If you listen to the pundits on the Web about what's important in site design you may end up spending so much time keeping up with the latest technologies for cool graphics, animation and interaction that you have no time left for writing.
Colour printing technology has been around for a very long time, and yet a substantial proportion of books sold today don't use colour. The reason is that it doesn't always help.
Some subjects are still best presented by good old fashioned text.
Factasia is mostly concerned with that kind of subject, and is therefore minimalist in its exploitation of graphics, and completely devoid of animation and interaction.
Nevertheless, it is a hotbed of experimentation in structure and style for Web Writing. This is because I hate linear prose, and the Web is the ideal medium for giving more choice to the user about what he reads and what order he reads it in.
I thought it might be useful to gather together references to a selection of the page styles in Factasia, and here they are.
|Layered Frame: This is the format which I am now using for most new material. It gives visibility on one page of several layers of a structured presentation.|
|Panelled Cameos: A cameo is a one-screenful(ish) overview of a subject broken into subtopics with headings which one day get linked into pages on the subtopics. The "panelling" is usually obtained with a bordered table.|
|Columnar Cameos: These are good for dichotomies or trichotomies.|
|Hybrid Cameos: A cross between the panelled and columnar versions.|
|Image map and Overview: If I can think of a good diagram then the image-map with a bit of commentary makes a good page. These image maps aren't fully connected up, yet.|
|Slide Show: This is a manual conversion of a PowerPoint presentation. I quite like it, so I'll use it again if I get round to converting any more material from presentations.|
|Exotica: Here are some examples of fairly complex one-off page styles.|
|Lattices: Intended to provide a sylistically consistent navigational backbone based on a familiar kind of subject classification lattice. A key feature is the standard navigation box in the top left corner which allows navigation up, down or sideways on the lattice.|
|More navigation: Some more page styles intended to help readers comprehend the site and get where they want to be. Mostly generated by PERL scripts.|