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Genre Evolution

There is evidence that as a site of a given genre matures, it gets transformed from one that has many borrowed features of its real-world equivalent to a site that gradually incorporates its own unique features. As a result, it evolves its own genre identity, which becomes well recognized by its target audience (Eriksen and Ihlstrom, 2000). What is important is that it continues to have its own unique genre identity. Table 6.2 gives a sample list of characteristics that include both physical-world genre characteristics as well as evolved Web-specific ones.

Table 6.2. Sample of Genre Characteristics
  Characteristics
  ContentExpressionForm
GenresNewsTraditional news programming and newspaper categories including:

Current news International news National news Sports news Financial Breaking stories

Archived stories

Multimedia enhancements (video or audio clips)
Highly textual information

Textual links

Photographic images

Conservative colors—navy blue, whites, gray, pages are dense, little white space

Time and date determine importance, older stories toward bottom of the page
Feature story in top center

Maximized for easy reading, black text on white

Long pages

Sites are medium to large (# of pages.)

Necessary to scroll
ShoppingInformation and product goods

Product information

Multimedia content

Transaction pages

Customer service information

Advertisements

Categories model traditional shopping environment
Iconic images

Not textual

Unified design (branding prominent)

Bright colors, pastels

Model welcoming quality of traditional shopping environments

More white space
Grid with regular columns

Select goods featured in center of the page

Maximized for easy browsing

Short pages

Sites are full range, small to very large (# of pages)

Limited scrolling required
InformationTips or articles

Tutorials

Stories

Releases

Data

Statistics
Highly textual information

Textual links

Photographic images

Dense pages

Little white space
Maximized for easy reading, black text on white background.

Long pages

Sites are full range, small to very large (# of pages)

Necessary to scroll
EntertainmentLarge multimedia files

Graphic images

Transaction pages

Advertisements

Limited HTML text
Iconic and photographic images

Not textual

Bright colors, more design focused

Animations

Sales pitch language
Main “feature” centered and highlighted

Short pages

Sites are full range, small to very large (# of pages)

Limited scrolling required

Banner advertisements prominent



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