2.1 The role of text
Text is the dominant component in most education and training software, and on many websites. It also plays a central role in standard software applications such as word processors and spreadsheets. It is a flexible and powerful means of communication.
Look at a multimedia encyclopaedia. Identify four ways in which it uses text. For each, what are the characteristics of the text (for example, is it a single word or a block of text)? What is its purpose?
On my encyclopaedia I identified the following uses of text.
Blocks of text intended to provide information about a particular topic.
Headlines in bold with a larger type size. These structure the information.
Buttons with text on them. The text, usually a single word, communicates the meaning of the underlying command.
Captions under illustrations to identify them and explain their content.
As we can see from this activity, text is used in very different ways within UIs. Thus there is a variety of issues to consider.