Designing Documents

Today we will talk about document design, focusing on the four principles of design as outlined in Markel, Chapter 7. The basis for every good design is a mixture of these principles: Proximity, Alignment, Repetition, and Contrast.

  1. Go to “Tests & Quizzes” in Scholar and complete today’s in-class writing, “02/05 Doc Design.” Your work will be graded for effort and completeness, but minor issues in spelling, grammar, and punctuation won’t matter in today’s writing. (If you paste it into your Project 1 draft too, obviously you need to make sure you proofread it).
  2. We’ll quickly look at the examples in the book for the 4 principles, and I’ll share the easy way to remember them. I’ll also touch on the value of chunking information in technical documents.
  3. I’ll ask a few of you to volunteer the documents you’re using for Project 1 for class discussion. We’ll scan the document and look for evidence that the author(s) have applied the design principles.
  4. I’ll talk briefly about the peer review process we’ll use in class on Friday.


Friday have a rough draft of Project 1 in your Google Docs folder to share with another student in class. If you don’t have a full draft, you can share whatever you do have.

You’ll do your in-class writing credit for Friday at the end of the session. I will ask you to post the sharing link to your draft in Tests & Quizzes, and I’ll ask you to give me the name of the person whose draft you read. You get 1/2 your points for having a draft and 1/2 your points for providing feedback for another student in class.