Cooperation between rhetoric and web page design: ethos, presence and identification on corporate web pages
Web page communication is an area of electronic communication that warrants exploration to determine how the pages on web sites engage, influence, and persuade users to act on information. Professionals that collaborate on web page creation come from different disciplines and do not agree on how web pages function, creating a gap in understanding that can hinder the planning and implementation of web pages. One approach to address the question of how web pages persuade users, and to begin to bridge the gap between professions, is to examine credible web sites from the perspectives of design and rhetoric. In this study, twenty Fortune 100 Company web sites were examined using the web design practices of page layout and color, visual images, and navigational tools, and using the rhetorical tenets of ethos, presence, and identification. The results of the study showed that ethos, presence, and identification function in cooperation with page layout and color, visual images and navigational tools to direct user attention to and influence their perception of information displayed on corporate web pages.