Five Ways to Integrate Prose & Graphics

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Five Ways to Integrate Prose & Graphics. Julie Staggers. Five Ways to Integrate Prose & Graphics. Exercise: integrating prose and graphics Five key relationships among prose and pictures: Juxtapositional Redundant Complementary Supplementary Stage-setting Activity . - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Five Ways to Integrate Prose & Graphics

Five Ways to Integrate Prose & GraphicsJulie Staggers1Theres an old maxim: A picture is worth a thousand words. It represents a common belief about the expressive power of visuals. Like many maxims, this one contains an element of truth that has been oversimplified. Cognitive research has show that memory for pictures tends to be better than memory for words (Shepard 1967). Pictures arouse readers interest and are often remembered long after people see them (Nickerson, 1968). When pictures and words work well together, they afford the reader better information than either one alone. But visuals arent always helpful. In some situations, they get in the way, especially if they merely decorate the text, distracting readers from engaging fully with the content they most need.

There are many sorts of relationships that might exist between prose and graphics. Today, Im going to describe five of the most common relationships.

Five Ways to Integrate Prose & GraphicsExercise: integrating prose and graphicsFive key relationships among prose and pictures: JuxtapositionalRedundantComplementarySupplementaryStage-setting Activity

2Previous research has characterized five key relationships among prose and pictures: redundant, complementary, supplementary, juxtapositional and stage-setting (Hegarty, Carpenter, and Just, 1991; Willows and Houghton, 1987; Schriver, 1997). These relationships do not necessarily constitute a complete set of all the relationships readers may experience or that document designers may want to establish. This set simply represents some of the more common ways words and pictures work together.

Do absolute on ice activity.

Juxtapositional Relationshipcharacterized by different content in words and pictures, in which the key ideas are created by a clash or a semantic tension between the ideas in each mode; the idea cannot be inferred without both modes being present simultaneously

3One way prose and graphics may interact is through a juxtapositional relationship, in which the main ideas are created by a clash, an unexpected synthesis, or a tension between what is represented in each mode. With juxtapositional relationships, the reader cannot infer the intended idea unless both prose and graphics are present simultaneously. The most common environment for juxtapositional relationships is advertising which conjoins disparate visual and verbal elements.

Mode: A particular form, variety, or type

Juxtapositional Example 1

4What is the message here?

When prose and graphics interact via a juxtapositional relationship, what the reader imagines depends fully on the synthesis of the two modes rather than the interpretation of one or the other.

Juxtapositional Example 2

5What is the message here?

Why does the reader have to synthesize both modes to infer that message?Redundant Relationship characterized by substantially identical content appearing visually and verbally, in which each mode tells the same story, providing repetition of key ideas

6A second way prose and graphics can work together effectively is through redundancy, the repetition or paraphrasing of key ideas. Redundancy is often achieved in document design by presenting similar ideas in alternative representations (e.g. visually and verbally), in alternative media (e.g. on paper and online), or though different senses (e.g. sight and smell).

Acquiring information visually and verbally is known as dual coding. Taking information in more than just one way increased the likelihood that readers will understand it and remember it. Multiple representations may have important benefits, helping people to build stronger and more elaborate connections about the subject matter in memory.

Pluses: Useful if readers are struggling to understand a concept fully.

Negatives: Not a great strategy is reader knows a subject very well.

In using redundancy, the document designer must weight the difficulty of the topic against the audiences level of skill and interest. The more difficult the topic, the more likely it is that audience will welcome redundancy.

Redundant Example Part 1: Prose Only

7Consider this example. This a continuous prose representation of global warming. Redundant Example Part 2: Schematic Diagram

8This example represents a traditional redundant pair: a schematic diagram with a prose explanation that repeats the ideas.

Discussion question: why is it difficult to employ redundancy with clip art? Visual representations are so watered down and simple that its difficult to imagine a situation where a clip art visual would help clarify an idea readers are struggling to grasp. Complementary Relationshipcharacterized by different content visually and verbally, in which both modes are needed in order to understand the key ideas

9Words and pictures that complement one another employ different visual and verbal content, and both modes are designed to work together in order to help the reader understand the same main idea. Together, the two modes render the idea more fully than either one does alone because each provides different information about the idea. In other words, each form makes a unique contribution to strengthen and clarify the readers understanding of the main text. Visual and verbal both provide pieces of the puzzle.

Lets examine some differences in what readers may understand from words only, from pictures only, and from complementary text and graphic combinations. Complementary Example Part 1: Words Only

10These are words-only instructions for inserting batteries into a pocket translator. Its basically a simple grid with enumerated steps and cautions and tips are outdented. The straightforward action-orientated writing style is clear and concise. But the words-only version neither allows the user to envision exactly where the battery tray is nor how it slides open.

Lets look at a pictures-only version of these same instructions.Complementary Example Part 2: Pictures Only

11In the pictures-only version, the six steps are arranged into three rows, reading left to right. To promote coherence and visual repetition, each procedure is enclosed by a box of the same size. Notice how the hands and the arrows give positional and orientation information not available in the words-only version. But also notice that the information about how to position the batteries so the positive signs are facing up is not available in the pictures-only version. There is also no visual information about how to slide the tray back into the unit. The words-only instructions say Push the tray until a click is heard.

Lets look at words and pictures version. Complementary Example Part 3: Words & Pictures

12The words and pictures version is mainly text with selected complementary word and picture relationships.

The illustrations provide spatial clues about where to press, how to slide open the battery tray, and how to insert the batteries.

The prose offers explicit procedures where to look, what to do, and when to do it.

These complementary words and pictures together provide complete information about the actions to take. Supplementary Relationshipcharacterized by different content in words and pictures, in which one mode dominates the other, providing the main ideas, while the other reinforces, elaborates, or instantiates the points made in the dominant mode (or explains how to interpret the other)

13A fourth way words and pictures may be arranged is in a supplementary relationship, one in which one mode is dominant, providing the main ideas and most of the content, while the other shores up and elaborates the points made in the dominant mode. Words and pictures that supplement each other often occur in the form of examplesa picture may illustrate a point or a sidebar may unpack a picture.

Supplementary relationships can be employed to elaborate key points that need to be driven home for the reader. When the reader may have trouble imagining what is intended, supplementary prose or pictures often help clarify and expand how the reader construes the main ideas.

Lets look at an example.Supplementary Example

14For those of you who cant see the small type at the bottom, it says Drink provokes the desire but takes away the performance" --William Shakespeare

Text is primary. But that visual really drive the point home. Document designers can employee supplementary relationships to elaborate on key points that need to be driven home for the reader. They help clarify main ideas, but theyre not, strictly speaking, necessary to understand the message.

So to review, in a complementary relationship, you really need words and pictures to make your point. In a supplementary relationship, its nice to have both modes, but you could probably make due with just one.

Stage-Setting Relationshipcharacterized by different content in words and pictures, in which one mode (often the visual) forecasts the content, underlying theme, or ideas presented in the other mode

15A fifth way prose and graphic interact is through a state setting relationship, in which one mode provides a context for the other mode by forecasting its content or soon-to-be presented themes.

Lets look at a few examplesStage-Setting Example 1

16Where is the example from?

Stage-setting text or (more typically) graphics may enhance what follows by providing a contextual framework in which the verbal content can be understood.

Lets look at another example.Stage-Setting Example 2

17Wheres this one from?

One context in which document designers often present stage-setting relationships is at the beginning of chapters in multi-chapter documents. Five Ways to Integrate Prose & Graphics Five key relationships among prose and pictures: JuxtapositionalRedundantComplementarySupplementaryStage-setting

18Juxtapositionalcharacterized by different content in words and pictures, in which the key ideas are created by a clash or a semantic tension between the ideas in each mode; the idea cannot be inferred without both modes being present simultaneously

Redundantcharacterized by substantially identical content appearing visually and verbally, in which each mode tells the same story, providing repetition of key ideas

Complementarycharacterized by different content visually and verbally, in which both modes are needed in order to understand the key ideas

Supplementarycharacterized by different content in words and pictures, in which one mode dominates the other, providing the main ideas, while the other reinforces, elaborates, or instantiates the points made in the dominant mode (or explains how to interpret the other)

Stage-Settingcharacterized by different content in words and pictures, in which one mode (often the visual) forecasts the content, underlying theme, or ideas presented in the other mode

By thinking of visual and linguistic combinations in these terms, we foreground the rhetorical role of the visuals we opt to include in documents.

Any questions?

Time for an activity?

Activity 1Go to http://postsecret.blogspot.com/ and find examples of each of the text/image relationships?

RedundantComplementarySupplementaryJuxtapositionalStage-setting

Which were easiest to find? Why?Were there any you couldnt find? Why?19Activity 2Using clip art, stock photos, or your current production project, demonstrate one of the five key relationships among prose and pictures:

RedundantComplementarySupplementaryJuxtapositionalStage-setting

Increase the degree of difficulty by incorporating anyof the rhetorical figures from todays reading.

AssignmentCreate 2 Post-Secret submissionsSafe for workSafe to share with classmatesUse at least two relationships

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