Introduction Before information is presented to someone you need to consider: • The format of the information. • The media you intend to use. • The audience your information is aimed at.
Audience Documents must be designed to be appropriate for their audience. You will need to think about their: • Age • Gender • Knowledge of the subject • Individual user needs
Format • Format – the style in which the information is organised and presented. • Text • Graphics (graphs, charts, diagrams, photographs etc.) • Tabular (presented in tables) • Audio • Video • Animations • In printed media only text and graphics are used, however presentations and websites can use a full range of formats
Factors affecting choice of format • The needs of the user (e.g. a visually impaired user would probably prefer audio rather than text) • The complexity of the information (e.g. figures may be easier to interpret when presented as graphs and charts) • If material is to be presented online (animations and video can be added to multimedia presentations or websites)
Media • Media – the means by which information is communicated • Paper based (newspapers, books, magazines, posters, catalogues etc.) • Screen based (TV, website etc.) • Audio (Speech, music etc.) • Video • Multimedia • Paper based media are ideal for detailed information which needs to be taken away and studied. • Screen based media is better for information which needs to be read once and not studied
Factors affecting the choice of media • Thenature and complexity of information • some information can be quick and easy to understand – this may be suitable for presentation on screen. • Tabulated information (such as sales data) may need a lot of analysis – this information would be best printed. • Time to study – material which needs to be studied at length is best printed. • The needs of the viewer– the viewer of the information must be able to understand its purpose and how to use it. The supplier of the information must consider this when presenting it. • Lifespan – some information changes every second or every minute (e.g. share prices), other information may remain unchanged for long periods of time. Online systems are better for information which changes regularly. Printed information should be dated so that users are aware of its reliability (e.g. a printed stock list for a supermarket)
Exporting and Importing • Exporting means formatting data so that it can be used by another application (so that two applications can share the same data. • Importing means the ability of one software package being able to read and use data produced by another software package. • Importing and exporting information when presenting information can be very useful as it can allow the same information to be presented using different media. • However, care must be taken when copying or moving information. For example, a presentation with movies and sound will not be able to play the files unless they are copied with it when it is moved to another computer.
Data Compression • Compression – is the storing of data in a format which requires less space. • Images, audio and video files can be extremely large and take up a lot of space. If used on a website or presentation, they can take time to load and slow the presentation down. • Compressing files makes their size smaller so that they are quicker to load / download.
Data Compression cont. When a file is compressed: • It allows more files to be stored on the storage device (e.g. DVD, pen drive etc.) • Make the information faster to upload (put onto a webpage) • Makes the information faster to download (view / access from a webpage) • Makes it faster to load when viewed by a piece of software. • Makes it faster to transfer if it is required as an attachment to an e-mail