Save As: Lightning Talks

Do Mark and Jane fall in love?

At Save As: Lightning Talks, we asked you to leave post-its with your comments or questions. This is what you wanted to know:

Questions on:
Web 2.0

Answers are in the works!

Q1: Shahzeen, can the principles you talked about apply to other fields?

If you’re working with huge chunks of text, then yes. Not only can they be applied, but they should be. When you get into other mediums, like videos and photos, obviously the rules change and the look and feel is much more flexible.

Q2: Shahzeen, I’m interested in what you learned about how typography can make reading maximally convenient; what is the “best” kind of font?
Appropriate fonts for the web will typically have a tall x-height (the height of a lowercase ‘x’), be sans-serif for small text, and serif for larger text. Crazy fonts are great for headings and pull quotes, but body text should be limited to fonts designed for optimal reading on a backlit screen, e.g. Georgia, Arial, and Myriad.

Formatting your text is also a very important part of legibility. Some guidelines:

  1. Avoid very long lines of text, which make it difficult to for the reader’s eye to follow the text on screen. Still, avoid very short lines of text as well. People read in chunks of text, not words, which becomes difficult when very short lines disturb thought patterns. Optimal length 8-10 words, or 45-75 characters.
  2. “Margins give the eyes room to maneuver,” says Nathan Ford in “Applying Macrotypography”  Generous padding between columns allow the reader to absorb one body of text but glance through the peripheral for other topics they are interested in. The margin creates invisible space around the text, an immediate container, that should be formatted to be the same proportions as the text.
This is a great article on paragraph typography.


Q3: Surveillance, intentionality, reading on diagonal, fragmentation, cells, dualities -how are they properties of design?

Q4: What dialogue do you think is possible btw the MORALITY questions of design and the conscious creation of ERROR & distortion in aesthetic design? or.. why does design have to be moral?

Q5: But tumblr and twitter’s curatorial practices also hit snags– where does it become problematic? What do we learn from these moments?

Q6: –Crowd-sourcing:
where is it used in scholarship?
how’s it work?

Q7: How to study emergent effects of people interacting with these projects–>compare to Egypt study of blogging

Q8: What’s the relationship between citation practices and metadata? What kinds of critical discussions can we have that separate morality from morality from the discussions. How can we extend this to discussions of plagiarism?

Q9: Metadata as a new kind of interaction with books — what kinds of literacy training you make about it?

Q10: Skimming—-> What are the moral forms of it, given the way that depth is privileged (perhaps unfairly)?


Q11: Why is clarity and simplicity a high priority (indesign?) — what do the games presented teach about it? What kinds of specialty sites are under other constraints/ priority?

Q12: Why do art projects render digital material differences in distinct ways from theoretical explanations– how does mediation matter in the highlighting difference?


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