Saturday, July 12, 2008

Looks Aren't Everything

There are several aspects of instruction from visual rhetoric that get applied to the artifacts of digital culture. Perhaps most familiar is the "correction model," which is represented in the contents above from the YouTube channel of the longtime web design schoolmarms at Web Pages That Suck. In the Virtualpolitik book, I talk about what I call the "correction model" in more detail and use examples like World's Worst Website and David Kay's "What's Wrong With This Slide?" to show how negative models can be used for pedagogical purposes.

Of course, there are also sites that encourage "spoiler" analysis of digital objects, where the work at issue isn't necessarily "bad" or "wrong" and may -- in fact -- be an example of a virtuoso performance involving digital tools. For example, Frank Baker offers these resources for teaching about the manipulation of photographic images to foster "media literacy" about how design software makes the manipulation and manufacture of seemingly realistic images possible. Among the sites that Baker recommends, you can check your ability to spot digital forgeries here at this industry-sponsored site.

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