Our readings for this week centered on the importance of typography and how we cite sources online.
Errol Morris asks a question on whether the choice of a typeface — font, weight, style — can determine which text we believe out of multiple selections. I found his example of the student who changed his essay font to be rather interesting. Does the difference between Times New Roman and Georgia play a substantial role in how people view an article? I’m not convinced that typeface selection can alter the “perception of truth” to an extreme extent; I’d like to see more studies on this first. There are, however, some fonts that do evoke emotion or memory. I relate Comic Sans to my childhood; that was the cool font to use. Times New Roman reminds me of academic papers because most professors instruct you to use that font, 12 point, double spaced. Perhaps typeface does affect the portrayal of facts, but I would expect a scholar of the presented subject to see through any style embellishment.
Where I believe Morris’ article gains traction is in web design. Last week’s readings showed how style is important in both website credibility and in keeping people interested and on the page. Academics won’t want to see an website written in Comic Sans, but the title and navigation can have an “era appropriate” typeface. For example, a website on the medieval England could find it appropriate to use a “Ye Olde English” style font for the title, but the bulk of the content should be written in a more professional typeface.
Next comes the problem with footnotes and endnotes: where should they be placed? Marco Arment may have found a potential solution:
This idea is great for web functionality and design. A large issue I have with footnotes and endnotes is that they disrupt the flow of reading. It doesn’t seem natural to me to pause where I am reading in a book or online, have to scroll or flip to the note, then find my place back in the text. Dr. Petrik outlined many of the problems academics have with footnotes on the web in her essay . Arment has essentially eliminated many issues with “hover” notes, or “pop-up” as Dr. Petrik describes. What he does not address is the issue of HOW footnotes are presented. Dr. Petrik mentions superscripted footnotes as the print-based standard, yet Arment uses ellipses in his design. This begs the question on whether there should be a standard for footnote design. Should there be continuity between print-based and web-based footnotes?
On a the portfolio-front: What is your preference between using a text editor to code the site or using Dreamweaver? I like Dreamweaver’s live preview function, but I think it’s less confusing to use a text editor. I’ve started getting a little lost with Dreamweaver’s multiple options and buttons. I’m working on putting up my portfolio page now. I’ve gotten the basic layout how I want it, but haven’t quite improved the prettier things yet. It’s still a work in progress!