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.