Text-first design refers to the practice of designing information and UIs so they are readable/usable/actionable at least as basic plain text. It is also a form of progressive enhancement for content and interaction, first created as plain text, adding increasing amounts of non-text content such as hyperlinks or images, then layout and other styling.
Pre-web examples of plain text publishing are a useful source of empirical examples of explicit formatting using only plain text.
Much/most of this was written pre-web (1987-1993), lots of formatting conventions in the examples therein. LOD was constructed by various authors; apparently each author had their own formatting styles. For example:
---------- Test Sets ----------
Test Sets ----------
Test Sets ======
can all mean something we'd now refer to as H2; therefore it offers a wide choice of readable text formatting.
I am including this one not for it's subject matter, but rather as an example of block-quotes and paragraph styling that was common back in the day of 80 column displays and Courier-only printers...
Quotes with attribution:
"Dialectics is the soul of Marxism." [Stalin, _Problems of Leninism_, 1940]
On CNN (11:30 a.m., EDT, Apr.13, 1993), former Stanford Univ. English professor, H. Bruce Franklin, discussed the recent controversy over the Soviet document on U.S. Vietname POWS.
Posts about text first design:
- 2014-12-27 Tantek Çelik http://tantek.com/2014/361/t8/text-first-design-universal-listenable-accessible
text first design is a form of universal design: listenable, more accessible. also a path to progressive enhancement.