ProfessorHugh Mac Donald
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Module 5: Designing Documents, Slides, and Screens
Why is design important?
•Essential to create meaning, enable easy reading and understanding
How should I design Paper Pages?
1. Use white space
- Emphasizes the material it separates from the rest of the text (easier to
- Use headings, mix of paragraph lengths, lists, tabs or indents, numbered
-Parallelism: begin each item on the list with the same part of speech
2. Use headings
- Words or short phrases that identify a complete idea and divide your
letter/memo/report into sections
- Increase readability because they summarize what you are about to read
- Should be specific, cover all material until next heading
- Keep all headings at one level parallel all nouns, all questions, all
complete sentences etc.
3. Limit the use of words set in all-capitals
4. Use no more than two typefaces in a single document
-Proportional fonts: wider letters take more space than narrower letters
-Fixed fonts: every letter takes the same space
-Serif fonts: have little extensions from the main strokes
oEasier to read in hardcopy documents, helps eyes move from letter
-Sans serif fonts: lack serif
oGood for titles, tables, narrow columns
oEasier to read in magnified text (use for PPT)
- If combining fonts, use one serif and one sans serif
5. Decide whether to justify margins on the basis of the situation and the
-Ragged right margins: margins that are justified on the left; lines end in
diff places b/c words are of diff lengths
-Full justification: type on both sides of the page is evenly lined up
How should I design Presentation Slides?
•Keep slides simple, relevant, interesting
•Emphasize key ideas, visuals
•Use audience-relevant photos or metaphoric illustrations
•Use minimum text, more bullet-point phrases
•Contrast background and text
•Use a big font
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