Visual, Media, Literacy: Wha? II

*This was all going to be one post, but I didn’t think it would show how I’m starting to think about my blog post, so “Visual, Media, Literacy: Wha?” became 2 posts. Thank you for enduring the mess of my mind.

–> Click here for “Visual, Media, Litearcy: Wha?” part 1.


Great, so now I have a basic understanding of what these two terms (Visual Literacy and Media Literacy) are.

Screen Shot 2014-01-26 at 1.45.23 PM


Next, I want to think about this in relation to the Enduring Understanding from COETAIL as it relates to the articles I read.

Enduring Understanding: Design and layout (aesthetics) of information influence effective communication.


Reading “Design Better with CRAP,” “Lazy Eyes” and “Eye-tracking studies: more than meets the eye,” I thought about how I don’t change much with font, layout, sizes, color in my blog posts. I consider myself a pragmatist and when I used to run workshops with Nancy Wong (@scampnyc) for Teach21 about Google Sites, I often looked at the customization for colors, text and all that to be impractical and just a part of making things pretty. Thus, the “prettification” (yes, I made that word up and yes, I said it out loud multiple times during the workshop) of the Google Sites we talked about and designed was usually Nancy’s part.

I was treating websites and blogs like writing a paper with not much regard for what appeals to a reader. I was not incorporating my understanding of visual literacy.

Some rights reserved by kalebdf
Some rights reserved by kalebdf


From reading various websites and blogs, and teaching about how to write a blog and design websites, I’m coming to realize that color, size, font, the overall looks of things, the “prettification” of a site is important to communicate ideas clearly. So, here are some things that I’m thinking now:

  • Color is needed to emphasize particular areas
  • People are lazy, make things easier to read and find
    • Avoid long paragraphs
    • Make important things pop out by making them bold or changing the color
    • Bullet points are easier to read
    • Scrolling loses readers
    • Patterns in writing are good
  • Eyes are trained to read things in order, most important things should be at the beginning
  • Don’t clutter


This was a great exercise in reflecting on my practices, but I do realize that I:

  1. wrote too much (too much text)
  2. had too much filler
  3. assumed that readers were interested in the madness going on between my ears (thank you to those who chose to stay with this post for so long)

A better post in response to Visual/Media Literacy probably would have been my “Synthesize” section and an image or something. Maybe next time…


2 thoughts on “Visual, Media, Literacy: Wha? II

  1. This is the first blog post I have read after competing my course 3 week 3 assignment to embed a presentation in a post. I have to say reading your summary of visual literacy is a different experience now I’ve spent several hours trying to implement the ideas. In my presentation I tried to put color and food fore most as I figured that although I was talking about Math the promise of tasty food would maintain audience attention. I guess I opted for some high calorie synthesis.

  2. It’s great to see how your thinking has evolved! I do think people are interested in the “madness” as you call it 🙂 Your thought process can help others clarify their understandings too. Both of these posts are really valuable, thanks for sharing!

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