StudyKarper conducted a study with 13 beginning Web designers who composed pages. The research presented in this study attempts to contribute to a greater understanding of how rhetorical choices are made on the Web, as well as how technology works in assisting or complicating these choices. (Karper) The designers, constructed Web pages and common strategies such as using the “look and feel” of pages created by other designers in their discourse communities. Participants struggled equally with making rhetorical choices about the content, arrangement, and form of their Web pages. “The participants’ desire to present a certain kind of identity, or ethos, on the Web lead to the deployment of identification strategies such as imitation and modeling.” (Karper) This statement correlates with Garrety and Badham’s study on user-centered design. Decisions for usability on Web design arises “out of the complex and unpredictable socio-technical mixes that are generated when people attempt to put them into practice.” (Garrety & Badham)
Don’t AssumeIt’s natural to assume that everyone is like us and that “if it works for me, it’ll work for them.” Often, this isn’t true:
- You know what the site is trying to say. They are coming to it from outside your context.
- You know the organization’s vocabulary. They probably don’t.
- You know how parts of the site fit together. They probably don’t.
- They may be much more casual, infrequent, less motivated visitors than you are.