The questions "Can websites be categorised into visual genres?
What criteria would you use?" seem to spawn some supplementary
- What is the relationship of visual genre to category, the common form
of delineation on the Internet?
- What constitutes a visual genre and how is genre different from visual
- How is genre understood and treated on the Internet?
- What visual criteria are there?
- Which visual criterion confers a website membership of a visual genre?
- Is the existence of such a criterion on a website common among members
of website categories?
Answers to these, as well as the primary question "Can websites
be categorised into visual genres? Will be addressed in this essay.
The essay is organised into two main parts:
Firstly an exploration of genre theory, and how it is approached on the
Internet, including the relationship between category and genre, and some
research into web developers’ relationships with genre. This section attempts
to answer the first three supplementary questions.
Secondly an examination is made of criteria which may influence a website’s
membership of a visual genre. Examples of these criteria within websites
are examined. This section attempts to answer the last three supplementary
Finally the conclusion attempts to answer the primary question in the
light of these findings; namely the way that websites use visual criteria,
allied with an understanding of genre theory, and an assessment of the
general understanding of users and web designers.