National Writing Project

TR 39. Document Design from 1980 to 1990: Challenges That Remain

By: Karen A. Schriver
Publication: National Center for the Study of Writing and Literacy Technical Report
Date: January 1990

Summary: Schriver discusses the recent evolution of document design (the theory and practice of creating comprehensible, usable, and persuasive texts), identifies challenges in integrating research with practice, and suggests a research agenda for document design.



While knowing about particular text genres, audiences, subject matters, and purposes can be helpful, such knowledge is often a limited and even inhibiting starting point. In fact, if document designers invoke such knowledge too rigidly when they are building a representation of a communication problem, it can stifle their ability to find an original and creative solution.

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