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Category Archives: Document Design

What is a document design?

“Document design is the field concerned with creating texts, that is book, pamphlets, posters and others that integrate words and pictures in ways that help people to achieve their specific goals for using texts at home, school or work”. ( Karen A. Shriver
1997 by John Wiley and Sons ).

Document design is bringing together of prose, graphics and that includes illustrations and images. They are used for instruction, information and persuasion purposes. Besides that, in order to understand a design better, readers must have some required knowledge. “The sequence in which people read a prose text or graphic makes a difference in how quickly they can form a representation of the content and what kind of representation they form”. ( Larkin and Simon 1987).

Good document design should help readers to learn, use technology, make decisions and get their job done. It also should enable readers to use the texts in a way that serves interests and needs. It also will have the ability to convey messages effectively to the audiences, therefore it is a good communication medium.

Based on the readings, images and texts come with one another. They need to implement each other so that readers can understand a document design better. “Images have other effects that are different from words, particularly at effective, aesthetic and imaginitive levels”. ( Walsh 2006 ). Besides that, understandings of one particular cultures backgrounds, social experiences, values and many more are very important in interpreting the contents in document designs. ” We must learn more about how understanding is influenced by knowledge, experience, or values and how the design of prose and graphics can enable or disable as they attempt to construct meaning from documents” ( Schriver 1997).

Based on my observations on both group and individual presentations, i found that audiences were more engaged towards my individual presentation than the group presentations. I think it is because in my own individual slides, i used more interesting images, texts and many more so that the audiences will get what am i trying to imply to them. As for my group presentations. we used less images and most of them are texts, texts and texts. My own individual slides have less texts compared to the group slides. Therefore, audiences show more interests in my individual slides compared to the group slides.

In conclusion, a good document design is a blend of clear images and texts thus providing a better understanding to the audiences.


1. John Wiley and Sons, 1997. Fundamental of Document Design. viewed on April 6, 2009.

2. Larkin, J. & Simon, H. (1987). Why diagram is sometimes worth ten thousand words. Cognitive Science 11:65-69.

3. Schriver, K.A, 1997, Chapter 6 in Dynamics in Document Design.