You down with UDD?

To start, I think the ideas that are discussed in this text are really interesting and something that each writer-designer needs to consider: the audience. For instance, take a piece of software like Scrivener. It’s great in terms of what it allows you to do when it comes to writing a novel or an anthology because it allows you to save things and move them around in different orders etc. If I’m understanding the terms correctly, Scrivener has a great usability. It has many different features that allows you to access a document in multiple ways. However, figuring out how to use Scrivener, to even begin to unlock said features, is one big giant fucking headache. I’m pretty sure one day I spent like 8 hours trying to figure out how to unlock those magical abilities that would allow me to cleverly store all my character info, setting info, sub-plots, and the actual manuscript all in one nice complete package. Still couldn’t fully figure it out. It’s nice because you get to enjoy little treats here and there when you figure something new out, but the problem is, the accessibility is shit. Or is it the other way around? The terms confuse me a little bit, but that brings me to my next point (my featured image)…like what Katie said in her post, I don’t think Jones and Wheeler necessarily followed their own advice when it comes to the document they produced here.

I think if you were going to prove your point, you could go meta and apply what you are discussing in the text you are discussing it in. I think in terms of the parameters they established, they don’t make this document very accessible with how it is laid out. For a document that discusses the importance of considering one’s audience, I, as an audience member, think the design of the document and the order they discussed things in, was not the most effective way of establishing their point. I think they raise a good point. Like Ram, I think their example wasn’t the best in terms of proving their point.

One thing I do think that might have been a good example to use is in terms of user agreements. For instance, have you ever joined a free trial for something and had an absolute nightmare trying to find the actual place where you cancel said trial? Would this fall into what they are discussing? They mentioned web design earlier, but that isn’t necessarily what they were getting at with discussing UDD, but because they mentioned it I kept imagining examples within web texts where the accessibility and usability was something that needed to be addressed. Like with free trials where they take you down the rabbit hole in an attempt to make you give up and pay for the service (I’m looking at you Amazon Audible!)

I think I’ll be able to understand this one more after discussing it in class, but I think the execution of their argument could have been done better. Perhaps that is my own fault for not ‘getting it’ in terms of why they designed this text in the way that they did, but it is at the very least a little ironic. I think the actual model they outlined seems to be a good way of establishing a way of considering audience, but like Ram pointed out, it will be hard for one single document to check each and every mark. The measurements are subject in many ways too, so while it’s a good model, I’d love to see more examples of texts they believe check each box. I think I’d then be able to better see how the UDD works.

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One thought on “You down with UDD?

  1. You’re not the only one not getting it, I totally agree. The concept of a universal document isn’t a bad idea but the article much like they built a car with square wheels and doesn’t understand why the car isn’t rolling along the road smoothly. The article works against itself.

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