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The role of visual rhetoric in the design and production of electronic books: the visual book

landoni, M. and Gibb, F. (2000) The role of visual rhetoric in the design and production of electronic books: the visual book. Electronic Library, 18 (3). pp. 190-121. ISSN 0264-0473

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This paper starts from the observation that the appearance of information contributes to its overall value and that, because there are many ways to represent information, it is very important to find the model which is going to be the most effective and conveys the greatest value of the original information. Appearance has always played a key role in the learning process, as it facilitates the discovery of new concepts by allowing visual association with those which are already familiar. This is why metaphors are so important in learning in general, and have therefore proved to be a valuable tool for designing alternative paradigms when adapting traditional tasks to novel environments. This paper will briefly discuss the link between paper books and their electronic counterparts. It will then focus on the role of metaphors in producing electronic books and introduce and discuss the importance of the visual rhetoric concept in driving the design process. Finally it will also present the main results of the visual book experiment and how these results can be interpreted in the context of the visual rhetoric approach.