8. Internet sites - Critiques
Exercise for Week
Develop a short critique comparing two or more of the author’s sites
critique a site of one’s own choosing – (please
provide your chosen URL to group at beginning of session).
hypertext sites. ‘What is a critic to do? The answer, finally, must be
Write in hypertext itself.’ Landow, (‘What’s a Critic to do? p36)
Nielson is arguably the Web's best known guru. His website, known as
useit.com (usable information technology) is a mecca for web writers
of all levels. Although Neilson is primarily concerned with the
mechanics of publishing the most "usable" web site
possible, his site contains many valuable links to sources of hypertext
information. In addition, Nielson publishes an online column called Alertbox
which features endless advice on authoring in hypertext and offers
links to many related sites.
are many sites offering advice on web design -
we will look at some.
is a fundamental difference between a good-looking site and a good site.
Attractive sites may have poor navigation and usability To succeed,
websites need to match style with substance
We will be critiquing each
other’s sites later:
Criticism should follow
the following :
1) Positive criticism.
2) State in concrete terms what strengths you see in the work.
3) Ask clarifying questions.
4) Suggest ways in which the work might be improved
standard of writing on the net is poor due to:
large numbers of poets being published;
numbers being published without editorial gatekeepers or feedback;
taking their best work to funded magazines first which offer payment;
perception that the Net is a poor medium for poetry.
the possibilities are for:;
widely across fields and disciplines
into scholarly levels and footnotes and different author’s critiques
we discussed hypertext authorship – a hypertext author is more than
just a writer. If a writer can be said to create text, a hyperbook
author must also design the presentation of that text and choose the
overall structure and interfaces (within the system parameters).
Creating a hypertext can also involve the author in areas usually the
purview of other professions: graphics and programming.
all of these concerns, it is not surprising that the results of many
novice hyperbook authors are uneven at best.
‘Assessing the Quality of Hypertext Documents,’ Peter Brown lists
some of the faults he found when refereeing student works authored in
authors would do well to keep these in mind:
local visual design
of consistency in visual design
use of interface elements
of exploitation of hypertext abilities
use of interface elements for effect
of concern for context--nodes designed to be read in one path read
badly in another
of concern for future document maintenance design that relied on one
setting of a configuration that readers might change (eg. designing
text for only one window width)