by Avery C. Edenfield
For decades, sexual violence prevention and sexual consent have been a recurrent topic on college campuses and in popular media, most recently because of the success of the #MeToo movement. As a result, institutions are deeply invested in communicating consent information. This article problematizes those institutional attempts to teach consent by comparing them to an alternative grounded in queer politics. This alternative information may provide a useful path to redesigning consent information by destabilizing categories of gender, sexuality, and even consent itself.
ACM SIGDOC is soliciting nominations for the 2019 Rigo Award, to be awarded at the 2019 SIGDOC conference in Portland, OR. The Rigo Award celebrates an individual’s lifetime contribution to the field of communication design and is awarded every other year. The Rigo Award winner is invited to give a keynote at the SIGDOC conference.
by Michael Meng, Stephanie Steinhardt, and Andreas Schubert
Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) play a crucial role in modern software engineering. However, learning to use a new API often is a challenge for developers. In order to support the learning process effectively, we need to understand how developers use documentation when starting to work with a new API. We report an exploratory study that observed developers while they solved programming tasks involving a simple API. The results reveal differences regarding developer activities and documentation usage that a successful design strategy for API documentation needs to accommodate. Several guidelines to optimize API documentation are discussed.
by Michael Albers
East Carolina University
Michael Albers is a professor at East Carolina University, where he teaches in the professional writing program. In 1999, he completed his PhD in technical communication and rhetoric from Texas Tech University. Before coming to ECU, he taught for 8 years at the University of Memphis. He is a Senior Member of ACM. In addition to his work on CDQ, he was SIGDOC Secretary from 1999 – 2005 and the 2013 SIGDOC Conference Chair. He also chaired the Symposium on Communicating Complex Information from 2012 – 2018. Before earning his PhD, he worked for 10 years as a technical communicator, writing software documentation and performing interface design. His research interests include designing documentation on the communication of complex information.
Join us for SIGDOC 2019 in Portland, OR on Oct 4-6.
Conference theme: Broadening the Boundaries of Communication Design.
Abstract proposals are due on Jan 25 at 11:59pm PST.
Submit a research article, experience report, industry insight, or enter the student research competition.
We are happy to announce the latest issue of Communication Design Quarterly (Volume 6 Issue 4) is now live: Guest Editorial: Reimagining Disability and Accessibility in Technical and Professional Communication by Sean Zdenek Cultivating Virtuous Course Designers: Using Technical Communication
by Kristin Marie Bivens
Harold Washington College
The United States is struggling with an opioid overdose (OD) crisis. The opioid OD epidemic includes legally prescribed and illicitly acquired opioids. Regardless of if an opioid is legal, understanding users’ contexts of use is essential to design effective methods for individuals to reverse opioid OD. In other words, if health information is not designed to be contextually relevant, the opioid OD health information will be unusable. To demonstrate these distinct healthcare design contexts, I extend Patient Experience Design (PXD) to include community-based and technology-based contexts of use by analyzing two case examples of the Chicago Recovery Alliance’s and PwrdBy’s attempts to decrease deaths by opioid OD. Next, I discuss implications of community-based and technology-based PXD within communities of opioid users, critiquing each method and suggesting four contexts of use-heuristic categories to consider when designing health communication information for users in these contexts.
SIGDOC is searching for volunteer-leaders to run for election in 2019. About SIGDOC The ACM Special Interest Group for Design of Communication is a vibrant international professional organization providing a forum for researchers and practitioners of the design of communication,
by Victor Del Hierro
This article argues for the inclusion of Hip Hop communities in technical communication research. Through Hip Hop, technical communicators can address the recent call for TPC work to expand the field through culturally sensitive and diverse studies that honor communities and their practices. Using a Hip Hop community in Houston as a case study, this article discusses the way DJs operate as technical communicators within their communities. Furthermore, Hip Hop DJs build complex relationships with communities to create localized and accessible content. As technical communicators, Hip Hop practitioners can teach us to create community-based communication design for more diverse contexts.
This summer we had an incredibly successful annual conference in Milwaukee, WI. During the conference, SIGDOC leadership engaged the community in a series of listening sessions. We wanted to hear from attendees and SIGDOC members about how the organization is