The Rhetoric of Design: Implications for Corporate Intranets

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Abstract:

Sound structure and visual appeal are as important in attracting users to an intranet as the content itself because deliberate organizational and visual design allows users to navigate the site effectively and therefore helps users find the intranet a useful addition to their work flow rather than a burdensome one. In addition, by employing sound design principles, intranet developers will turn random facts filed away in databases or on servers into useful information, thus helping the intranet achieve its purpose as a medium for communicating and facilitating work processes in an organization.

Unfortunately, design is an element that is sometimes overlooked in intranet development. To help developers better utilize design as an effective rhetorical tool in intranet development, this article examines issues such as creating form that is appropriate to function, determining audience needs and wants, and implementing structural and visual design principles.

Intranet developers are often not professional communicators trained in the basics of communication. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for professional communicators to review intranet design to contribute their expertise to their company’s intranet.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2000

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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