General thoughts/observations regarding Chapter 3:

A lot of this (in the first few pages) is very similar to the 'note-taking' techniques one learns while in middle school or early high school. I say this not just because it's all about efficiency, hierarchy of information, and (obviously) organizing ideas in a way that helps both the person doing the organizing AND anyone else who plans to utilize the material later on--but also because the overall tone of the chapter is authoritative (in the sense that Lynch is addressing us in a way that a school teacher might address his/her students who presume to 'know' how to do all of this already [duh]). At first, I skimmed this chapter--thinking to myself "This is almost common sense stuff. I've been doing this kind of thing (academically at least) for a good portion of my life. I'm a human. Of course I understand the basic principles of organizing information and presenting it in a way that is completely coherent and logical." Then, I read it again, slowly. Obviously, I noticed plenty of things that escaped me during my first presumptuous read:

Taxonomies and Controlled Vocabulary:

I feel like this kind of thing can tie into 'register' and the rhetorical situation. Vocabulary coherency is crucial to any rhetor's overall mission (to steer a large group of people in a singular direction). The audience must be considered, and addressed as a whole. A web designer is a rhetor in that he/she is attempting to present information in a way that appeases as many people (site visitors) as possible.

This kind of thing applies to individual sites and the Internet as a whole--being that most sites are designed with similar underlying themes (menus [and drop-down menus], banners, strategically placed links, etc). Everyone knows a website when they see one. If that makes sense.

Card-sorting

This section reminds me of wiki-collaboration--especially when considering the "Recent Changes" function or the "History" function. Wiki users use these functions in the same way--attempting to view multiple versions of something in order to determine which variation best suits the overall purpose of the site or project or what-have-you.

Site Structure/Hierarchies

Looking at these diagrams ('hub and spoke' compared to the 'more complex hierarchy') makes me wonder a few things. In this section, logical sequencing is mentioned multiple times. From what I've gathered, it seems that logical sequencing is based on the assumption that each visitor of the site is going to share the same thought process when navigating the site--as if the user is merely visiting with no specific question or issue in mind. As if they're just floating along, going with the flow. While this may sometimes be the case, I feel like most of the time (at least in my personal experience), I have a very specific problem or desire. Lately, I've been trying to gain more knowledge about some of my musical hardware (specifically--a Maschine 2 Sampler)--and have had to scour numerous sites (including YouTube, of course) in order to find very specific information. Some of these sites had 'logical sequencing' sort of layouts--a lot of the information I needed buried in pages only accessible by visiting other pages. Of course, after realizing this, I just started to use the "Search" bar--which most sites have. It's not that it's hard to notice and adapt to the thought patterns laid out by the site designers; it's just more of a time-saving thing. I appreciate good organization, but ultimately, I just want to find out what I need to know. So, in some ways, a "Search" bar almost defeats the purpose of logical sequencing. Of course, I'm only speaking for myself.

Canonical Forms (Where to Put Things and Why)

This reminds me of how psychologists aid in the design of grocery/department stores. Nothing is accidental; everything is very deliberate. Food that must be sold within a certain time frame (things that are about expire, temporary specials from distributors, etc) are always placed on the end caps. The more expensive brands are placed at eye-level--whereas bargain cereals (for example) are placed at the customer's feet. Milk and cheese and meat and produce (and don't forget the pharmacy) are located in the extremities--so as to force the customer to walk through numerous other sections in order to reach them (and hopefully think of plenty of things to add to their carts along the way). This same principle of design is applied to websites. "About Us" or "Contact Us" links are usually placed at the bottom of the page (because who doesn't want to avoid customer service communication at all costs). Shopping Cart sections are usually placed at the right of the screen (like a period at the end of a sentence [reading left to right]--the logical end to a visit [buy something]). Links to outside web sites on the extremities (right or left)--like windows in a house.


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