Prototyping and Public Art: Design and Field Studies in Locative Media

by Brett Oppegaard
This experience report shares lessons learned from a multi-staged prototyping process, over a five-year period, that involved the creation and iterative development of a mobile platform and dozens of prototype examples of interactive locative-media artifacts, including locative journalism. Thematically linked to a public art collection, the mobile app was designed as a research instrument aimed at an external audience of passersby, actively using smartphones. This paper documents and outlines key decisions made about the platform and content in response to observed experiences. It also identifies emergent areas of research potential intertwined in the undertaking of such a prototyping process.

Using Bayesian Induction Methods in Risk Assessment and Communication

by J.D. Applen
Bayes’s theorem allows us to use subjective thinking to find numerical values to formulate assessments of risk. It is more than a mathematical formula; it can be thought of as an iterative process that challenges us to imagine the potential for “unknown, unknowns.” The heuristics involved in this process can be enhanced if they take into consideration some of the established risk assessment and communication models used today in technical communication that are concerned with the social construction of meaning and the kairos involved in rhetorical situations. Understanding the connection between Bayesian analysis and risk communication will allow us to better convey the potential for risk that is based on probabilistic assumptions.

CDQ Issue 8-1 is now live!

We are happy to announce the latest issue of Communication Design Quarterly (Volume 8 Issue 1) is now live. Featuring work by Daniel P. Richards, Derek G. Ross, Sonia H. Stephens, Jennifer Roth Miller, Brandy Dieterle, Jennifer deWinter, Stephanie Vie, Ryan Cheek, and Ella Browning.

Social Media in Professional, Technical, and Scientific Communication Programs: A Heuristic to Guide Future Use

by Jennifer Roth Miller, Brandy Dieterle, Jennifer deWinter, and Stephanie Vie
This article reports on the results of a research study supported by a CPTSC research grant that analyzed programmatic use of social media in professional, technical, and scientific communication programs (TPCs). This mixed-methods study included a survey of TPC program administrators (n = 29), an inventory of TPCs’ social media account use (n = 70), and an inventory of TPCs’ course offerings that included social media (n = 27). Results showed that programmatic use of social media requires strategic consideration, particularly in order to generate two-way communication, a goal of many of the TPCs studied. To that end, our article generates questions and guiding suggestions (drawn from our three-part study) to guide administrators who wish to include social media in their TPC.

Message from the Executive Committee: update on SIGDOC 2020 regarding COVID-19

Hello, SIGDOC community—
We are writing to inform you that as of right now SIGDOC 2020 in Denton, TX is still scheduled to be held as planned (October 3-4, 2020). Even though we are seven months out from the event, we want to be transparent and active in our communication with you. The safety and well-being of all conference participants is of course our priority, and as such we are—as everyone is—following updates on the situation from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Story Mapping and Sea Level Rise: Listening to Global Risks at Street Level

by Sonia H. Stephens and Daniel P. Richards
While interactive maps are important tools for risk communication, most maps omit the lived experiences and personal stories of the community members who are most at risk. We describe a project to develop an interactive tool that juxtaposes coastal residents’ video- recorded stories about sea level rise and coastal flooding with an interactive map that shows future sea level rise projections. We outline project development including digital platform selection, project design, participant recruitment, and narrative framing, and tie our design decisions to rhetorical and ethical considerations of interest for others developing interactive tools with community participation.

Career Advancement Research Grant 2019 Winners Announced

On behalf of the SIGDOC Executive Committee, we are pleased to announce this year’s winners of the Career Advancement Research Grant:

“Ideals and Realities: Exploring Usability in Born-Digital Scholarship”—Rob Grace and Jason Tham (Texas Tech University)

“Social Media Article Visualizer Project”—Stephen Carradini (Arizona State University)

Join us in congratulating these amazing scholars and wonderful projects!

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.