New Book Utilizes Unique Method for Evaluating Online Design

‘Visualizing the Web’ examines the quality of websites using visual communication

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Susan Barnes

Visual communication is an emerging field that draws on numerous disciplines concerned with the creation, perception and interpretation of visual messages. It allows scholars to examine design from multiple vantage points, including the metaphorical, cultural, rhetorical and cognitive perspectives.

Visualizing the Web: Evaluating Online Design from a Visual Communication Perspective utilizes the technique to assess the quality and impact of website design and its effect on consumers. The book, co-edited by Susan Barnes, associate director of the Laboratory for Social Computing at Rochester Institute of Technology, features leading scholars in the field and includes sections on visual perception, new media advertising and graphic design.

“Internet communication is an increasingly important avenue for interpersonal interaction, advertising and business operations,” notes Barnes. “It is therefore essential to develop a better understanding of how humans interact with online visual messages and how this differs from traditional forms of communication.”

“This innovative collection of essays builds a badly needed bridge between solid visual communication research about legacy media and emerging scholarship about Web-based media,” adds Julianne Newton, a book reviewer and professor of communication at the University of Oregon.

The book was co-edited by Sheree Josephson, professor of communication at Weber State University, and Mark Lipton, associate professor of media studies at the University of Guelph.

Barnes is also the author or editor of Online Connections, Computer-Mediated Communication, Web Research and Mediated Interpersonal Communication. The latter was selected as a 2009 Outstanding Academic Title by Choice Magazine, published by the American Library Association.