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Multimedia object types I: TEXT ISMT Multimedia Dr Vojislav B Mišić
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 2 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Vision The most important sense: provides us with information about food (fresh and other), possible friends and enemies, and other interesting things in the environment Vision needs light in order to function
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 3 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Physics says … Light is electromagnetic radiation Visible wavelengths from 380 to 700 nm Different frequencies (wavelengths) are perceived as different colors Humans can perceive millions of colors (resolution much below 1nm = m)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 4 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Biology says … Vision receptors: eyes (two apiece) Two types of sensor cells on the retina – rods and cones (different sensitivity and different distributions) Eye nerves transmit information The brain synthesizes the picture, performs recognition
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 5 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text A stream of characters grouped in words, … which are grouped in sentences, … which are grouped in paragraphs, … which are grouped in sections, … which are grouped in chapters, … which are grouped in volumes, … which are grouped in books, … which are stored in libraries, …
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 6 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text is linear and deferred Text is an inherently linear medium Ideas are communicated word by word, sentence by sentence, … The (literal) meaning of a block of text is revealed at the end, or somewhere near it Text perception is again of a multilevel type: other interpretations (=meanings) can be present, to become obvious later (or never)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 7 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text characteristics Ideal for describing abstract phenomena, such as feelings Relatively independent of the rendering quality Able to support other media objects by providing explanations or clues by reinforcing their meaning and messages Usually redundant; can tolerate some loss
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 8 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Exercise 1 can you read this sentence?
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 9 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Exercise 2 how about this sentence?
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 10 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Exercise 3 or this one?
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 11 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Problems Improper design may fail to deliver the intended message Extremely bad design can render the text unreadable/unusable (see next slide) On a more abstract level, text is generally not very portable across cultures Finally, physical medium is not very durable (prone to wear & tear, fire, acidity in the air)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 12 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Problems: an example Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 13 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Typography Typography concerns the aspects of text that make it legible and expressive typeface size weight page layout They all affect the manner in which text conveys information (and the efficiency of the process)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 14 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text Objects (Western) Typeface defines character appearances Font: set of characters of a single typeface size (expressed in points, pt) weight (normal, semibold, bold, extrabold) mode (upright, slanted, italic)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 15 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text Design Depends on the intended context (printed or displayed) First choice: which typeface(s) to use Serif (such as Times), sans serif (such as Arial), decorative (such as Comic), and/or monospaced (such as Courier)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 16 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Typeface/Font Formats PostScript: designed by Adobe, almost every manufacturer uses it TrueType: used by Microsoft in Windows 95/98 (but Win2000 has PostScript font rasterizer ) Font quality: strokes, hints (esp. at small font sizes)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 17 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text Design II Typefaces have personalities Form always follows function Right typeface can reinforce your message, while a wrong one … (visualizer sample)
A Sampler Many different variations for a given typeface Vast libraries of type exist, most of them in digital form
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 19 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text legibility Choose a clear typeface and size that users can easily read Serif typefaces tend to lose screen legibility if they are too small or the screen resolution is low Sans-serif typefaces are more legible, even on lower resolution screens Decorative typefaces, such as Comic Sans or Impact, are normally used for printed text at large point sizes only, otherwise they tend to be hard to read or even illegible
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 20 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text Legibility II To emphasize a word, phrase or sentence, experiment with different sizes, fonts, weights, or modes Changing weight or mode in the text is like shouting – you don’t shout all the time, and if you do, people will get used to it and not notice it any more Use capitals sparingly: lowercase letters help readers distinguish words MORE EASILY THAN ALL UPPERCASE LETTERS
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 21 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Typefaces The moral of the story is use typefaces that correspond to the intended message use different typeface/size/weight combinations for proper emphasis but: don’t overdo it If in doubt, seek professional help A fool with a tool is still …
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 22 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Page/screen layout Layout: concerns the position of objects on the page/screen What information is the most important? What catches the eye first? Emphasis on content, headlines, navigation elements, or controls
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 23 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Common layout elements Column widths, lengths, leading, letter spacing, rivers, widows and orphans Grid: helps designers quickly (and consistently) lay out elements Grid also helps in aligning the elements
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 24 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Pacing (I) A sparse screen may establish a slower pace, give the user more time to read each element, makes them stand out more prominently
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 25 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Pacing (II) A screen with more elements requires faster pace and gives the reader less time to focus on individual elements
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 26 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Pacing (III) it might be interesting to note that a later version of the Bitstream home page has been rearranged, and not only in terms of fancy buttons...
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 27 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Pacing (IV) Faster pacing with plenty of information is sometimes acceptable CNN: a well known page, accessed for reference (very few first-time users)
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 28 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Style Style is expressed by the design: the elements and their interrelationships Design can express different styles Style should relate to the audience and the purpose and/or message(s) of the project traditional formal casual active futuristic historic modern loud quiet utilitarian
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 29 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Hypertext Intended to overcome the inherent linearity of text objects Allows users to navigate in order to find relevant information But: links must be defined in advance Hypermedia extends the same concepts to all media including sound and video
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 30 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Text retrieval Large texts require searching support: table of contents word/name indexes concept indexes glossaries Concordances, Keyword-in-context (KWIC) indexes Electronic versions add sophisticated searching capabilities fuzzy searching hypertext functions Text search still leaves something to be desired (even Google or MSN )
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 31 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić What Do You Think … Is text still important in the multimedia age? Or should we use other media instead? Does the answer depend on the physical medium (i.e., computer screen vs. mobile phone vs. some futuristic wearable computer)?
ISMT multimedia Lecture 02 / slide 32 © 2002 Dr Vojislav B Mišić Summary of Lecture 02 vision - perhaps the most important sensory input channel text - preferred medium in many cases overall sense of balance and style is very important
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