Brochure: Design Elements of a Technical Document

The design of a technical document is a very important part of the development process. If a document is poorly designed, it can be distracting to the reader and even cause the content to lose credibility.

Create a flyer (or brochure) using the techniques learned in this week’s reading assignment. Go to page 293 of Technical Communication to locate “Case 11: Designing a Flyer.”
Study the “background” purpose and intended audience (pages 85-87). Review Document 11.1 . Important: consider what the best organization might be for this information. Note: This document is only available in the online course. It CANNOT be accessed via the MacMillan website mentioned in the textbook.
Create a one-page flyer in which you implement the design that you have determined will be most effective for the audience and purpose described on pages 254-255. Assume the target audience has little to no experience with your topic, but the audience would find useful an information summary on graduate school admissions tests. Required: make sure to integrate graphics (minimum of two and a maximum of four) to support the textual information that your flyer conveys. Keep in mind that the layout and balance of visual and textual information are critically important to fulfill the expectations of a multi-cultural audience, thereby conveying your message with clarity. Save your flyer as a PDF document. Submit your flyer as a PDF attachment to your peers through the discussion. Based on your study of selective readings from Chapters 11,12, and 21, include a 250-word analysis of your chosen page layout, columns, typography, titles and headings, and the integration of visual elements to support your text. ATTACHED ARE THE CHAPTERS NEEDED ALONG WITH THE Document 11.1   PLEASE MAKE SURE TO FOLLOW ALL DIRECTIONS. AND DO IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME AND GET IT DONE ON TIME. YOU MUST CREATE YOUR OWN FLYER!!!!!



Planning the design of Print and online documents


In a typical day at work, you might produce a number of documents without having to worry about design at all. Blog posts, text messages, presentation slides and memos that use standard company templates—these applications and others present no design challenges either because you cannot design them or because you don’t have the authority to design them.


You will, however, have a say in the design of many documents you pro- duce or to which you contribute. In a case like this, the first step in design- ing the document is to plan. Analyze your audience and purpose, and then determine your resources.




Consider factors such as your readers’ knowledge of the subject, their atti- tudes, their reasons for reading, the way they will be using the document, and the kinds of tasks they will perform. For instance, if you are writing a benefits manual for employees, you know that few people will read it from start to finish but that many people will refer to it. Therefore, you should include accessing tools: a table of contents, an index, tabs, and so forth. Think too about your audience’s expectations. Readers expect to see certain kinds of information presented in certain ways. Try to fulfill those expectations. For example, hyperlinks on websites are often underscored and presented in blue type.


If you are writing for multicultural readers, keep in mind that many aspects of design vary from one culture to another. In memos, letters, reports, and manuals, you may see significant differences in design practice. The best advice, therefore, is to study documents from the culture you are addressing. Here are a few design elements to look for:

• Paper size. Paper size will dictate some aspects of your page design. If your document will be printed in another country, find out about standard paper sizes in that country.


• typeface preferences. One survey found that readers in the Pacific Rim prefer sans-serif typefaces in body text, whereas Western readers prefer serif typefaces (Ichimura, 2001).


• Color preferences. In China, for example, red suggests happiness, whereas in Japan it suggests danger.


• text direction. If some members of your audience read from right to left but others read from left to right, you might arrange your graphics vertically, from top to bottom; everybody reads from top to bottom. Or you might use Arabic numerals to indicate the order in which items are to be read (Horton, 1993).


Think, too, about your purpose or purposes. For example, imagine that you are opening a dental office and you want to create a website. The first question is What is the purpose of the site? It’s one thing to provide informa- tion on your hours and directions to the office. But do you also want to direct patients to high-quality dental information? To enable them to set up or change appointments? Ask you a question? Each of these purposes affects the design, whether the document is going to print or online.