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Framing Analysis 

ix Visualizing Composition tells us that we can draw real and invisible lines to divide a page and direct an audience's focus.

The Tlingit and Haida site is literally framed by a box. All of the content appear within it to keep the attention centered on the page without the need to scroll. The contrast of dark and light areas divides the framed area into two sections: a header and a body. This works to allow us to quickly  consume the title information in the upper area and then work through the content below. Within that body are concentric boxes of information (as if drawn by invisible lines). These focus the attention first on the inner "heart" of the text and then move gradually outward. The author is directing the order of the many messages on the page in this manner.

 

The Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes ("CSKT") also frame their content on the page with a drawn box. And like the Tlingit and Haida, their page is divided into a header and a body. Within the body there is a box defined by shading that makes the information within it stand out. It is clearly a purposefully expression of the tribe's values that the author wants to impress upon visitors. The "invisible" frames here are the two columns of text, allowing the visitor to peruse assorted information on the left or a bulleted list on the right. Aside from the upper/lower division and the shaded box, I do not get the impression that the author has thought about the use of framing to guide the audience; the content is dense and difficult to sort through.

 

Unlike the other tribe websites, the Puyallup's front page requires scrolling to see all of its contents. The first frame is therefore defined by what can be seen above the scroll. We can assume that the author intended that the most important aspects of the page would appear in this as the first impression. This area is divided in thirds, but because the upper and lower texts are brief, it is easy for the eye to focus on the slideshow and interpret the messages conveyed by the photos there. In its full length, the audience absorbs the material in horizontal chunks that are defined by visible horizontal elements such as lines and color banners. Just below the scroll is a swath of information arranged in columns. Combined with the simplicity of images and white space, it is easy to scan through these three topics of "About," "Government," and "Departments," which according to my assumptions meets several of the important topics the audience visited the site for.

 

Explore the slideshows below for visual examples of the use of framing in tribe websites.
Literal frame

Literal frame

All of the content appears within a drawn box

Dark and light

Dark and light

The contrast of dark and light divides the framed area into two sections: a header and the body; we quickly consume the title information above and then work through the content below

Invisible frames

Invisible frames

The content is framed in concentric boxes of information; the eye is drawn to the inner "heart" of the text and then works outward to seek information

Literal Frame

Literal Frame

All of the content appears within a drawn box

Inner frame

Inner frame

The shaded text creates a frame that makes its information stand out

Menu bar

Menu bar

The menu bar divides the framed area into two sections: a header and the body; we quickly consume the title information above and then work through the content below

Columns

Columns

Within the body the text falls into two columns; the visitor can peruse assorted information on the left or a bulleted list on the right

Above the scroll

Above the scroll

Unlike the other websites, this front page requires scrolling to see all of its contents; the first frame is therefore defined by what can be seen above the scroll

Horizontal breaks

Horizontal breaks

In its full length the audience absorbs the material in horizontal chunks that are defined by visible horizontal elements

Focus for the movement

Focus for the movement

When a visitor first comes to the page, the screen is divided in thirds; because the upper and lower texts are brief, it is easy for the eye to focus on the slideshow and interpret the messages there

Columnar arrangement

Columnar arrangement

Just below the scroll is a swath of information arranged in columns

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