Deep Mapping for Environmental Communication Design

by Shannon Butts and Madison Jones.
This article shares lessons from designing EcoTour, a multimedia environmental advocacy project in a state park, and it describes theoretical, practical, and pedagogical connections between locative media and community-engaged design. While maps can help share information about places, people, and change, they also limit how we visualize complex stories. Using deep mapping, and blending augmented reality with digital maps, EcoTour helps people understand big problems like climate change within the context of their local community. This article demonstrates the rhetorical potential of community-engaged design strategies to affect users, prompt action, and create more democratic discourse in environmental communication.

2020 Career Advancement Research Grant Award Winners

The SIGDOC executive committee is pleased to announce the winners of the two Career Advancement Research Grants for 2020. Congratulations to Sweta Baniya, Ph.D for the project “Exploring Risk and Crisis Communication Practices of Transnational Feminists in Ensuring Equity and Justice During COVID-19” and to Avery Edenfield, Ph.D for the project “Queer Becomings: The Ethics, Rhetoric, and Materiality of Care in Trans Networks.” 
Congratulations again to both winners! We are excited to see this project come to fruition and are pleased to support it.

Hybrid Collectivity: Hacking Environmental Risk Visualization for the Anthropocene

by Lynda Olman and Danielle DeVasto.
In this essay, we propose a hack of existing models of environmental risk communication so that they will better address Anthropocene risks. We focus our discussion on a key area of risk communication: environmental risk visualization (ERV). Drawing on social-constructionist theories of risk and our own research on ERVs, we assemble criteria for designing and evaluating ERVs based on their hybrid collectivity—meaning their ability to collect agents around themselves over time and across traditional Modern divides between human/nonhuman, expert/nonexpert, and nature/culture. We test the criteria on two ERVs from the 2011 Fukushima disaster and discuss the resulting promises and challenges of an approach to risk communication motivated by hybrid collectivity.

Political Technical Communication and Ideographic Communication Design in a Pre-digital Congressional Campaign

by Ryan Cheek
Building on the work of technical communication scholars concerned with social justice and electoral politics, this article examines the Coray for Congress (1994) campaign as a case study to argue in support of a more formal disciplinary commitment to political technical communication (PxTC). Specifically, I closely analyze the ideographic communication design of pre-digital PxTC artifacts from the campaign archive. The type of pre-digital political communication design products analyzed in this article are ubiquitous even today. The implications of four dominant ideographs are analyzed in this case study: , , , and . Key takeaways for PxTC practitioners, educators, and scholars are discussed.

Along the Cow Path: Technical Communication Within a Jewish Cemetery

by Alexander Slotkin
Technical communication and user experience studies traditionally uphold Western onto-epistemological distinctions between technical users and objects. Recent calls for the inclusion of cultural approaches to technical communication, however, have asked scholars to consider the influence cultural knowledge has on communication design. This article takes up these calls by reading technical documentation through new materialist and Indigenous ways of knowing. Using a prominent Jewish cemetery in Gainesville, Florida as a case study, this article treats technical artifacts and subjects as co-constitutive, arguing for the cultural and material agency of technical documentation design in mediating and shaping user experience.

Official Statement from SIGDOC: A Response to Injustice

Official Statement from SIGDOC: A Response to Injustice
SIGDOC stands in solidarity with Black members of SIGDOC and the larger Black community across the United States and around the globe in the ongoing fight for justice for the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray, Tony McDade, Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, and far too many others. State-sanctioned anti-Black violence is the manifestation of systemic White supremacy in all its forms in the United States and across the globe. Black lives matter.

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.