Week 1’s readings gave me ideas about how to organize and distill my writing and standardize my blog’s appearance to make it more reader-friendly. With recruiting season beginning along with swim tryouts beginning on Wednesday, I’ll work especially hard to apply those prinicples in this first COETAIL Course 3 response.
- Writing style: chop, bullet, chop
- Content: Just the facts, ma’am.
- Blog Appearance: Bigger, smaller, more vibrant.
- Powerpoint Principles: Imagify
Since readers need to be hooked immediately, I need to continue writing in the “inverted pyramid” (or inductive) style: a few lines of introduction followed by a succint conclusion. Evidence should comprise the remaining body of my posts, and I should use bullet points to highlight key ideas.
Readers are looking for original thinking, devoid of “marketese,” that gives them useful and relevant information. The point of my blog is to showcase my teaching and share my experiences integrating technology in an international classroom, so I should use anecdotes and conclusions from my day-to-day life rather than make broad proclamations and philosophical observations. I also need to give background and context to reach readers with less technology experience than myself.
The reading on visual hierarchy discussed how size and color could be used to indicate a hierarchy of ideas: main ideas larger/in one color, subtopics smaller/in another. My blog has some size issues: the social media sharing buttons are large enough that they immediately draw the eye, whereas they should be something that readers reach after scanning the title and introductory text. I need to make these buttons smaller. I should also choose a color scheme to harmonize the Twitter feed and Disqus comment sidebar panes to indicate that these have like importance. Finally, for consistency, I should standardize the width of images on blog posts since my post content is all at the same level of importance.
It would also be nice if the post background were offset in a different color from the page background. I’ll look into editing the page template (update: the issue was due to my omission of CSS code when modifying the theme; fixed it though), or I may look into a different theme. My rationale for choose the current one was that it didn’t have a huge header image that obstructed the main post content, but Week 2 and 3’s readings are making me rethink the purpose of my site images.
I’ve realized that the Week 2 and 3 readings address Powerpoint principles further, but the visual hierarchy reading has given me a foundation of how to make my powerpoints more user friendly. Instead of my current style of Harvard outline notes accompanied by a relevant image, I can use a mind map/graphic organizer style Powerpoint or Starboard canvas, using size hierachy to indicate main ideas and replacing most of the text with images. I could assign a color to each RECIPES component and even use that color as frame for each image. More on this later.