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1 On-line Versus Paper Whats the Difference? Characteristics of E-reader Characteristics of Online Communication Techniques for Effective Online Help Techniques.

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Presentation on theme: "1 On-line Versus Paper Whats the Difference? Characteristics of E-reader Characteristics of Online Communication Techniques for Effective Online Help Techniques."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 On-line Versus Paper Whats the Difference? Characteristics of E-reader Characteristics of Online Communication Techniques for Effective Online Help Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites

2 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 2 On-line Versus PaperWhats the Difference? On-line help screens and Web sites are different from paper text in terms of The on-line e-reader Page layout Skimming versus linear reading Hypertext links versus chronological reading

3 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 3 Characteristics of the E-reader E-readers are Topic specific Search specific Web sites Look for specific information Want instructions for performing specific tasks

4 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 4 Characteristics of the E-reader Speed E-readers want to find information in ten seconds.

5 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 5 Characteristics of the E-reader Use electronic platforms E-readers can access on-line help screens and Web sites using cell phones, PDAs, and other wireless devices E-readers will be using Netscape, Internet Explorer, AOL, Macs and PCs.

6 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 6 Characteristics of the E-reader Languages WWW stands for the World Wide Web. The Internet is global. E-readers are multilingual and multicultural.

7 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 7 Characteristics of On-line Communication The Screen versus the Page forget 8 ½ X ll. On-line help screens are small. Effective Web screens rarely require scrolling.

8 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 8 Characteristics of On-line Communication Skimming versus Linear Reading We read books linearly, line by line. We skim and scan on-line help screens and Web sites. Bulleted lists Headings and subheadings Pyramid approach – first sentence is main point Divide info into small chunks Short Paragraphs

9 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 9 Characteristics of On-line Communication

10 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 10 Techniques for Writing Effective On-line Help Organize information for easy navigation. Back buttons On-line table of contents (TOC) Help pull-down menu Search mechanisms Recognize your audience. Achieve a positive, personalized tone.

11 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 11 Techniques for Writing Effective On-line Help Design your document. Use color sparingly. Pick a consistent color scheme. Have a reason for each color or graphic. Use a 10-point sans serif font (Arial). Use white space.

12 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 12 Techniques for Writing Effective On-line Help Be concise. Be clear. Provide tutorials. Use graphics to show end results. Provide cross references. Use pop-up definitions.

13 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 13 Techniques for Writing Effective On-line Help Ensure access on multiple platforms PCs and Macs Internet Exchange and Navigator

14 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 14 Techniques for Writing Effective On-line Help Search mechanism On-line TOC and IndexArial font Pop-up definitions

15 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 15 Techniques for Writing Effective On-line Help Topics About this Guide Product Description Assemble the ???? ??? Instructions???? Troubleshooting ???? About this Guide One or two line introduction. Heading Put some text here…..

16 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 16 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Home Page Identification information Name of company Name of product or service Contact information (phone, fax, , etc.) Graphiclogo or pictorial representation of company/product/service Lead-in Introductionslogan or sentence Hypertext links (navigation bar)

17 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 17 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Sample Home Page with graphical logo, lead- in, navigation bar, and link to contact information

18 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 18 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Linked Pages Headings Development Specific details about price, product, service, credentials, etc.

19 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 19 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Navigation Home buttonsallowing e-readers to return to the home page Links between the screensa navigation bar (nav. bar) on all screens

20 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 20 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Home button Nav. bar Page heading

21 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 21 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Document design Backgroundoptimal contrast for easy readability Font Sans serif 12- to 14-point type No italics or underlining Avoid ALL CAPS

22 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 22 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Document design (cont.) Coloroptimum contrast (black on white/white on black) BADhard to read GOODeasy to read Yellow font on a blue background is hard to read. Black font on a white background is easy to read.

23 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 23 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Document design (cont.) Graphics JPGs, GIFs Avoid large graphicscause download delays

24 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 24 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Document design (cont.) GOOD Online Highlighting Lines (horizontal rules) separate headings and subheadings from the text. Bullets and icons enliven text and break up wall-to- wall words. First- and second-level headings separate key ideas. Boldface emphasizes important points. White space makes text more readable.

25 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 25 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Document design (cont.) BAD Online Highlighting Frames load slowly and are distracting. Italics are not easy to read online. Underlining looks like hypertext links. Java applets take a long time to load. Video requires downloadable add-ons. Animation can be very sophomoric.

26 Gerson & Gerson: Technical Writing, 5th Edition© 2006 Pearson Education, Upper Saddle River, NJ All Rights Reserved. 26 Techniques for Writing Effective Web Sites Style Concisenessto limit scrolling Personalized tone Correct grammaryour Web site is global. Dont exhibit errors on the Web, World Wide.


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