Static Graphics for Dynamic Information

Static Graphics for Dynamic Information

Francisco V. Cipolla-Ficarra (ALAIPO – AINCI, Spain and Italy) and Jacqueline Alma (Electronic Arts – Vancouver, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-4490-8.ch022
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The authors present the first results of the heuristic analysis of the static graphics in the digital newspapers for senior users. They examine the main systems of static graphics. A parallelism is drawn between the current static graphic information and the function of the banners in the quality attributes to boost the motivation of those users in the face of the economic news online in the digital papers.
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In the current era of the expansion of communicability (Cipolla-Ficarra, 2010) digital information in the online newspapers is focused on economics, especially that to be found in the home page. Many of the data which are presented in it have an ordination, tabulation and elaboration which require a systematic presentation of it. Traditionally this process may be visually depicted through written representation, semi-tabular representation, tabular representation and graphic representation. In the 20th century the tabular representation has taking a predominant place in the text and graphic representation has acquired a greater importance in visual information with the switch of the use of the computer (Cipolla-Ficarra & Cipolla-Ficarra, 2009) as a professional “instrument” (1960-1970) to a personal computer (1980-2000). The new multimedia devices such as the tablet PC are leaving behind the use of the PC in the new generations. However, in our universe of study and in the current work we focus on the classical sense of the term “personal computer” of the 80s and 90s for seniors users. We divide the users in the following way in relation to age: child (4), junior (12-17) adult (18-64) and senior (65).

In 1741 the Dane Achersen used for the first time tablets for the data (Ander-egg, 1986). That is, he incorporated in the shape of a text the compiled statistic data. Currently in the digital online information there is still a valid modality, that is, writing a text and inside said text to overlap whole figures, in decimals, percentages, etc. For example, in Figure 1, “the public debt of the Balearic community is 4,479 billion euros and is equivalent to 16.7% of the Spanish GDP –Gross Domestic Product”.

Figure 1.

Public debt of Spain by autonomic communities. Newspaper online: El País ( –06.15.2012)


In the semi-tabular modality the data inside the text are used in the shape of columns to stress total figures and percentages, for instance. In the Figure 1 the graphic information on the growth of the Spanish debt could be expressed in the following way, if each of the autonomous communities was presented:

Total in billions of euros, name of the autonomic region, the relationship with GDP, that is,

  • 42,000 billion: Catalonia, 21%

  • 20,832billion: Valence, 20.2%

  • 4,479 billion: Balearic Islands, 16.7%, etc.

In the tabular representation, the numeric data are ordered in files and columns so that the numeric expression appears in a specific way, short and easy to interpret. In this regard the diffusion of the professional computer in the offices, specially in 1980, it is due not only that the traditional typewriters could be replaced (commercial programs like WordStar or WordPerfect) but mainly the generation of tablets and their graphic representation with commercial programs. Such as Lotus 1-2-3 (Power, D., 2002).


Static Graphics, Commercial Software And Newspapers

The WordStar was the last processor of commercial texts for the operative system CP/M (Reddy, 1996). The 3.0 version of WordStar for DOS was launched in April of 1982. The version for DOS was very similar to the original and although the IBM PC (Bride, 2011) offered support for cursor and function keys, the traditional WordStar Diamond was maintained and other function of the type Ctrl+Key giving place to its fast adoption by the old users of CP/M. The capacity of WordStar of using a non-document means to create text files without a format made it very popular among programmers. WordPerfect is also an application of processing of texts, which reached its maximum popularity in the late 80s and in the early 90s. For many years it was considered the standard of fact in its sector. Later on this place would be taken by Microsoft Word.

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