Notes on Diagrammatic Writing by Johanna Drucker

The sea of white continues on the next page
whiteness everywhere
again, finding ones way in a blizzard comes to mind. Then, as she wrote, the "defining" words appear - like a beacon of light - even though these words don't really tell us much. The content is lean, but the placement elevates them as important.
The header on page 6 is meant to be ironic, I guess
not sure if that's the word
but the header does not capture the main ideas presented in the paragraph. The paragraph isn't really about how to use headers so much; it's more about conventions used to structure the paragraphs themselves; whereas the header on page 7 (Juxtaposition and (non)Parallelism seems to actually reflect how she's arranged the text on page 7.

Post Reflection

Your notes might address:
I thought that Krug presented his argument to demonstrate how the hierarchy works - to reinforce his "don't make me think" philosophy. But Drucker flips all of these conventions on their heads, making us think even more about both the text and the conventions themselves. Her piece really makes the reader think... it could be read and re-read for deeper thinking and understanding. Drucker's argument is "entangled" (to use her words) in her material presentation and would be sooooo different without the layout. I think Marshall's argument would have also been very different in a different presentation. I kept wondering while reading it, how it might have been different in a more electronic format (making use of Krug's ideas about hierarchies, navigation and then adding some hyptertext). In Chapter 3, Krug discusses why it's important to minimize how much users have to think; Drucker, also indicates that the structural layouts and conventions cause the reader to make certain implications or associations with that text (i.e. if it's bold, it's super important). I think what I am learning from all of the texts we're reading (and applying them to the practice of web content design) is that, in order to engage the reader/user, you might have to take some designing risks. It's important to know the conventions, but if you rely on using them too heavily, you risk having your reader/user mull through your material on autopilot, not really thinking about the content. But you have to be careful about a choice to be too non-traditional too because what you do, should make sense, and it should work to more deeply engage the reader/user, not just be different to be different.
- I was thinking again about how Drucker inserts herself and draws attention to her authorial presence in this piece by writing small asides to the reader. This as a convention brings the reader in closer relationship with the writer. Krug points out how one objective of web content and web design should be to establish a relationship with the user from the get-go. Drucker does this right away with the copyright comment.

Further Reflection about how layout matters
THEN, I thought about the books to movie scene. It seems lately Hollywood has been focusing on turning classic children or YA literature into movies. This of course, has always been done, but it just seems like more lately. Many Roald Dahl books are now movies, Ferdinand just came out this winter, last month, Peter Rabbit and A Wrinkle in Time. I always have mixed emotions when I see that a book I love is hitting the silver screen. I have a rule that we have to read the book first if we know it was a book first. And almost always, we are disappointed with the movie. The more disappointing thing to me is when friends tell me they saw the movie that weekend, I'll ask, "Have you read the book?" and their response is almost always, "No." I'd like to think that by making these books into movies, more people are reading, but I worry they are just settling for the 2 hour Hollywood version.

While there are somethings cinema can do really well, it is a major restructuring of the layout and brings us back to the idea of how the medium impacts the message.

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