Document Design


Listen and watch a Power Point Presentation (~8 minutes) for this module.

You will need Real One Player.

Why do some résumés and letters grab readers' attention? Why are some forms hard to read and some instruction manuals difficult to understand? What makes a report clear? Often the answer lies in the the document's design - how the writer has integrated text, visual aids (graphical aids, photographs, and illustrations), and type to engage the reader.

Well-designed documents--

  • Help readers visualize and understand information
  • Help readers locate information they want
  • Emphasize key points or ideas
  • Build relationships with readers
  • Are more persuasive

The bottom line is that, as we've said before, workplace audiences generally skim, rather than read closely. Document Design (like Style) helps audiences get what they need from your document more easily - good document design makes information visually accessible.

After completing this module, you should be able to:

  • Effectively apply elements of page design (white space, headings, lists, etc.) to make information more accessible to your reader.
  • Effectively incorporate graphics elements (tables, charts, illustrations, etc.) to make information more accessible to your reader.

Principles of document design-->

Copyright 2001 - James Dubinsky, Marie C. Paretti, Mark Armstrong