Handlist of the Rhetorical Features of Web Page and Site Design

started aug, 2005. major rev oct 2005 rev Aug 2006 rev and additions Sept 2008

This handlist focuses your attention on features to help describe and characterize the message. It is not meant to be filled in like a survey so much as a checklist. Use it to guide your attention on those aspects of the page and site that you're considering.


url construction

protocol://server.address.domain/path/path/file.html

site architecture


organizational schemes

from Wurman, Sume, and Leifer: LATCH. Also called 5 Hat racks
from Rosenfeld and Morville
from Lynch

types of sites / genres (Lynch)


pages

kinds of pages: generic


parts of page

ads
consider placement on page. consider source of ads when looking at ethos
page design elements and arrangement

Sketch the page to indicate what's placed where and to what effect

common page layouts

general

types of layouts
adapted from Exploring Web Design, Vest, Crowson, Pochran

navigation

kinds


navigation devices


navigational nomenclature: the terms used to lable global and local navigation

Characterize the terms, especially global terms.

text layout linking motifs


site entry points and paths


Visual design

basic visual design terms


color in design


color schemes / palettes


images

How are images used on the page

Text and Image

  • placement on page with respect to the text
  • What's the relationship of image to text? to illustrate? supplement? illuminate text?

Text legibility

  • line length
  • line spacing
  • contrast of text color to background color
  • font
  • size

chunking

  • Look at how a continuous text is broken up
    • on the page
    • across pages
  • how paragraphs and sections are indicated
  • how headings and subheadings are used
  • how bullet lists and numbered lists are used

nomenclature of heading and subheadings Quick and Dirty Rhetorical Analysis characterize the text in general by looking at
characterize the rhetorical stance: the attitude of the prose towards reader and subject

linktext

usability - consider

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