233 Matching Annotations
  1. Nov 2022
    1. the Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi edited by Ifor Williams from the White Book manuscript is still the standard edition of the four branches; it includes lengthy notes as well as the edited text, all in Welsh.
    1. Originally blogs were called weblogs: a log of activity that you wrote to the web. Peter Merholz jokingly split the term into two words to make it an activity: we blog. Ev Williams started to use it as a verb and a noun: to blog. And the rest is history.
  2. Jul 2022
  3. May 2022
    1. Surprised me, where the inspiration has always been Mister Sellars Garden in Tad Williams' Otherland, with those overtones of bots and bugs and beetles and pollination and vines and layering propagation.

      Other inspirations for digital gardens: Tad Williams' Otherland - Mister Sellars Garden

  4. Jan 2022
  5. Sep 2021
    1. liberty of conscience

      "Liberty of conscience" is a phrase Roger Williams uses in a religious context to denote the freedom for one to follow his or her religious or ethical beliefs. It is an idea that refers to conscious-based thought and individualism. Each person has the right to their own conscience. It is rooted in the idea that all people are created equal and that no culture is better than the other.

      This idea is strongly tied to: freedom from coercion of conscience (own thoughts and ideas), equality of rights, respect and toleration. It is a fundamental element of what has come to be the "American idea of religious liberty". Williams spoke of liberty of conscience in reference to a religious sense. This concept of individualism and free belief was later extrapolated in a general sense. He believed that government involvement ended when it came to divine beliefs.

      Citation: Eberle, Edward J. "Roger Williams on Liberty of Conscience." Roger Williams University Law Review: vol 10:, iss: 2, article 2, pp. 288-311. http://docs.rwu.edu/rwu_LR/vol10/iss2/2. Accessed 8 Sept. 2021.

  6. May 2021
    1. When asked if she has a message for her fans, Williams pauses before reassuring them not to worry. “The main thing is I can still sing. I’m singing my ass off, so that hasn’t been affected,” Williams says. “Can’t keep me down for too long.”
  7. Jan 2020
  8. Feb 2018
    1. Allusive works are also prey to allegations of plagiarism at worst, and lack of originality at best. Eliot commented that one justification for including the notes to The Waste Landwas to counter the accusations of plagiarism that had greeted his earlier, heavily allusive poems.45Such accusations show a basic misunderstanding of the nature ofallusion. Plagiarism, unlike allusion, seeks to be invisible and undiscovered, and furthermore, it does not attempt to create any tensions of meaning between the old and new usage of the plagiarized materials.

      William Carlos Williams criticism of The Waste Land-- "copyist tendencies," and "the traditions of plagiarism." from Spring and All. A common criticism.

  9. Dec 2016
    1. According to the 2010 U.S. census, the Hispanic population has reached50.5 million people
    2. ‘as lit-tle as we know about technical communication in other countries, it isstartling how little research has been done on subcultures within the

      It's possible that researchers of technical communication have decided to go the "color-blind" route, as racial and ethnic differences shouldn't play a factor in the technical communication discussion. Research, for them, should focus on the content users as a whole, and not base on the community that they might have came from.

    3. presents data collected from research that used participatory design methods to discuss and address workplace safety and risk discourse in a way that Latino construction workers could more fully understand.

      This article description reminds me of the New London Group article that made a focus on trying to education a generation of people with wide range of ethnic backgrounds.

    4. While theseissues often are overlooked, go unnoticed, or are silenced, the articlesincluded in this special issue ofJBTCdemonstrate the prominence, andmuch-needed analysis, of race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in technicalcommunication.

      I think some of these articles go unnoticed because people try to sculpt race relations in only certain contexts that the media portrays (i.e. wealth inequality and education). If the media discussed technical communication more, these topics of race would soon follow suite.

    5. While thenation has shown progress by electing its first African-American president,the education, employment, income, and health disparities between WhiteAmericans and historically marginalized groups still exist.

      The problem with people assuming race problems would cease after Obama was elected is due to the fact that Obama is used as a token. If one Black man can have that kind of success, than all Black people could, which is a logical fallacy.

    6. Even though (or quite possibly because) race as a concept and therebyracism still exist, many people, if not color-blind, avoid topics of race, eth-nicity, and culture in their daily conversations.

      As mentioned before, if only a select group of people decide not to mention race in their everyday conversations, while others do, the people who choose not to discuss race will likely look like a problem an indirect instigator of race problems.

    7. As Bonilla-Silva (2003)and others have shown, the color-blind ideology is false and usually trans-lates into societal practices that build on and bestow neutral WEA cultural,linguistic, and racial knowledge.
    8. For example, in some technical communica-tion classes, as in most classes, instructors adopt a color-blind perspective,reiterating the sentiment that race has no place in the classroom

      Similar to the case of the New London Group article, some classes may want to avoid the idea of "tokenism" in which a person is highlighted simply based on their nationality and that the focus on the minorities in the room will create an atmosphere that makes every minority a special case.

  10. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. This article was a guideline piece on how to best represent information, particularly with web designers. However, while a lot of the data is useful, some of it is a bit dated.

    2. QUICKLIST FOR DISPLAYING INFORMATION ON THE WEB

      Basically, this is a summary of the whole article in outline form.

    3. USING ANIMATIO

      Dynamic content can draw the eye, but should be used sparingly. I've seen these work really well in graphical headers and as interactive data, but they can be too distracting or not load some times.

    4. Further confusing the interpretation of iconic signs is the simple fact that, even within a single culture or dis­course community, the logic of the system by which a sign is mapped onto a referent often differs from sign to sign— even in the same icon set. In other words, some icons may be representational, some analogical, some metaphorical, and so on. Does a sign showing a knife, fork, and spoon denote a shop selling silverware or a restaurant? Most icon sets comprise a mix of mapping systems and seldom pro­vide any clues to the user as to which logical relationship is to be used for which icon.Finally, icons are not particularly' good at standing in for verbs (predication). When they attempt to convey action, they typically do so by showing the results of it. Many' actions in a digital environment, however, have no picturable results, and icons then often become no more than little picture puzzles that confuse rather than inform. Other claims include those that icons increase search speed and that they are more memorable than text. This section exa

      Nowadays, icons are typically marketing brands, such as Twitter's birds and Facebook's f. They're used as stand-ins for the company name.

      The other use for icons are "like" buttons, such as thumbs up and hearts. They intuitively mean that somebody agrees with written content in some form or fashion.

      However, a lot of times (like the article mentions) they are bad at conveying certain kinds of meaning. For example, I've seen people push the "like" button on facebook for events are typically really sad. Furthermore, they fail to convey the extent of empathy a person has for the topic at hand.

    5. Supplement visuals with explanatory text ortext labels

      Captions are really important for most visuals because they explain the relevance of a graphic. Without them, people naturally make assumptions about a graphic that doesn't necessarily comply with the author's intent. This is a rhetorical flaw that many make when non intuitive graphical information is present on something.

    6. Major headings, for ex­ample, might be larger or bolder than subordinate headings, or might be centered or displayed in caps.

      I've also seen sites that color headers so that they help users find information faster.

    7. Except, perhaps, for headings, avoid lines oftype shorter than 40 characters and longer than60 characters

      This is very specific. Personally, I think the amount of characters to a line doesn't really matter as long as the visual's margins allow an easy read.

    8. 3.4 Avoid setting type in all caps

      This is another outdated guideline. A lot of modern web designs have all-caps fonts that don't look too bad. Of course, some paragraphs are still a bit hard to read.

    9. Both bold and italic typefaces are used for emphasis and, consequently, should be used sparingly. Bold and italic letterforms also are often poorly formed on a screen—bold because the algorithm that creates them may simply add pixels to a letterform designed for and intended to be displayed at normal stroke widths; and italic because the oblique orientation of the letterforms doesn’t mesh well with the constraints of a vertically and horizontally oriented pixel grid.

      Of course. They should only be used for important/specific points of interests on a page. In other words, use only for emphasis.

    10. 3.2 Use 12- to 14-point type for continuous text

      This is actually kind of ironic, considering that the page looks to be 8 or 10 pt font.

    11. NSURING THAT TEXT IS READAB

      A lot of this section is subjective.

    12. 3.1 Use sans serif typefaces for display onscreen.

      I don't really agree too much with this article. While sans serif is typically easier on the eyes, I don't think serif has too much of an impact on problematic screen viewing with today's technology. I still use it for headers and the occasional website.

    13. s Dillon (1994) notes, the basic finding that people do, indeed, read more slowly from monitors appears to be disappearing as the quality of text displayed on screens improves.

      In the Kliever article, it was really important to choose a readable font in addition to choosing a font that conveyed the rhetoric the user is looking for. This could make or break a website's usability/popularity. Every design element is audience oriented!

    14. Sequences can be “coded” w7ith letters or number

      Or bullets! Like this series here. :) It has logical flow and has structural organization.

    15. Consistency7 has some other advantages for the user, as well. A consistent format speeds searching—it sets up expec­tations about where certain kinds of information or elements such as menus, navigation aids, or site maps can be found (Tullis 1988). Consistency, then, should exist not just within individual screens but among all screens in a Web site; there­fore, secondary7 screens should be logically, visually, and structurally derivative of home or primary page

      Consistency also looks a lot better. That's why designers try not to incorporate too many complex design elements on graphics; the amount of fonts are limited to three max (in most cases) and people strive to keep to a coherent color scheme. Having too many different styles creates chaos.

    16. Graphically reveal the relative levels ofimportance among elements or groups ofelements in a display

      Visual elements affect the rhetoric of anything on the website. They way you alter visual elements affects how people perceive things, so things that are altered can be made more or less eye catching/important to people.

    17. Space is a particularly compelling tool for organizing a display because the visual system automati­cally attempts to group elements that are close together. In fact, elements that fall within five degrees of visual angle (an area that can be processed by the eyes in a single fixation, and one that roughly corresponds to an area equivalent to six or seven lines of single spaced type, 12—14 characters long at a viewing distance of about 18 to 20 inches [45.7 to 50.8 cm]) appear to be grouped automati­cally.

      This is typically why people use things like text boxes, charts, margins, etc.; people perceive things that are close to each other as "grouped." For example, on the first column of this page, the image and caption are close together and separated from the body text. there are columns and spaces to separate paragraphs. People use text boxes on visuals (powerpoints, websites) to show that all the words in the boxes go together.

    18. The display problem is not qualitatively differ­ent from that confronted by the designer of a paper docu­ment, but certainly the parameters within which the de­signer of a screen must work may well be narrower simply

      The display size information is largely correct where it describes how it affects viewers. However, to my knowledge, this problem is gradually solving itself through the development of new website design media. Many common websites are using design tools that allow websites to seamlessly adapt to any screen in ways that very little changes will occur, in spite of size. However, the different screens will definitely still have different perceptions of rhetoric.

    19. Good design reveals structure when it visually mimics the logical relationships that exist among elements in a display. The human visual system attempts to find the structure of information—whether in a scene, on a page, or on a screen—very early in its efforts to process it, and it does so by looking for visual patterns. Importantly, the processing that occurs in this first stage of perception—a stage that takes only a few fractions of a second—occurs automatically and in such a way that interpretation of the display is dictated largely by the characteristics of the dis­play itself rather than by the viewer’s prior knowledge or expectations (Bruce and Green 1990; Goldstein 1996; Wade and Swanston 1991).

      In our website design piece, we did our best to utilize logical structure for our mockup. For example, we were asked to potentially fix the navigation. We redid the order of the navigation so, logically, the most important details were listed first.

    20. Blue is an acceptable background color for other rea­sons, as well. First, while only about four percent of the color-sensitive photoreceptors (cones) lining the inside surface of the eye (the retina) are sensitive to short-wave­length light, they are nevertheless distributed farther into the periphery7 (60 degrees) than are those cones sensitive to medium and long wavelengths. The cones we have that can process blue color, consequently', are relatively far apart, making it difficult for the eye to see distracting patterns (to find boundaries, in other words) in a blue background. (Lansdale and Ormerod 1994; Sekuler and Blake 1990; Thorell and Smith 1990)

      This could also be why a lot of social media websites are blue. Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are very blue.

    21. figure where there isn’t one. Backgrounds, consequently, should be, as far as possible, devoid of pattern or, if esthetic considerations demand that they be patterned, be very7 subtle or muted (Lynch and Horton 1999)

      This is definitely a must. Some pattern "textures" are typically find as long as they don't affect the readability of the page. Photos tend to be busy, but if they're only visible on the extreme margins, they tend to be fine. At the very least, the text box where words are must be a solid color.

    22. f a display must consist of very' small colored elements, however, the detectability and discrim- inability of those elements can be improved to a limited degree by displaying them on a black, rather than white, background. (Thorell and Smith 1990)

      Even if black and white are the highest contrast, they can still strain the eye if the font is too thin. However, they are the safest choice for readability.

    23. pro

      1- Making display elements legible This is a no-brainer. Websites are largely visual rhetoric oriented, with kinetic, audio, etc. elements weaved within. Without legible visuals, they are inaccessible to a large population and what could possibly be its largest audience.

    24. on

      This is another guideline genre piece- this time on troubleshooting display elements on a website for the purpose of making the webpage easier for users to utilize.

    25. Icons, simply because they are pictorial, are neither necessar­ily easy to interpret nor interpreted uniformly. Consequently, consider the following strategies w'hen using icons.

      This excerpt reminds me of emoticons and emojis. On different monitors the emoticons and emojis literally convey different expressions to the viewers and readers. On Apple products the emoticon that is expressing what can be conveyed as happiness on android and other brands of products that same emoticon is expressed as what would be sought out as an angry expression. This is important to remember when considering using emoticons and other icons because their intentional use may be misconstrued conveying a very different message.

    26. Figure 8. Visuals are much better suited than text to convey non-linear— especially hierarchical —relationships

      Figure 8 advises to use visuals rather than text. An example of this would be to use charts to display statistics or values of money rather than sentences full of numbers. This will not intimidate the viewers and readers. Allowing them to completely understand what the writer is intending to convey.

    27. In our efforts to ensure that text is readable, wre can draw on knowledge gained from literally hundreds of years of practice in the art of typography as w-7ell as recent research that specifically addresses the special typograph­ical challenges posed by the comparatively low7 resolution of today’s computer screens.

      Thinking back to the service learning project... I created a Mailchimp tutorial guide but typed it using the font Comic Sans. This text was readable but, if I were to have done my research I would have found that this font is not a good one to use at all for professional documents. This has been recorded from other professionals in the past and this particular information is easily accessible.

    28. pool (1999), Nielsen (2000), and a number of other contem­porary observers of Web user behavior argue that Web site visitors don’t actually read continuous text but simply skim a site’s content

      This has been discussed many times when working on site based assignments in class this semester. This is helpful information because as anyone now a day's with any type of site is somewhat of a technical writer and this information is important when including large blocks of text. Most people today do not have that much time on their hands to read large blocks of text. So taking that into consideration will allow a writer to save not only their time but maximize their viewer/readers experience.

    29. Some pictorial symbols have become, over time, almost universal— usually not because their meaning has been uniformly and consistently interpreted, but because their intended meaning has been learned.

      This is a branch of an earlier mentioned issue of choosing images that as clear as possible and can not interpreted as anything else. Using icons can be tricky in itself, but there is not reason to "reinvent the wheel" when choosing an icon to represent something. It might be more visually appealing or a clever, but it could perceive as something else. For example, a icon of a letter on a screen or the "@" symbol has been universally acknowledged as two icons that indicate email. But if you try to create another icon to represent email, then the audience might be looking for the universally acknowledged icon and miss the one that is new to them. Using icons that everyone knows and acknowledges ensures that your website is easily navigable.

    30. 3.9 Use headings and subheadings to help revealvisually the relationships among the textelements they label.

      Using headings and subheading is something I never considered until I took a class taught by Dr. Gu. He encourages all students use subheadings when writing long memos or papers. As a producer of text, it was very helpful to write under subheadings to keep the information relevant to the subheading. Now I seek out subheadings because they make things easier to read especially longer articles.

    31. A final exception: bold type is also more leg­ible than normally weighted typefaces when there is little luminance (brightness) contrast with the back­ground (Sanders and McCormick 1987). In other words, use bold when there is little contrast in darkness be­tween the type and its background.

      I think that bold sentences can be a good way to distinguish important information like in this article by the Huffington Post. Because it's a top 10 tips list, the actual tips are in bold while the secondary information explaining the information is normal face. So while we should use bold specifically sparingly, I would argue that it is a great way to identify the pertinent information in a wordy article.

    32. Elements that are visually grouped (see Figure 4) will likely be perceived as “associ­ated” with one another.

      I found this sentence interesting because in a past classroom lecture we learned about how words, pictures or even symbols can be grouped in such a way that they can convey a single message. When discussing creating the info graphic just before election time we saw perfect example of how this statement can be described and explained.

    33. practice in the art of typography

      This video from graphic designer Karen Kavett really helped me understand some of the basic typography vocabulary and principles.

    34. Spool (1999), Nielsen (2000), and a number of other contem­porary observers of Web user behavior argue that Web site visitors don’t actually read continuous text but simply skim a site’s content.

      This is so true nowadays. A lot of different websites from Twitter to dating apps now limit the amount of characters because people just don't read continuous text anymore. Although it was contested, I think that unless people are looking for information specifically, we mostly do "skim" on the internet, especially on social media which has become a source of news for many American adults.

    35. In general, any element in a visual display that contrasts in its visual qualities with other display elements wall attract the eye

      This seems a little like common sense. If there is 100 bunnies and one of them is black, that bunny will attract the eye. If you have something that you want people to see on your website, create visual contrast. The eye will be drawn to it naturally.

    36. Subordinate elements ought to appear less prominent than superordinate elements, and elements that are closely tied to one another logically ought either to be grouped spatially or share some other perceptual attribute such as color.

      Being clear and concise about what the designer in trying to say and what the purpose of the website is will help with this. When I see something like this on a website, it makes me feel as if the content creator doesn't know what exactly is important to them to tell me. Therefore, I don't know what I should take away from that content. The pertinent information be the biggest and eye catching and easily found, and all relevant but not as important information should be relatively smaller, but not hidden.

    37. The designer, then, can purposefully create visual pat­terns on a screen that will reveal to the viewer how the information on a screen is structured. Simply, elements that are logically coordinate ought to be treated graphically in the same way.

      This is one of the most helpful tips that I've learned in my studies of how to design. The brain wants to make sense of the things that you see; it wants to be able to flow through a webpage with ease. Keeping this in mind can allow a more effective website that is easy to navigate. Having a clutter website that has lots of unorganized information can be really overwhelming to the user. Like a well written paper, a website has to make sense throughout and flow with ease through different aspects.

    38. f a display must consist of very' small colored elements, however, the detectability and discrim- inability of those elements can be improved to a limited degree by displaying them on a black, rather than white, background. (Thorell and Smith 1990).Perhaps an even more practical consideration is whether or not an object on the screen can be interpretedonce it’s noticed. In Figure 1, the elements are large enough to be seen, but the critical details of the figures— the characteristics likely to be of most interest to the site visitor—are so small that the picture is virtually useless.

      I find this to be very helpful tip. Oftentimes, I will look at something that I know very well to be a particular thing, but when I ask someone to look at, it's interpreted as something different. For example, my elementary school mascot was a rocket. I never thought to be or look like anything other than a rocket. But when I returned to the school as a teenager with someone who never went to my elementary school, they saw it as something more phallic.

      Designers have to be clear to the point of exhaustion, especially with visual media. Fonts, pictures, and logos can be interpreted into things that might prove inappropriate to your website. Make sure that there is no contest to things on your webpage.

    39. "The following guidelines are intended to assist Web designers, authors, and editors in their efforts to creat Web pages that effectively reveal--rather than obscure or confuse--the information they are trying to present."

      In reading this article and being in this class and Digital Writing and Publishing, I realize, now more than ever, that understanding rhetoric is vital in creating anything on the Web. With such grand audience, designers have to have so sort of background in effectively designing and writing in order to provide an effective website for anyone who might happen upon it. This sentence is the definition of a rhetorical discourse. This proves that studying rhetoric can prove useful in lots of fields, contrary to belief.

    40. 383

      In 1.1. it discusses making sure that the visual elements displayed are large enough to be seen and interpreted. While working on the service learning client packet this was heavily discussed when making suggestions for the site update for LOLC. On that particular webpage we took notice that the visual elements being the pictures. The photos throughout this site were all stock photos. In relation to this article the stock photos are being interpreted as not personal and they don't give a genuine feel to the day care than if it were to display actual photos that were taken at the day care.

    41. Finally, it’s important to acknowledge in the design of information to be displayed on a screen that screens differ from pages in some very fundamental ways. Screens, for example, may be smaller than pages, at least in the sense that they often display fewer lines of type than a typical paper page. Screens are also customarily oriented differ­ently than paper—they are typically wider than they are tall. The images displayed on screens are also often more crude than those printed on paper, and, unlike paper, screens transmit light rather than reflect it

      I found this important to take into consideration when beginning to create the personal profile. Accessibility is the major key to making a display screen that will differ to its pages. When creating a web page this should be remembered. As a designer you are going to want to make it so that your viewer will be able to see the display as it was originally intended to on any device or screen. The interpretation as mentioned earlier may be off.

    42. 1.2 Avoid “busy” or distracting backgrounds.

      This was discussed in class and was suggested when creating our personal profiles. I have learned that the bright backgrounds need contrasting colors so that they are not so harsh to the eye. Or even because taking into consideration that there are people with color blind disabilities so making it a color that will be visible and appealing to every eye is important when choosing a background.

    1. The ability to separate structure from presentation is particularly useful in this regard.

      This sentiment contrasts with the message of the Kliever article on fonts in that Kleiver says you can not separate structure (or functionality) from presentation (or design).

    2. Montfort’s point is historical, but screen essentialism also obscures the diversity of contemporary interfaces used by people with disabilities and, increasingly, by all people.

      This idea reminds me of the "internet of things" which is basically that every item in a house will one day be able to connect to the internet.

    3. “Crowdsourcing” is a term coined by Jeff Howe in 2006 to describe online projects that make use of free or extremely inexpensive labor provided by “enthusiasts” around the world who are interested in donating their time to a project that interests them.

      Language translation work is often crowd sourced.

    4. The Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium

      Here's more info about this organization: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Wide_Web_Consortium

    5. In addition to the United States, the list of nations with laws or policies requiring web accessibility includes Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, India, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Portugal, and Spain

      It is sad that there are countries that do not have these laws.

    6. Whether in a physical or a digital environment, designers are always making choices about accessibility.

      I disagree with "always". There are still a great many times when disabled people are not thought of when something is designed unfortunately.

    7. We classify some software and hardware tools as “assistive technology”—sometimes the term “adaptive technology” is used instead—because they have been designed specifically to assist those people with “special needs.”

      This reminds me of the idea of being "colorblind" to race brought up in the Williams race article. Maybe not acknowledge disability does more harm than good.

    8. She demonstrated this software for me, and I was surprised by how quickly the words were spoken by the synthesized voice that came from her laptop’s speakers. In fact, I could not understand anything at all that she was doing.

      Last semester I was the official note taker from the office of disability for a classmate with a visual impairment and the speed of the screen reader surprised me too. I guess it is because when you get used to the screen reader voice you naturally want to make it go faster.

    9. It is imperative that digital humanities work take into account the important insights of disability studies in the humanities, an interdisciplinary field that considers disability “not so much a property of bodies as a product of cultural rules about what bodies should be or do,” in the words of Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, a prominent figure in the field (6).

      This reminds me of the idea in rhetoric that we make up how the world is. I do not remember who said this but it is an interesting quote: "the world can always be recreated linguistically"

    10. To do so, we needed to think about the needs of people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty navigating because of the clutter that often accumulates on web pages.

      I am currently learning HTML and an interesting thing i have learned is that sometimes you have to code tags that don't necessarily show up on the webpage, so text will get read by text readers for visually disabled people in a way that emphasizes information. Like an italic text that signifies something important like DANGER!

    11. universal design is efficient

      Universal design creates a smooth navigation through a particular process for everyone including the disabled. This could save on time, money, and resources.

    12. First, ensuring that digital resources created with federal funding are accessible is the law in many countries.

      When thinking on a federal level in the U.S., we understand more of why universal design is important when we think of how diverse and tolerant our country is with people of many different walks of life.

    13. Something created to assist a person with a disability—to make their environment more accessible in some way—might not be affordable or aesthetically pleasing even if it is usable and helpful. Something created using universal design principles, on the other hand, is designed “for a very broad definition of user that encourages attractive, marketable products that are more usable by everyone” (Mace).

      Accessibility caters to the specific, while universal design is broad and thinking of people as a whole.

    14. Mace argues for the importance of distinguishing between universal design principles and accessibility principles. To embrace accessibility is to focus design efforts on people who are disabled, ensuring that all barriers have been removed. To embrace universal design, by contrast, is to focus “not specifically on people with disabilities, but all people” (Mace).

      An important concept broken down, it is important to understand the difference in the two. So overall accessibility can be achieved with universal design in mind.

    15. Wendy Chisolm and Matt May write that to embrace universal design principles is to “approach every problem …with the ultimate goal of providing the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people possible” (2).

      But even if you may not ever be able to reach total usability for all, by keeping a universal design in mind, you can get as close as possible.

    16. The term “universal design” was invented by architect Ronald Mace, founder of North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Center for Universal Design. According to the NCSU College of Design, the term “describe[s] the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life” (“Ronald L. Mace”).

      A designer could create certain aspects of a web page or digital document to assist someone with a physical disability, like blindness or deafness, but it maybe more difficult to help those who lack in the ability of technology or there status of life disallows them to use technology. So a universal design isn't exactly absolute.

    17. In fact, such tools actually do the work of disabling people by preventing them from using digital resources altogether.

      By not including a large number of people because of the disabilities is a disability within itself becomes it prevents them even further.

    18. While professionals working in educational technology and commercial web design have made significant progress in meeting the needs of such users, the humanities scholars creating digital projects all too often fail to take these needs into account. This situation would be much improved if more projects embraced the concept of universal design, the idea that we should always keep the largest possible audience in mind as we make design decisions, ensuring that our final product serves the needs of those with disabilities as well as those without.

      The idea of attempting to reach the largest possible audience is helpful and will probably result in the best designed resource.

    19. What has remained neglected for the most part, however, are the needs of people with disabilities. As a result, many of the otherwise most valuable digital resources are useless for people who are—for example—deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty distinguishing particular colors.

      Often times when we think disabilities, we think of extreme cases. But in fact, having to wear glasses or contacts is considered a disability because without aid, it would be very difficult to engage in the majority of activities. This is why it is necessary to understand disabilities and make sure that digital resources caters to everyone's needs.

    20. Digital knowledge tools that assume everyone approaches information with the same abilities and using the same methods risk excluding a large percentage of people.

      In a ever changing, more accepting world, one of the most important aspects is to remember that everyone does not think the same has you or have all of the same abilities as you. When you have a tool that excludes are large population of people, the product isn't very usable at all which is one of the primary end goals.

    1. The author says that consistency is important for design elements. That is something that I found true when making my presentation for the service learning project. Consistency, especially among headers is important for navigating a document.

    2. The header about "Complexity" is interesting, especially where the author says that the eye naturally seeks out the most "informative" areas of a visual display. First that was kind of poetic, and second that is good to have in mind when you want to emphasize a certain section of a webpage.

    3. Tuller- "Visual groupings have a significant effect on the semantic interpretations that users assign to the information" This quote is interesting and it makes me wonder if how groupings are interpreted also has to do with language. For example, in Hebrew you read from right to left so I wonder if that affects how someone that speaks/reads Hebrew would interpret other visual groupings besides text like groupings of images.

    4. When the author talks about chunking is helpful. In my service learning project I had to do a lot of chunking to make sure all the visual elements fit together well.

    5. Interesting when the author points out how blue is good for contrasts because of how our eyes work. It reminds me of the design lore article trying to find out if there is a basis for "good"design principles in science. Also, it makes me wonder if that is why Facebook makes use of so much blue.

    6. I actually used the tip to use a blue background helpful when I had to present for the final workshop draft because I was showing examples from white slides so I had to use another color to show contrast.

    7. The article talks about the use of a white background for text. This is interesting because I read somewhere that text on a screen actually requires more white space than on a physical page to be read as comfortably.

    8. There is a header on the first page that talks about the importance of legibility of text on the web. I just thought that was funny because this document is kind of hard to read.

  11. Nov 2016
    1. Pictures help to show an example relating to the text. Sometimes people may not understand a text. Sometimes people can explain something better in a picture. When necessary put a picture (4.4)

    2. The author says that we should only use images on our site if they relate to the information you are providing. I agree. This is funny because I am looking back to the time when everyone was on Myspace and they would decorate their sites with any and everything. The contrast from colorful Myspace to the basic default white background of Facebook was shocking to me at first. I wondered why everyone switched over, but I realized it was easier. No one had the time to constantly decorate and design their sites. No one had the time to sort through a person's Myspace page because a lot of them were hard to sort through and unorganized. So Facebook's simple design helps us as readers.

    3. The author says that type in all uppercase and non-uniform spacing between words decreases reading speed. That's interesting because most novels are justified to where the text aligns both left and right. I am assuming that this issue applies mainly to online sites.

    4. Growing up, we would often use any and all texts that were funky and pretty. Now it seems that basic fonts are the best way to go. Readability is the most important when you are looking to show an audience.

    5. The author mentions that sites should either be white or light blue. I realized that most sites with a lot of traffic usually have a white background. All text books, novels, etc. usually have a white background.

    6. n

      The color, position, size, isolation, complexity and tonal contrast are all major aspects in guiding the reader to the most important information. These days, there is so much information to sort through, readers don't want to sort through irrelevant sites.

    7. Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without permission.Guidelines for designing and evaluating the display of information on the WebThomas R

      The author of this article is trying to inform potential site designers how to improve the effectiveness of their website. The author goes over legibility, arrangement of elements, typography, visuals, icons, and animation.

      And Williams gives specific examples of effective and ineffective website designs.

    8. Spatial arrangement can affect how a reader may group information together. Group items by their color or by grid lines. If you do not separate some information by a good amount of space or a line, the reader may become confused. The reader may also group similar colors together because they may think they relate.

    9. permission

      "Design, in its most simple sense, is an attempt to visually convey the logical, functional, or natural relationship that exist among the elements in an information display."

      Williams is absolutely right in that the viewer will often look at the organization of a page before they go to read it. If the page isn't visually appealing the reader won't be inclined to keep reading. The reader will assume that the content is too complicated to understand.

      The author goes on to say that "Good design reveals structure..." The reader needs to be able to follow the information and they don't want to have to struggle to understand the content.

    10. ced with permission

      Williams mentions that "the characteristics...to be of interest to the site visitor are so small that the picture is virtually useless." I think that a lot of people put an almost irrelevant item/picture/text on a site. The item usually doesn't have a purpose, so I never understand why someone would use the item. Information on a site should be related to the topic, otherwise the reader may leave the site.

    1. However, not all designers are aware of how their choices affect accessibility. Universal design is design that involves conscious decisions about accessibility for all, and it is a philosophy that should be adopted more widely by digital humanities scholars.

      Universal design is such a great idea, but I also think it is way harder to achieve than we think. Nonetheless, it's important that tech writers start to develop content having the idea of universal design in mind and trying to meet as many needs as possible. For example, providing videos for the deaf and hearing aids for the blind.

    2. To embrace accessibility is to focus design efforts on people who are disabled, ensuring that all barriers have been removed.

      Universal design is not to specifically have those with disabilities specifically in mind, but to design with the idea of all products and environment can be usable to as many people as possible. This is such a challenge because "one size fits all" rarely works for as many people as it's intended to reach, but yet it's a start to help those who need assistance. After all, technology is here to assist.

    3. We might consider, however, that there is no “natural” way to interact with the 1’s and 0’s that make up the data we are interested in creating, transmitting, receiving, and using; there is only the model we have chosen to think of as natural. All technology is assistive, in the end.

      Because technology is a huge part of our lives, we tend to confuse it as "natural" or becoming apart of us. But we need to separate ourselves from technology for a second and remind ourselves that it isn't natural and that it's sole purpose at the end of the day is to assist. There is so much work that goes into technology and tech writing in order for it to run smoothly and be structured in a way that we subconsciously confuse with nature. Somehow, the trick here is to get technology to become natural for those with disabilities... but how? To be determined...

    4. Walter Ong famously wrote, “Technologies are artificial, but …artificiality is natural to humans” (81)

      This quote above is so on point because it's true that as technical writers you deal with a lot of artificial content that needs to be modified in a way that become so easy to access, sort of like second nature to your audience. They feel like it's an easy breezy almost natural experience to browse your site or easily skim through a manual, but it's only because a tech writer applied his talents in order for it to seem that way.

    5. To solve this problem, we inserted a tiny image—a transparent GIF exactly one pixel square, to be exact—at the beginning of each page with an alt attribute that read, “Skip to main content.” This image would be invisible to sighted users, but those listening to the page with screen-reading software—which reads aloud the alt attributes of images embedded in an HTML page—could use that GIF as their cue to jump past what they did not need to hear in order to get to the information that they did want to hear.

      This is pretty genius! Although I am confused how exactly they will be able to click on the GIF, but nonetheless it's a pretty impressive code solution. Tech savvy blind people should have every right to be able to skip around content and have easy accessibility throughout sites as anyone else does.

    6. (We had no plans to include audio, so addressing the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing was not in our plan.)

      I'm confused why they didn't feel the need to include audio? I know accommodating for every disability out there is tedious and difficult, but being blind and or deaf are both very common disabilities that should both be addressed. Maybe Williams could have elaborated why they didn't include audio..

    7. Learning to create scholarly digital archives that take into account these human differences is a necessary task no one has yet undertaken.

      Why is that? We are so far advanced as a society but we can't seem to find solutions for those with disabilities?

    8. For example, visually impaired people take advantage of digital technologies for “accessibility,” technologies that (with their oral/aural and tactile interfaces) are fascinatingly different than the standard screen-keyboard-mouse combination, forcing us to rethink our embodied relationship to data.

      The visually impaired should be able to easily access a oral setting that will help them navigate through the site easier. I know that companies don't want to make this an option because adding on resources also adds on expenses and stress that they don't deem necessary, but we as technical writers should do our best to have our client understand the importance of catering to those few with disabilities who have the potential to make a huge difference.

    9. Digital knowledge tools that assume everyone approaches information with the same abilities and using the same methods risk excluding a large percentage of people. In fact, such tools actually do the work of disabling people by preventing them from using digital resources altogether.

      I agree with this statement. I think it's definitely easier and cost effective to generalize the execution of information in a way that "one size fits all" but it definitely excludes a majority of people that need to be taken into consideration. Those with disabilities should not be excluded because of a monetary excuse or because it's too much work to spend the extra time to make the modifications that would help this particular group of people out.

    10. While professionals working in educational technology and commercial web design have made significant progress in meeting the needs of such users, the humanities scholars creating digital projects all too often fail to take these needs into account.

      Williams is saying that the more technical and engineering side of technical writing has advanced more in helping those with disabilities than the actual writers. I think it's more difficult for the writer to achieve content that alleviates all of these disabilities. I don't think they've neglected it, but they definitely have a more tedious task than software programmers who work on the back side of things while it's the front side that actually gets presented and needs to execute the content in the appropriate manner.

    11. As a result, many of the otherwise most valuable digital resources are useless for people who are—for example—deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty distinguishing particular colors.

      I think it's important as a tech writer to also consider people in your audience who have disabilities and cannot easily navigate or find the content on a site because they're blind, can't see colors, deaf, etc.

      I know it's difficult to accommodate to everyone's needs, but it's important to acknowledge those with disabilities and try our best to figure out ways to allow them to not miss out on vital content.

    12. At some point in the future, project directors seeking government funding could be turned down if they are unable to demonstrate in their grant proposals that the results of their work will be accessible.

      I agree with Williams that in the future, digital equality will become more important as more of our world becomes digital. The withholding of funds has historically been a powerful tactic of the federal government to carry out it's directives both nationally and internationally. If a company is not compliant with the current federal laws, they should not be entitled to any federal funds.

      This is also interesting since this quote bleeds into a similar field which is proposal and grant writing. We could write a brilliant proposal but if there is not enough content that is accessible to the blind, the funding could be withheld. As a proposal writer that has read this article, my mind should already be thinking about ways to include every audience, including for this example, the blind.

      Even a non profit, say the Center for Civic Innovation for example, may have to comply with federal guidelines that protect people with disabilities from being left out of the current digital age. If I was a head of a non-profit, I think working towards this goal of digital inclusivity looks better when the work is pro-active and not reactive. Instead of changing because of a lawsuit, change should be brought on out of a genuine desire to help. Of course being the first to do something always helps garner a bit of positive press. In the capitalist business world, being the first always helps garner more profit.

    13. Walter Ong famously wrote, “Technologies are artificial, but …artificiality is natural to humans” (81). Ong’s concern is with writing as a fundamentally artificial process that has been so “internalized” by humans that it appears to be as natural to us as talking. Ong’s observation is part of a larger cultural critique that highlights the socially constructed nature of the ways we perceive technology and its role in our lives.

      This particular quote is noteworthy for a few reasons. One of the reasons is when Ong writes, "Technologies are artificial, but artificiality is natural to humans". Technology is artificial in that it is created by humans, but not of humans. This gets even more interesting if you begin to apply that to current advances in virtual reality. As technical writers we are making artificial and sometimes unnatural processes easier and more friendly, or natural.

      Writing was not a natural form of communication for many western cultures. The Vikings for example rarely kept a written record of their histories but instead used ballads and spoken histories that were past down through the generations. In many cases, their legends grew with each passing generation. In this case, writing itself is a form of artificial technology and for many, it becomes a natural or "internalized" process requiring little thought. As technical writers we need to remain vigilant and make sure that we are not looking at our work from such an internalized viewpoint that forget who we are writing for.

      Like we discussed in our last set of readings, those who write perfect prose for a manual that no one reads are not doing their jobs correctly. Our writing requires a universality that separates it from other forms such as novels. Though an argument can be made that the best selling novels have some form of universality since they obviously appeal to such large groups of people.

    14. Online information presented in audio or video format is not accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing end users without captions. These individuals benefit from online captioning as well as from written transcriptions presented as separate and independent documents. Creating captions and transcriptions makes such information subject to search and computer analysis in ways not currently possible with audio and video alone. Additionally, individuals without disabilities often find transcriptions easier to follow

      Coming from a world of film, many film makers may only think of subtitles as a way to make sure people who speak another language can understand the film. During my undergrad at Georgia State, I can honestly say that trying to make our movies more friendly to people that are hard of hearing was at no point a priority. Now that I'm thinking about video this way, it seems like a super simple element that can be added to a video to make it understandable to those that may be deaf.

      Williams states how, "Creating captions and transcriptions makes such information subject to search and computer analysis..." This part is fascinating since anyone who makes a video for YouTube wants to get as many views as possible. By catering to the deaf and adding captions and transcriptions, a video can now be found easier than it was before. This is another benefit of thinking about universal design when creating content whether it's text or a video.

      Williams also points out that by adding a transcription, people who are not hard of hearing are able to comprehend the content easier as well. So by opening up to audiences with disabilities, we may also be helping audiences without them. To me, this is exactly why we should apply elements of Universal Design to our work. Content that was narrow in it's focus before now has a broader reach and impact.

    15. A valuable project would be for the digital humanities community to develop a collection of add-ons that would integrate easily with these CMSes and improve the accessibility of the websites they deliver.

      As somebody with experience with a lot of these programs, this is very ambitious with the limited capabilities allotted to non-paying users versus premium users. However, I like the idea of integrating multimodality/multimedia use with the various facets of the internet that newer browsers have to offer.

    16. Many helpful tutorials may be found on other sites, of course, but the Web Accessibility Initiative guidelines specifically and the World Wide Web Consortium guidelines more generally are widely considered to be web standards followed by those who create and maintain web-based resources.

      For those of you who don't know, the World Wide Web Consortium is an organization of people who constantly regulate, test, innovate, etc. web use for everybody around the world. These guys are the people behind HTML, CSS, Javascript, Flash, etc. - but they aren't a company, like Google or Adobe. Think of them as something of a counsel? Their head is the guy who created Web Design- Sir Tim Berners-Lee. He's still alive.

    17. It is beyond the scope of this chapter to reiterate the specific guidelines for designing accessible web resources, especially when so many useful guidelines already exist.

      Not to mention, guidelines are dynamic because the needs of people are in constant change. Like genres! They never stay the same. This compares to the Albers article.

    18. It might be tempting to assume that few, if any, disabled people are interested in or need to make use of our work, but by creating barriers to access we are ensuring that such people will never have the opportunity to participate in the digital humanities.

      This is something very real to think about. Oftentimes, we make these sort of assumptions and people will become very "exclusive," in a sense. The concept applies to intercultural communications. By removing these barriers, we could possibly observe a more diverse and inclusive perspective of communication.

    19. Third, applying universal design principles to digital resources will make those resources more likely to be compatible with multiple devices.

      While there is a significant overlap, audio and video elements still have some issues. I predict this will be one of the top things on the list of future innovations to change.

    20. Third, applying universal design principles to digital resources will make those resources more likely to be compatible with multiple devices. To create an online resource that only works with a desktop or laptop computer is to exclude people who would prefer to access the resource with a smart phone, a tablet, or some other mobile device.

      This is especially important in modern web design because the 2010- era of Web Design is saturated with multi-device use. Thus, many designs have leaned towards minimal design.

    21. However, coding everything twice—first for nondisabled people and then again for disabled people—is time consuming and expensive. Fortunately, web standards have developed enough that this duplication of effort is no longer necessary. Instead, it is now possible to create just one version of a resource and to make design choices that ensure the resource suits the needs of all users, disabled and nondisabled alike.

      Redundancy has been reduced in web design, so it is easier to allocate resources for the sake of universal design.

    22. First, ensuring that digital resources created with federal funding are accessible is the law in many countries. In the United States, for example, the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was amended in 1998 with what is now referred to as Section 508 to require that all federal agencies “developing, procuring, maintaining, or using electronic and information technology” ensure that disabled people “have access to and use of information and data that is comparable to the access to and use of the information and data” by people who are not disabled (U.S. General Services Administration, “Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as Amended by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.”). American government agencies that fund digital humanities projects do not currently require proof of accessibility, but there is no reason to assume that this will always be the case.

      In other words, anything digital that used federal money has to appeal to universal design elements to promote higher accessibility. It will be an advantage to the country's industry to push for this change in new products sooner, particularly in university settings.

    23. Something created using universal design principles, on the other hand, is designed “for a very broad definition of user that encourages attractive, marketable products that are more usable by everyone” (Mace). Devoting efforts to accessibility might improve the built environment for disabled people, but devoting efforts to universal design improves the built environment for all people. Mace cites the example of the automatic garage door opener as a consumer product created with universal design principles: it is affordable; it appeals to and is useful to people both with and without disabilities. Another frequently cited example of universal design is the sidewalk curb cut; initially created to allow people in wheelchairs to cross the street more easily, curb cuts became recognized as useful also to other people such as someone making a delivery with a dolly, a traveler pulling luggage on wheels, a parent pushing a child in a stroller, or a person walking beside their bicycle.

      These universal design examples occur everywhere in engineering history; it's something I enjoy learning about. Although they are marketable, I'd site that these were developed and became widespread more out of need than marketability. It's just an opinion, though.

    24. The term “universal design” was invented by architect Ronald Mace, founder of North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Center for Universal Design. According to the NCSU College of Design, the term “describe[s] the concept of designing all products and the built environment to be aesthetic and usable to the greatest extent possible by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life” (“Ronald L. Mace”).

      But is this possible? Or merely an optimistic ideal? With today's technology, it is kind of possible, but I can't see it happening unless there's a big investment behind it. Otherwise, it won't happen for a good couple of decades, I'd expect.

    25. She demonstrated this software for me, and I was surprised by how quickly the words were spoken by the synthesized voice that came from her laptop’s speakers. In fact, I could not understand anything at all that she was doing. To accommodate me, she adjusted the settings to slow down significantly the synthesized speech, at which point I could understand the words but still found myself unable to orient myself on a given page or within a given website. This scenario caused me to reevaluate my understanding of what it means to be disabled, as she clearly was using abilities that I did not—and still do not—have: I had not trained myself to be able to process auditory information as efficiently as she could.

      As I stated before, in the Social Darwinism post , disabled people can develop abilities to combat the non-universal-friendly issues of the world. In this case, a blind person has heightened audio speed processing skills.

    26. To solve this problem, we inserted a tiny image—a transparent GIF exactly one pixel square, to be exact—at the beginning of each page with an alt attribute that read, “Skip to main content.”

      This kind of code solution is amazing. I've never heard of it being done before, so I am very excited to hear this. It's really innovative and universal-design friendly.

    27. 2001. During this experience, I was forced to reevaluate my assumptions about using computers and designing web pages.

      While web design wasn't necessarily new around this time, it was still in a constant state of change- particularly around 1999 to the early 2000s- I would describe it as the emergence of dynamic HTML content and its transition to HTML5, or the Early Modern Era of Web Design.

      Around this time, we observed the use of Javascript, Flash, and CSS codes. Thus, I am not surprised that they had difficulties in designing around accessibility. While those aforementioned features are classified as dynamic content- they allow for audio, visual, and kinetic content- they are also moderately difficult to create, let alone be completely supported on the weaker web servers of yesteryear. They frequently crashed.

    28. In what follows I consider the somewhat arbitrary concept of disability and assistive technology, argue why the digital humanities community should adopt a universal design approach, explain what a universal design approach would look like, and then offer a few specific suggestions for collaborative projects that should be undertaken by digital humanists.

      And this is the main idea of the article.

    29. We must broaden our understanding of the ways in which people use digital resources. For example, visually impaired people take advantage of digital technologies for “accessibility,” technologies that (with their oral/aural and tactile interfaces) are fascinatingly different than the standard screen-keyboard-mouse combination, forcing us to rethink our embodied relationship to data. Learning to create scholarly digital archives that take into account these human differences is a necessary task no one has yet undertaken.

      This is the author's call to action.

    30. In fact, such tools actually do the work of disabling people by preventing them from using digital resources altogether.

      Albeit, this is an extreme example, but I think that this picture summarizes the issues presented by Social Darwinism.

      The person on Medicare clearly needs it, but the politician is taking it away. Medicare is comparable to the typical aids provided to the disabled. Health is comparable to being non-disabled. However, the politician is taking it away. That's sort of how the lack of universal design is for the disabled, except it's more of the idea that the disabled never had Medicare in the first place.

    31. Digital knowledge tools that assume everyone approaches information with the same abilities and using the same methods risk excluding a large percentage of people. In fact, such tools actually do the work of disabling people by preventing them from using digital resources altogether.

      In a way, it's a bit like Social Darwinism. While Social Darwinism tends to have a fluid definition, I define it in the sense that society takes a "hands off" approach to prevalent issues and the "fitter" (meaning richer, non-disabled, majority, etc.) humans will be well off- like the law of the jungle.

      The assumption that everybody has the ability to access the same information is similar in that it promotes the "survival of the fittest" mentality. Thus, non-disabled people have the advantage while disabilities naturally fall to the bottom of the survival chain.

      In a way, it can promote strength to the people with disabilities; they will find ways to work around their disabilities. However, not everybody will have the same relative learning curve, so there's always the possibility of a disadvantage.

    32. the humanities scholars creating digital projects all too often fail to take these needs into account.

      Well, I understand why. It's a difficult task for people who don't wholly understand others' difficulties. For example, a person who has never been colorblind might have trouble being able to create technologies to work around it. It requires a lot of collaboration and (maybe) disabled professionals.

    33. As a result, many of the otherwise most valuable digital resources are useless for people who are—for example—deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty distinguishing particular colors.

      Is it possible to design a feature that would possibly work out for all of these?

  12. techwritingf16.robinwharton.net techwritingf16.robinwharton.net
    1. Make important elements larger than less im­portant display elements (Edwards and Goolkasian 1974), Larger elements are more easily discernible in peripheral vision, which guides subsequent foveal (central vision) fixations. People also typically fixate longer on larger elements in a display (

      I learned about this in the article and during one of our class discussions. It's simple. Emphasize the content you know your client deems important and vital for your audience with size and font, but don't get too carried away! Serif is always a great option. Everything else can be in san-serif.

    2. A closely related issue affecting designers’ decisions about the allocation of space on a Web page is the issue of information density (or “display loading”). In other words, how much information should be put on a screen? Screen density is expressed as a percentage of the total space available on a screen that is actually occupied by visual elements. Typically, suggestions for optimum screen den­sity range from 25 percent to 60 percent.

      Tech writers need to consider how long the content on your client's site will take to load. Ideally, when you land on a page, you should be able to see the main points without even having to scroll very much or at all. If you managed to fill a page with so much information that you're client can't even scroll through because it's taking too long to scroll, than thats's going to turn away traffic and your client isn't going to blame the audience's internet provider but you.

    3. Simply, elements that are logically coordinate ought to be treated graphically in the same way. Subordinate elements ought to appear less prominent than superordinate elements, and elements that are closely tied to one another logically ought either to be grouped spatially or share some other perceptual attribute such as color.

      The quote above explains basically how to organize the content you want to emphasize or how to make certain information standout over the other. Headers are considered superordinate elements and those should be easily distinguishable to the eye from the information below it. Although some information below the header can still be considered as superordinate, make sure you use different fonts (as instructed in the other reading) in order for your audience to get a feel of what's important and should be understood over the other general information.

    4. The good news is that despite conventional wisdom, there is actually little evidence that display size or orienta­tion has much effect on viewers—at least in terms of their ability to read text from a screen (Dillon 1994). Screen size and orientation, however, may affect how the designer breaks up or “chunks” content, both logically and visually, to reveal to the viewer how the content in the Web site is structured.

      I found this to be quite interesting because I always thought that orientation had a lot to do with user preference. But when you really think about it, most smartphones and tablets function perfectly well both ways and it's up to the user to decide which orientation is their preference. But one thing for sure that technical writers must watch out for is a website that doesn't support both orientations. I personally hate it when I twist my phone to a landscape orientation and the website breaks off in a weird way or the content loses its structure and the sentences are all on top of each other. Always take into consideration the technical issues that can arise when it comes to mobility and multimodal usage of your client's site.

    5. Finally, it’s important to acknowledge in the design of information to be displayed on a screen that screens differ from pages in some very fundamental ways. Screens, for example, may be smaller than pages, at least in the sense that they often display fewer lines of type than a typical paper page. Screens are also customarily oriented differ­ently than paper—they are typically wider than they are tall. The images displayed on screens are also often more crude than those printed on paper, and, unlike paper, screens transmit light rather than reflect it. Issues of screen resolution and luminance are addressed in a later section on typography. Screen size and orientation, though, affect the designer’s decisions about the arrangement of visual elements on a screen and so are considered in the context of our discussion of desig

      When it comes to mobility, it's important to consider how your client's website will look through a smartphone screen. Most people are always on the go and hardly have enough time to pull out their laptops or sit at their desktops, so iPads and smartphones are everyone's choice. It is important to consider what your client's site will look like on a mobile platform. Lack of an easily accessible or lack of a good structure on mobile platforms will lead your audience to believe that you're not up to date with technology and they'd rather take their money or motives else where. There's just too much competition online for your audience to be struggling with your non-mobile website.

    6. Importantly, the processing that occurs in this first stage of perception—a stage that takes only a few fractions of a second—occurs automatically and in such a way that interpretation of the display is dictated largely by the characteristics of the dis­play itself rather than by the viewer’s prior knowledge or expectations (Bruce and Green 1990; Goldstein 1996; Wade and Swanston 1991).

      This is so true! When I click on a link to a website, within the first few minutes I am processing the layout of the website and the more unorganized and jumbled all of its content is, the less I want to stay on the website or even scan it. You lose credibility points when your website or your business card isn't cohesive and doesn't let you hit the main points easily. In an age where millions of websites and sources exist, the last thing I want to do is put extra effort into content that's already someone else's job to sort and organize and emphasize for me.

    7. Good design reveals structure when it visually mimics the logical relationships that exist among elements in a display. The human visual system attempts to find the structure of information—whether in a scene, on a page, or on a screen—very early in its efforts to process it, and it does so by looking for visual patterns.

      The quote above does a great job explaining how the mind works when an audience is navigating your client's site. As a tech writer, we must time after time think about how our client's audience will navigate the site and how they will process the information displayed. It's a psychological fact that human's prefer patterns and easily pick up on them. That is why a lot of successful websites or technology like Apple uses a minimalistic aesthetic because it's easy to navigate and the brain can easily process its patterns.

    8. 1.2 Avoid “busy” or distracting backgrounds.Any display of information, whether on a screen or on a page, should assist viewers in their efforts to distinguish objects from their backgrounds (that is, to distinguish “fig­ure” from “ground”) and from each other (that is, to dis­criminate). In fact, these are among the first perceptual tasks addressed by the human visual system in its attempts to make sense out of the scene or page or screen it is viewing. It begins this process by locating discontinuities in the visual field, which typically result, for example, from changes in lightness, color, texture, and orientation. These changes are interpreted by the brain as edges or bound­aries. In a very' simple sense, the brain does the equivalent of drawing a line where boundaries exist between dissim­ilar areas and, subsequently, of combining those lines to form figures (Bruce and Green 1990; Goldstein 1996; Wade and Swanston 1991). “Busy” or heavily patterned back­grounds (see Figure 2)

      We discussed this during one of our client meetings with GCCA. At some point one of my group members wanted to change the color of the site's background in order to add more life to the site. But I along with the client agreed that we wanted to keep the background white because we didn't want to distract our audience from the information offered on the site. It's important to consider what kind of tone your client has set for themselves as far as their company goes and GCCA is a serious organization that wants their potential members to take them seriously and trust them with their money. I don't know if a baby blue background on their site would give off that vibe...

    9. f a display must consist of very' small colored elements, however, the detectability and discrim- inability of those elements can be improved to a limited degree by displaying them on a black, rather than white, background. (Thorell and Smith 1990).

      All of the information on the last page before this quote makes perfect since, "make sure your content is visible and visibly distinguishable". This is similar to the other article I just read on fonts where it also said that it is important to distinguish between information by adding different fonts to the content that have the undertone or give off the feelings you want your audience to get from the content. This article isn't only focusing on fonts, but is more multimodal in which it also wants you to consider font size, color, backgrounds, image position, etc. that allows for your audience to easily access the information it needs and you want them to focus on.

    10. Of course, one of the significant potential advantages of con­veying information on the Web (or any other hypermedia environment) is that the sequence in which information is processed need not be constrained by conventional discourse structures.

      I believe that there are more advantages for putting information on the website. People use the internet everyday, so it is likely that the information that someone would like to convey gets seen by at least one viewer everyday. If the information is on paper then it likely, that only a few or no one will see it. This is a period where technology is used heavily everyday, and I think that no one will be able to live in this era if there was no technology or internet. This is just how the world is today. I believe that if you want your information to get known throughout the world the, you should put it on the Web. The Web is open to everyone so, everyone will be able to see it. There are only a few people who read or view things by paper.

    11. Make important elements larger than less im­portant display elements (Edwards and Goolkasian 1974), Larger elements are more easily discernible in peripheral vision, which guides subsequent foveal (central vision) fixations. People also typically fixate longer on larger elements in a display (

      I agree with this statement. People generally would fix their eyes on the larger elements. They would think that the larger elements are more important than the smaller ones. The smaller elements would be of less importance to them, so they probably would view it later or never view it at all. If you want viewers to know which elements are important then you should make them bigger, so that they can see it better and be able to understand it better.

    12. Of course, what is important in a display is often deter­mined by the interests and needs of the viewer.

      But, you must know the point or the purpose that you are trying to reach before you can try to find what designs interest the viewer. If you do not know your purpose or what you are trying to explain then, your viewer might not know what you are portraying either. But, if you know what you are doing and know what purpose you are trying to make, then you and the viewer will be able to see what kind of point that you are trying to make.

    13. Visually group (“chunk”) related elementsthrough the use of space, graphical boundaries, orsimilarities in lightness, color, texture, ororientation.

      This statement makes sense. If everything was in disorder then, nothing would make sense to you or the viewer. You must group related elements together, so that they correlate with each other. Everyone will be able to understand the contents better.

    14. A closely related issue affecting designers’ decisions about the allocation of space on a Web page is the issue of information density (or “display loading”). In other words, how much information should be put on a screen? Screen density is expressed as a percentage of the total space available on a screen that is actually occupied by visual elements.

      I think that enough information to me would be until the viewer and you understand what the content is about. As long as you write enough till' you and the viewer would be able to look at it and know what it is talking about then, it will be good enough for everyone. But then again, you also do not want to write too much because, the audience or viewer might get tired or it or find it very boring. You should just make sure that the first sentence summarizes the point that you are trying to reach, so that the viewers understand and know what they are looking for.

    15. The good news is that despite conventional wisdom, there is actually little evidence that display size or orienta­tion has much effect on viewers—at least in terms of their ability to read text from a screen (Dillon 1994). Screen size and orientation, however, may affect how the designer breaks up or “chunks” content, both logically and visually, to reveal to the viewer how the content in the Web site is structured.

      I think that display size that play an effect on how the viewers would read what is on the screen. If a screen is small then, the viewers might only be seeing maybe half of the display or information. But, if the screen is big then, the viewers would probably get a better view of the display or information is on there. Small screens would only allow viewers to see chunks of the whole picture while, big screens could allow viewers to see everything. They would probably understand the design or information that is on the big screen better than on a small screen.

    16. Subordinate elements ought to appear less prominent than superordinate elements, and elements that are closely tied to one another logically ought either to be grouped spatially or share some other perceptual attribute such as color.

      Subordinate elements needs to be able to complement or give a more detailed explanation of the main elements. The viewers need to see the main element more than the subordinate ones. But, I do not think that this means that the subordinate elements are less important than the main ones. I believe that they are both equally important to the designer and the viewer, but you have to think about which element is going to catch your and the viewer's attention the most. You have to make sure the element that you and the viewer think is most important to make that one stand out the most than the rest of the ones. I believe that there should be no distinction between the subordinate and the main elements.

    17. "Thoughtful design can help viewers in their efforts to apprehend that structure. Design, in its most simple sense, is an attempt to convey visually the logical, functional, or natural relationships that exist among the elements in an information display.(This is true, by the way, regardless of the medium.)"(pg.2-3).

      This statement is saying that thoughtful design can help viewers understand the structure more clearly. Only if the design is thoroughly thought out and you as the person who is designing it understands the meaning of it, then the viewer will also understand what it is that you are trying to explain through the design. Most designs' goal are to convey a simple easily understandable relationship between the information that is also on display. If the design on the screen or page does not do that then, you need to look for another design that correlates with the information. The design and information must also be consistent in that they must always complement and relate to each other. You can not have half or three quarters of the design and information relate to each other and the other half not relate to each other, it just wouldn't make any sense. This article emphasizes a lot on design and information, and how their main goal is to relate to each other. I think the previous article that I read about fonts made me understand this article a lot more. Choosing a unique style and font for typing your information with must go with the design and vice versa.

    18. "Any display of information, whether on a screen or on a page, should assist viewers in their efforts to distinguish objects from their backgrounds(that is, to distinguish "figure" from "ground") and from each other(that is, to discriminate)."(pg.2)

      Any pictures, videos or any other display of information should help viewers know the difference between it and their background. Displays of information should not distract its' backgrounds. They should be easily visible and easy to distinguish which one is which. Even though, you might find them to be easy to distinguish, but other people might not. So, it really just comes back to not getting to personal whenever you are choosing the background and the design to make sure that they go together and not clash together. You must ask yourself, "Would the design that I am choosing complement the background or would they clash together?" You must remember that you are not the only person who is going to view this display. There is an audience out there who is going to view it, and you want them to able to tell the display and the background a part form each other. You yourself should also be able to tell them apart too.

    19. "Screen elements, whether text, pictures, or icons, become more meaningful when they-and the relationships among them- can be readily apprehended and unambiguously interpreted by the user."(pg.1)

      I think that this is a very good point. Screen elements are meaningless unless the viewer or user who is using it knows and understand what it is. If the person who is using the element does not understand what it is then it would be highly likely that the other people who are going to view it are not going to know what it is. It is highly crucial for the designer who is using the element understands what the meaning behind the element is and what it mean just by looking at it, so that other people will be able to understand it too.

    20. Use visuals (photos or illustrations) when it is necessary to show- what something looks like or to depict a perceptual quality such as color, texture, pattern, shape, relative size, spatial location, orientation, arrangement, or appearance

      Something that is important to remember when using images is that they can be used to explain what is being described in the text. However, if the image is being used for that purpose, it must be good quality.

      If the body copy is explaining the complexities of the inside of a Lilly and how it grows, the image should be clear enough to convey that information. Also when we are using images in our future content creation, I believe that we must test their quality before we officially post them to our future websites. The image could appear pixilated and therefore confusing or even useless. Images appear differently on different quality screens so when we are testing our work we should trying testing the image quality on a lower end device as well as a higher end one to maintain consistency.

    21. Isolation Surround important elements with lots of white space. Elements surrounded by generouswww. mintocommercial, com/home. htm),white space are thought to be accorded greater attention. As a result, isolating an element in a dis­play implies that it is more important (Goldsmith

      This quote is another aspect of design that seems so simple that it could easily be forgotten. Personally this is something I've probably noticed thousands of times but have never stopped to think about why a title for example, was surrounded by white space.

      By surrounding elements that require greater attention with white space as the quote implies, we are assigning that element value. In separating a title from the rest of the body copy in an article, we have created value without having to add any other design elements. Without a fancy font or added font thickness, a piece of text just separate and surrounded by white space is easily understood to be worth remembering.

      An example of this could be found when reading an article whether on line or in a magazine when the author takes a quote from their own article and creates white space around it surrounded by body copy. This creates points of emphasis while also breaking up the copy into smaller pieces as well. While they may use a different font or boldness, the separation implies this particular quote is important in regards to the rest of the article.

    22. Good design reveals structure when it visually mimics the logical relationships that exist among elements in a display. The human visual system attempts to find the structure of information—whether in a scene, on a page, or on a screen—very early in its efforts to process it, and it does so by looking for visual patterns.

      To me, this quote is explaining the psychology of good design.

      Humans need structure. Within a structure they are free to improvise, but that structure is what creates a template of understanding. The jazz guitarist can play millions of notes that don't seem to make sense, but he may be actually stringing together multiple scales and arpeggios that to a casual listener sound disjointed, but are actuality a framework for which his seemingly improvised notes are connected.

      This type of thinking can be applied to our designs and layouts as well. While we may all want to be totally unique and innovative, we may want to think about how far we stray from conventional designs and templates. Many of these design conventions may exist due to how they are able to easily guide humans through a website for example. As the quote mentions, the "human visual system" is looking for "visual patterns". We are exploiting that by arranging our content in a way that makes the most sense by using fonts and spacing that can create hierarchies which can guide the reader through our writing even easier.

    23. A number of assumptions are commonly made about the efficacy of icons in graphical user interfaces. They include the notion that icons, because they are pictorial, are almost invariably easy to interpret. A corollary' is that they' are universally interpretable because the key to meaning con­veyed pictorially is not bound to any one language. These assumptions, which are largely incorrect, stem in part from a confusion between the notions of “identification” and “interpretation." While it may well be true that, at least for concrete things and ideas, pictures facilitate rapid, and sometimes universal, identification, it is certainly not al­ways true that they efficiently or unambiguously convey what we intend an object to mean (Salomon 1979; Sebeok 1994; Williams 1996

      This quote is so interesting because it was published back in 2000 and the use of icons or in our futuristic world, emoji's, has only increased.

      One aspect that Salomon, Sebok and Williams all point out in this excerpt is that not all icons are universally understood. One icon in one culture may have another meaning in another. While a smiley face may be universal, a thumbs up may not be. Today we have a wide array of icons or emojis that are used in online publication but also personal communication. However, if one is not totally caught up on pop culture, the meaning of these icons may be lost. While we may think that a picture is worth a thousand words, we as technical writers need to understand that those words may not translate well in a thousand different languages.

      An interesting study would be to find out which emoji's or icons are the most popular in other languages such as French, Chinese, Swahili or Russian for example. In these languages, icons may not even play a significant role in everyday communication as much as they seem to in Western and specifically English speaking cultures.

    24. While ''thematic” pictures may be acceptable when their relationship to the site and its contents can be easily in­ferred, pictures chosen only to decorate a site often con­fuse. At best such pictures provide no assistance to the viewer in acquiring information being conveyed by a site.

      Something that we have touched on all semester is the use of as many modes as possible when we are trying to communicate to as many audiences as possible. One mode we should always think about using is pictures.

      Since we are all somewhat young technical writers in training, we need to be training ourselves to communicate as much as possible as succinctly as possible. In regards to this reading and specific quote, that also means making sure that the images we use are actually useful for the overall content we are creating. As Williams mentions, there will be times when we need a decorative image. But most of the time we will be using images to help convey information as clearly as possible. As we have discussed in class, images can help reach more audiences but also enhance the content by adding a visual element which will enhance the effectiveness of the information we are trying to display.

      We must also remember that some readers may get what they need from our content just by looking at the pictures and the headlines. That is ok. This is an audience we should be planning for. Users are looking for content and want to digest that content quickly. Adding visual elements will help them accomplish that.

    25. Finally, it’s important to acknowledge in the design of information to be displayed on a screen that screens differ from pages in some very fundamental ways. Screens, for example, may be smaller than pages, at least in the sense that they often display fewer lines of type than a typical paper page. Screens are also customarily oriented differ­ently than paper—they are typically wider than they are tall. The images displayed on screens are also often more crude than those printed on paper, and, unlike paper, screens transmit light rather than reflect it. Issues of screen resolution and luminance are addressed in a later section on typography. Screen size and orientation, though, affect the designer’s decisions about the arrangement of visual elements on a screen and so are considered in the context of our discussion of design.

      This is a great quote because it is instructing us to be knowledgeable about how the user will interact with the products and content we create.

      We don't know exactly how the end user will view our content. They could be using a smart phone, desktop, I-pad or 1999 Gateway computer and will need to be able to access the information just as easy across all of these the devices. In the case of the gateway computer, this may not be possible, but as we learned with universal design, this should be something we aspire to as we try include as many audiences as we can.

      During my undergrad last decade, I was a film minor and was privileged enough to land an actual film production class. Something that has always stuck with me is how we were instructed to edit our sound in our films for the speakers we would be presenting on. In our case it was a basement projector set up in GCB (Langdale Hall). We actually spent the night in the building editing on the large projector screen to make sure our sound was as crisp as possible per the speakers that were attached to the projector. Since many others edited their sound in high end head phones, their sound was actually worse when played to lesser quality speakers. To make a long story end, we need to be thinking of audience in our design, but also how exactly the content we create will be viewed and plan for that specifically if possible for the best possible results.

    26. As Tullis notes, “Visual groupings have a significant effect on the semantic interpretations that users assign to the information” (1988, p. 390). Elements that are visually grouped (see Figure 4) will likely be perceived as “associ­ated” with one another. Similarly, elements on a screen that share the same color or texture or orientation, even if spatially separated, are interpreted as being related in some meaningful way. Unrelated elements, of course, should be visually different or spatially separated from one another.

      This quote is interesting since this was a part of our lecture last week. The most intriguing aspect of this quote goes back to how good design can also use elements of psychology.

      Tullis explaines, "Visual groupings have a significant effect on the semantic interpretations that users assign to the information". Tullis, as well as Williams, is writing about how we as humans can be pre-wired in a sense to take in information in a certain way easier than others. By grouping information into "chunks" we perceive multiple elements to be related to each other since they have been grouped together. We assume that because something is next to something else, they must be connected without really even really thinking about it.

      So if we apply this concept to our own designs, we can group certain text, images or data together without explicitly explaining how they are connected and many people will believe them connected just by their proximity to the other. This is handy when trying to create content that needs to be read quickly. By grouping content and information in this way can say more with less.

    27. "Backgrounds, consequently, should be, as far as possible, devoid of pattern or, if esthetic considerations demand that they be patterned, be very subtle or muted." (pg. 2, Lynch and Horton 1999)

      The above quote points to something so simple that it can easily be overlooked. A background should be simple, that's why it is the background. Think of it as a band with a talented lead singer. The lead singer (the content) is the main attraction. The back up vocalists (the background) are there to support the lead singer (the content). They must know their roles for the entire show to be a success. It was never Smokey Robinson and Jeff, Carl and Glenn. It was Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. There must be order.

      When we add different patterns and bold colors that contrast with the beautiful content we've just created we are doing ourselves and possibly our employers a disservice since the content will not be as useful or in some cases even hard to look at for long periods of time. While thinking about design, everything must work in concert for us to achieve the best results. We may not always get there, but we need be to striving towards that goal.

    28. "In general, elements that contrast greatly with their backgrounds (black on white - or white on black - shows the most contrast) are relatively easy to see even when they are very small." (pg. 1)

      I think by adhering to this quote we can easily achieve content that is easier to understand. Users will be accessing this information quickly, so by creating a clear and easy to comprehend layout using these simple color combinations, we can achieve more effective writing.

      We may want to add more colors to a website, but we must being thinking about how someone will be able to read it if they are on their computer or on their mobile device of choice especially. If our writing is somewhat legible on a large screen, it may be nearly impossible to read on a smaller screen. The good news is that this aspect of design can be easily applied by committing to product testing. But we must also understand that we may at times become too close to the work and having another person not ourselves to test our work will also improve our chances of creating easy to understand content.

    29. Typically, suggestions for optimum screen den­sity range from 25 percent to 60 percent.

      Worth noting

    30. Simply, elements that are logically coordinate ought to be treated graphically in the same way. Subordinate elements ought to appear less prominent than superordinate elements, and elements that are closely tied to one another logically ought either to be grouped spatially or share some other perceptual attribute such as color.

      Hierarchy

    31. "White backgrounds provide the greatest contrast and, unlike colored backgrounds, are not susceptible to browser or monitor-induced change." (pg. 2)

      Just a good point.

  13. Oct 2016
    1. Both of these technologies are extremely useful for people who are disabled, but they are used for the most part by people who are not.

      How can companies who own these products market more toward people who are disabled and are in more need of the product rather than having people are not disabled make the most use out of the product?

    2. Blind computer users, for example, have no use for a screen, and they most often use an interface that is either tactile, in the form of refreshable braille devices, or audible, in the form of screen-reading software or digital books.

      Inventors should considering creating some type of new technology that allows blind users to be able to use screens such as apps. There are thousands of apps for tablets and Ipads out there it would be very useful and maybe cheaper to innovate a braille refresher that somehow is used by an actual screen.

    3. It is imperative that digital humanities work take into account the important insights of disability studies in the humanities, an interdisciplinary field that considers disability “not so much a property of bodies as a product of cultural rules about what bodies should be or do,” in the words of Rosemarie Garland-Thomson, a prominent figure in the field (6)

      I completely agree with this statement. Why do we insist that bodies should behave in a certain way, should do things a certain way? There are thousands of people with said "disabilities" and it's not even their fault that they aren't able to do everything an abled person can. Disabled person(s) should always be kept in mind when developing a new technology.

    4. “Crowdsourcing” is a term coined by Jeff Howe in 2006 to describe online projects that make use of free or extremely inexpensive labor provided by “enthusiasts” around the world who are interested in donating their time to a project that interests them.

      The word crowd sourcing was familiar to me but made me have to go research it just to be certain of what it was exactly. An example I pulled from the internet was how Lays chips had a campaign to help "Do them a Flavour" where millions of participants came up with chip names for free and then Lays picked their favorites and then the people voted ultimately ending in Lay's reaping the reward of the ultimate goal of branding their new flavor of chips with a awesome new name.

    5. Compatibility with mobile devices is important because an increasing number of people are using such devices to access the web.

      Here is an article I found on adults in 2015 and how often they accessed the WWW using their mobile devices and what else they were using them for:(http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/04/01/us-smartphone-use-in-2015/)

    6. However, not all designers are aware of how their choices affect accessibility.

      But, isn't that the goal here? To help make things more easy and accessible for people with disabilities ? Why would they not be aware of their choices.

    7. This image would be invisible to sighted users, but those listening to the page with screen-reading software—which reads aloud the alt attributes of images embedded in an HTML page—could use that GIF as their cue to jump past what they did not need to hear in order to get to the information that they did want to hear.

      George Willams really out did himself here. This is very innovative for a web article. The creators took into consideration all modes on this layout and for all people with all disabilities. In a way, as morbid as this may seem I wish I has an impairment so I could experience this because I think it is fantastic.

    8. In addition to being compatible with desktop computers, laptops, smart phones, and tablet devices, the materials we create should also work well with such tools as refreshable braille displays, digital talking book devices, screen reader applications, and screen magnification software.

      I see this as a market that hasn't been tapped into just yet. I am sure that there is an abundance of money to be made in the industry that assists with making technology for the disabled. Why hasn't anyone thought of creating refreshable braille displays; language does change everyday.

    9. All technology is assistive, in the end.

      I think this sentence is a little redundant in the sense that we know technology assists us with tasks already...

    10. the words were spoken by the synthesized voice that came from her laptop’s speakers.

      I am actually interested in hearing what this would sound like. Only because sometimes, when technology has the ability to read to you it sounds a lot like technology and a lot less like a human being.

    11. However, by working to meet the needs of disabled people—and by working with disabled people through usability testing—the digital humanities community will also benefit significantly as it rethinks its assumptions about how digital devices could and should work with and for people.

      In the end, universal design is meant to help everyone. The innovations that come from trying to make digital media accesible could end up changing how we all consume and interact with media. By failing to adhere to universal design, creators are "dooming" society's growth and prosperity. Technical writers can use this information to think about how we present information and how we communicate to people who may not be able bodied. Learning how to communicate to different kids of people is an essential to technical communication. Universal design allows for personal and societal growth. It should not be ignored. We should all make a better effort as creators to make things more accessible.

    12. Fourth and finally, it is the right thing to do.

      I think this hits the nail on the head when it comes to universal design. It's just the right thing to do; being inclusive is just the morally sound thing to do. In primary school, we are taught to play with everyone and include everyone in birthday parties, games of tag, and giving out valentines. Why should that stop especially when by neglecting a portion of the population, we are in turn withholding information that is accessible to able bodied people around the globe? Technology shouldn't be used to disregard or neglect people. Technology is for and should be accessible to everyone. As technical writers, we need to think about what the purpose of technology is and why using it to withhold information from a certain type of person is, in a sense, failing to do our job.

    13. Furthermore, those more likely to use a mobile device for online access include African Americans, Hispanics, and individuals from lower-income households (Smith, 10). If the digital humanities is to create resources accessible by a diverse array of people, then compatibility with mobile devices is a necessity.

      This is such an interesting point because it diverges from a conversation about accessibility for people with disabilities and introduces the classists ways of our society. If websites can not be use on mobile devices and that is all some families have because of the high cost of computers and laptops, then you lose the audience that doesn't have access to a desktop or laptop, either in one moment or at all. This is a problem that I have with website designers. Even though, I am an able bodied consumer with both a laptop and mobile devices, I find it irritating at times when I can't pull up a website fully on my iPhone. The question comes down to: are creators aware that they are alienating potential audiences when they neglect to worry about accessibility?

      For one of my other classes, my final project is to create a website. I know as a consumer that I want my website to be able to be accessed on mobile devices and will do usability testing to make sure. And now after reading this article, I believe that I should think about all possible audiences including people with disabilities as well when creating my website so I'm part of the solution and not the problem.

    14. Second, universal design is efficient.

      Again, the curb cut outs ended up helping everyone. While I understand that time is precious and time is money, but innovation is forever and necessary for the growth of our society. The time that it takes to conceptualize and create a plan for accessibility is important to a large part of your possible audience. Why wouldn't you take the time to make your creation accessible?

    15. Universal design is design that involves conscious decisions about accessibility for all, and it is a philosophy that should be adopted more widely by digital humanities scholars.

      I think the idea of consciously thinking about accessibility is a big one. It can not be an afterthought, but rather a forethought. "How can we make sure this is readily accessible to any possible audience?" is the question that should be answered in conception, not production. If we as creators take the time to ask ourselves this question, imagine how much more would be available to all of our fellow humans? Just like how Netflix offers its movies and shows in different languages, we need to really consider how our creations as technical writers can reach all possible audiences.

    16. Devoting efforts to accessibility might improve the built environment for disabled people, but devoting efforts to universal design improves the built environment for all people. Mace cites the example of the automatic garage door opener as a consumer product created with universal design principles: it is affordable; it appeals to and is useful to people both with and without disabilities.

      Any innovation is good innovation! Creating things to improve the built environment in the long run will help many kinds of people. I think about Siri and any intelligent personal assistant software and if their creators realized how awesome Siri could be for people who might be visually impaired. Were they thinking about them or just able bodied consumers? Whatever the case may be, that innovation ended serving a greater good than intended.

    17. The term “universal design” was invented by architect Ronald Mace, founder of North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Center for Universal Design.

      I wanted to learn more about Mace and how he coined the term "universal design", and I found this website from the RL Mace Universal Design Institute that further explains the principles behind universal design. It was fascinating to see that universal design is meant for not only disabled people, but really, for everyone. Having right and left handed scissors available in classrooms would be considered universal design, and so does wheelchair accessibility in public buildings, which Williams talks about later in the reading; the use of curb cut outs were to allow people in wheelchairs to use sidewalks more easily but it was really helpful to delivery people, parents with strollers, and in reality, everyone.

      The goal of universal design and the principles behind it aren't just about people with disability but anyone that might one day have a hardship. That's why we should care about it because we all one day will need it.

    18. Digital knowledge tools that assume everyone approaches information with the same abilities and using the same methods risk excluding a large percentage of people.

      Forgetting who you are creating for and what the purpose is is a big "no no" for anyone who studies rhetoric. Excluding large parts of your audience can be detrimental in any scenario. That's why I think that identifying and considering your audience is the first priority when creating anything that could be accessible to the public.

    19. This situation would be much improved if more projects embraced the concept of universal design, the idea that we should always keep the largest possible audience in mind as we make design decisions, ensuring that our final product serves the needs of those with disabilities as well as those without.

      Inclusivity in creation and technology should be a goal in all creators' minds. The internet is for everyone! Technology is for everyone! Universal design and considering the largest possible audience is a great start to creating things that everyone can, and should be able to, use.

    20. As a result, many of the otherwise most valuable digital resources are useless for people who are—for example—deaf or hard of hearing, as well as for people who are blind, have low vision, or have difficulty distinguishing particular colors.

      While considering audience, it is important to consider that not everyone who could come across your work will be able bodied. I think that Williams is very correct in saying that the disabled are neglected by digital content creators. Possibly because we as a society neglect the disabled in many aspects of our day to day lives. The internet and technology in general should not be included as there are a necessity now in everyone's lives. We should strive to be inclusive as possible while creating any digital work.

    1. s lit-tle as we know about technical communication in other countries, it isstartling how little research has been done on subcultures

      I think it is interesting that little research has been done into the subcultures of the United States and technical communication. We have such a varying population made up of all ethnicities all working, in many instances, in the same workplace. I think this speaks volumes about how the author believes we don't like to talk about race in this country because it creates problems. However, not talking about this issue and not conducting research perpetuates existing racial issues and creates new ones.

    2. Since then, we have seen an encouraging number ofacademic articles that discuss gender and international technical communi-cation; still, few discuss technical communication as it relates to race andethnicity within the United States.

      As more people become aware of the inequalities in the work field, in technical writing and beyond, more articles are being published on the subject. I think this is beneficial because it creates a dialogue about race again and also educates those in the majority about problems we may not think about or experience on a day to day basis. It is these people who have power to make changes as well as the minorities who are marginalized.

    3. For example, in some technical communica-tion classes, as in most classes, instructors adopt a color-blind perspective,reiterating the sentiment that race has no place in the classroom (Hairston,1992).

      I think that by enacted this color blind theory in the classroom, technical writers are doing a disservice to their students. Many think race is a non issue in this field but discrepancies still exist in the workplace and I believe that students should be aware of this so they can know what obstacles they are facing. This can also help those of us who don't belong to a minority bridge the gap between us.

    4. EditorialIntroduction:Race, Ethnicity,and TechnicalCommunication

      Race and ethnicity is the discussion in the opening of this article. The comparisons of income, health, education between marginalized groups and their white counterparts is a strong and convincing argument. The article speaks about a few technical writing pieces on the topic of racism and it comes to no surprise that the topic of racism itself is small within this field. Many believe simply by talking about race, they are creating a race problem.

    5. , a group whose civil rights movement hasserved as a model for historically marginalized people around the world

      I agree with the author's viewpoint that the election of President Obama serves as a good example of what one can accomplish in this country but does not solve the problem of racism. I believe that when Obama was elected too much emphasis was placed on how his race showed others there were "no excuses" when it comes to race holding people back. Instead, the problem of racism needs to be targeted in the systems it affects and occurs within like the workplace.

    6. EditorialIntroduction:Race, Ethnicity,and TechnicalCommunicationMiriam F. Williams1and Octavio Pimentel1According to the 2010 U.S. census, the Hispanic population has reached50.5 million people, making Hispanics the largest minority group in theUnited States

      The Hispanic population is the largest minority group, increasing 43% in ten years. There still exists inequalities in employment, income and health because of race. Despite having an example of a member of a marginalized group running our country, these issues still exist.

    7. While theseissues often are overlooked, go unnoticed, or are silenced, the articlesincluded in this special issue ofJBTCdemonstrate the prominence, andmuch-needed analysis, of race, ethnicity, and multiculturalism in technicalcommunication.

      After events like the Civil Rights movement racism became a topic of less concern and wasn't discussed as in depth as it once was. With racism still a factor in America, the communication of the subject of racism is not one that is talked about as much as other problems and less is written accurately on the subject. Some believe that race is not relevant and that acknowledging color only adds to racial problems.

    8. Unfortunately, there was still little research in this area

      The election of President Obama and the Civil Rights movement were both high profile events that gave many the world view that racism wasn't a prominent issue in the United States. This article talks about the few technical communications on race and ethnicity in the United States. It is not surprising to find just small amounts of writing on the subject because a large number of people do not want to discuss race.

    9. While scholars from various disciplines study the effectsof major demographic and social changes in the United States, they alsoacknowledge that these changes have not alleviated obvious, and sometimesgrowing, inequities in health, wealth, and education

      Many social changes in our country, like the election of President Obama and the Civil Rights movement give people the perception that many of our obvious race discrepancies have been solved but nationally this is not the case. These inequalities still exist and the amount of minorities in our country is growing.

    10. the United States is not a postracial society.Unfortunately, we still live in a society that produces racial constructs andwhere people live out racialized lives as part of their everyday experiences

      This article begins with issues of inequalities between white Americans and minority races. The evidence is shown when looking at education levels, income and health issues. Some believe we live in a postracial society and that speaking of race only perpetuates problems. This color blind outlook is based on a merit system of rewards and penalties which rarely benefits people of color. The U.S is not a postracial society even after the election of a black president and a growing minority population.

    11. Gordon (2005) explained that color blindness ‘‘maintainsthat race does not exist as a meaningful category and posits that the benefitsaccrued to White people are earned by (gifted) individuals rather than sys-temically conferred’’

      Here's an interesting comic dealing with this idea: http://www.gradientlair.com/post/102200016923/white-privilege-cartoon

    12. inequities in health, wealth, and education.

      One criticism I have heard of the focus on race in the US recently is that we do not talk about class enough. Maybe this is true, but of course like this part of the article suggests race and class are tied together in a lot of ways.

    13. nfortunately, there was still little research in this area in 2004

      It is interesting how that was not that long ago. I wonder if there has been a lot more research done on the topic.

    14. Beyond Compliance: Participatory Translation ofSafety Communication for Latino Construction Workers,’

      Again, another example of the importance of Spanish in the US and therefore in technical communication in the US.

    15. Writing New Mexico White: A Critical Analysis of Early Representationsof New Mexico in Technical Writing

      This would be an interesting read, because as a country we often forget that half of the US was originally a part of Mexico and there are still ties in those states to the country (if only in the names, e.g. New Mexico) so it is worrying to hear about them erasing this past and replacing it with WEA culture.

    16. ‘‘Instructions, Visuals, and the English-Speaking Bias of Technical Commu-nication’’ address the representation of Latinos in U.S. technical communica-tion.

      This ties into what I wrote earlier that the US has the second biggest number of Spanish speakers out of all the countries in the world. In general in the US we should opt to have technical documentation available in different languages, however in my opinion due to the large presence of Spanish in the US we should definitely have more technical communication in Spanish and try to embrace the language more as a culture and as part of our identity as a nation.

    17. We acknowledge, though, that many, inside and outside of our field,believe that race is not a relevant concept in our society or field. Some arguethat we live in a nonracist society, and thus the need to acknowledge colorno longer exists

      I like how this (short) comic explains white privilege: http://everydayfeminism.com/2014/09/white-privilege-explained/ Also, if you are interested in feminism/social justice this is a really neat site.