Design is an important part of writing in college and in the professional world because it is the first impression a reader gets of a document. Design not only refers to the visual appeal of a document but also includes the way the information is organized. Design skills involve the ability to transform complex information into an easily understandable document.
In the Classroom
Design as a writing skill is introduced when students learn to write papers. Students are required to use a specific format, such as MLA or APA and must organize essays in a certain way. For example, essays must include an introduction with a clear thesis to present the main idea, body paragraphs to convey information, and a conclusion to review and summarize the ideas of the essay. These organization guidelines make it easier for a reader to understand the paper.
Technical Writers do mostly contract work creating instruction manuals, user manuals, and other documents for products. They can also produce and maintain the help sections and frequently asked questions sections of websites.
Web Developers create and design websites for businesses, including the layout, writing, and function of a website. Web Developers must ensure a website is easy to navigate and is visually appealing.
The main objective of Advertising Directors is to get a product seen. They manage and create documents, like brochures and catalogs, to promote businesses.
How Are These Jobs Relevant?
Design is a vital skill for each of the jobs described above. In the case of a technical writer, the information in an instruction or user manual must be clearly organized and easy to understand. For example, if the document is poorly designed it may cause a person to disregard or misunderstand the information about a product which could lead to injury, and possibly even a lawsuit for the company. A web developer’s job is to create a website that people will want to look at and that is easy to navigate. Poorly designed websites confuse and frustrate readers, or even prevent people from continuing to use the website which could be bad for business. Design is important for advertisers because the main goal of their documents is for the product or service to be seen. If the advertisement for a product is not well-designed it could deter someone from using the product.
Usefulness in Other Settings
Besides being important in the classroom or workplace, design skills can also benefit people in their daily lives. Design skills can improve communication through personal documents and social media. For example, a well-designed Facebook post can clearly express thoughts or information while a poorly designed post is confusing and could be misinterpreted.