Humanistic Communication in Information Centric Workplaces

by Nupoor Ranade and Jason Swarts
Professional writers adapt their skills to suit expanded professional roles that involve production and management of information, but preparation through mere skill-based training is problematic because that communication work is messy in ways that are not addressable through simple skills training. We must understand how skills “influence and shape the discursive activities surrounding their use” (Selber, 1994). This paper reports the results of a study of people trained in humanities disciplines like communication, English, writing studies, technical communication, etc., on how they have found means to employ their training in their workplace and keep what is humanistic about writing and communicating at the foreground of their interactions with information technologies. Instead of focusing on technology alone, this research encourages a unified approach to preparing students for the workplace.

Toward a Heuristic for Teaching the Visual Rhetoric of Pitch Decks: A Pedagogical Approach in Entrepreneurship Communication

by Sean Williams, Clay Spinuzzi, and Curtis Newbold
This study examined how three successful entrepreneurs/investors assessed the visual rhetoric of actual pitch decks from novice entrepreneurs. We compare their evaluations to the result of a heuristic for assessing visual rhetoric, Color CRAYONTIP. While the pitch deck is recognized as a key artifact in entrepreneurship, no studies have specifically addressed the visual design of the deck nor the key design skills novice entrepreneurs should implement to effectively persuade potential investors of the idea’s promise. This preliminary and exploratory case study begins a dialogue on this topic by performing a visual analysis of seven novice decks which were deemed successful by experienced angel investors. The analysis revealed five key skills that appear to account for the success of these decks with the reviewers: rhetorical awareness, typography, color, photography, and contrast.

CDQ Issue 7-3 is now live!

We are happy to announce the latest issue of Communication Design Quarterly (Volume 7 Issue 3) is now live:

Editorial by Book Review Editor Avery Edenfield

Game Design Documentation: Four Perspectives from Independent Game Studios
by Richard Colby and Rebekah Shultz Colby

Usability Testing for Oppression
by Joseph Bartolotta

Book Review: Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism
by Gregory Zobel

Book Review: Network Sense: Methods for Visualizing a Discipline
by Gregory Zobel

CDQ issue 7-2 is now live!

We are happy to announce the latest issue of Communication Design Quarterly (Volume 7 Issue 2) is now live:

Editorial by Derek G. Ross

Guest Editorial by Mike Albers

Testing the Difference Between Appearance and Ability Customization by Ryan Rogers and Laura Dunlow

Reducing Harm by Designing for Opioid Users’ Contexts: The Chicago Recovery Alliance’s Community-Based Context of Use and PwrdBy’s Technology-Based Context of Use by Kristen Marie Bivens

DJs, Playlists, and Community: Imagining Communication Design through Hip Hop by Victor Del Hierro

How Developers Use API Documentation: An Observation Study by Michael Meng, Stephanie Steinhardt, and Andreas Schubert

Queering Consent: Design and Sexual Consent Messaging by Avery C. Edenfield

Book Review: Rhetoric and Experience Architecture by Leslie Hankey

Usability Testing for Oppression

This study examines a document produced by the United States Department of Homeland Security handed out to immigrant parents during the “Family Separation Policy” crisis of 2018. The article examines whether such a document could be ethically tested for usability. Ultimately, the text argues that by the standards of the Belmont Report and the best practices in usability research, such a document would be extremely difficult (if not impossible) to test ethically. It argues that, while usability testing is an excellent tool for exploring how users interact with texts that can have life- changing consequences, it may also be used as a tool to perpetuate injustice and marginalize potential users.

Game Design Documentation: Four Perspectives from Independent Game Studios

by Richard Colby and Rebekah Shultz Colby
Changes in technology, development philosophy, and scale have required game designers to change how they communicate and mediate design decisions. Traditional game design studios used an extensive game design document (GDD), a meta-genre that described most of the game before it was developed. Current studies suggest that this is no longer the case. We conducted interviews at four independent game studios in order to share their game design documentation processes, revealing that, while an exhaustive GDD is rare, the meta-genre functions are preserved in a variety of mediated ways.