to use text as a navigational button we must remember to effectively use color, type, and text to help readers maneuver within the site. When choosing to use text, consider “production: arranging text and visuals on pages or screens, plus choosing type and color” (Hilligoss and Howard 164). When using text as a navigational tool, use your text effectively. Killingsworth and Gilbertson Signs, Genres, and Communities in Technical Communication explain what happens when text is misused: “Overuse fancy typographical features, thereby creating semiotic “noise” in the text—bothersome distractions to good reading” (44). If the text is not useful and informative for the reader then a different style tool should be used. The text navigational tool should help “readers find their way around in a text” (Killingsworth and Gilbertson 49). Killingsworth and Gilbertson define effective text as that which “draws attention to the object without re-determining its meaning” (48). An example of text used as a useful navigational tool is Texas A&M University’s homepage. The web page uses all text links to navigate within the site. All of the texts are one to two words specific to their links and all capitalized. This helps the reader easily find information. The links are set up in uniform columns so as not to be distracting, as Killing...
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...r site an edge over other text-intensive pages.
I find this topic personally relevant because I could be writing for the web one day. Knowing which navigational tools work best for my site is invaluable information. Understanding how to write efficiently on the web and design a user-friendly page gives me an extra edge when I enter the work force.
Faigley, Lester, Diana George, Anna Palchik, and Cynthia Selfe. Picturing Texts. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2004.
Hilligoss, Susan and Tharon Howard. Visual Communication. New York: Longman Publishing Company, 2002.
Killingsworth, M. Jimmie and Michael K. Gilbertson. "Representation in Document Design." In Signs, Genres, and Communities in Technical Communication. Amityville, NY: Baywood Publishing Company, Inc. 1992.
Texas A&M University. 2002-04. 12 February 2004 <http://www.tamu.edu>