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Hypermedia Online Publishing: the Transformation of the Scholarly Journal

2.4.2 Application questions

According to Agre, the key concern when designing a new genre is to "Pick a community, explore how existing genres fit into existing activities and relationships, and then consider how a new genre might 'do more' for the people than the ones they already use." [Agre1995b]. To aid in understanding this question of 'doing more', Agre poses a series of questions in the context of an extended example - the design process involved in getting an organization on the Web by creating some prototype Web pages (all quotes taken from [Agre1995b]:

Users: "Who are these pages for? What defines their relationship to us? What goes on in the life of each community? How is each community changing?"

Purpose: "What are the stages in the life cycle of our relationship with each individual in a given community, and what role (if any) is each medium and genre supposed to play in each stage of the cycle?"

Activities: "What activities are the people going to be engaged in ...? What other media and genres do they employ in the course of these activities?"

Usage: "What existing genres, whether on the Web or in other media, are going to shape their expectations when they encounter the new genre of Web pages we are designing?"

Medium: " What are Web pages going to do for these people that cannot be done better on paper memos or brochures, over the telephone, by electronic mail, in meetings, through posters or newspaper advertisements, and so on?"

Evolution: "How much will our pages change? Will they contain a steady stream of new content? A steady evolution of the existing content? What expectations will the user communities have about these changes, and what expectations would we like to encourage them to have through the design of our genre of Web pages?"

Awareness: " How will the people hear about your Web page and learn your URL? Do your plans effectively require the people to put your URL in their hotlist?"

Access: " How do the practical properties of the Web medium fit with the activities that these people are going to be engaged in? ... How powerful are their computers? Do they share their computers with others? What kind of bandwidth do they have to the net? Will they be using our pages at high-load times of day?"

Last modified: Monday, 18-Sep-2017 03:29:26 AEST

© Andrew Treloar, 2001. * *