Welcome from the Conference Committee

Stacey Pigg, Conference Chair

Headshot of Stacey Pigg, SIGDOC Conference Chair

Stacey Pigg, NC State University

Welcome to SIGDOC 2020!

If you’re reading this, you’ve already offered us your time, which we know is a precious gift. Thank you for making space for SIGDOC in your day, and we hope that we can offer you content and interaction that makes your visit worth it.

For me, SIGDOC has always stood out as a special place for mentorship and learning. It’s a place where the presentations themselves inspire, but the conversations around them create relationships that ensure conference motivation can move into action in everyday life. 

This year, program chairs Daniel and Josie offered an exciting call focused on technology and design and extended their original focus to respond to two crucial exigences: pandemic-related communication and antiracist communication design. Local chairs Chris and Autumn have designed hospitable, Texas-style spaces for interaction for both industry and academic professionals around these themes. Finally, website manager Adam has worked tirelessly to make it all come together, along with Sonia supporting student research, Jordan supporting sponsorship, and Jason supporting our social media presence.

We hope you will watch and listen to the excellent presentation and proceedings content that contributors have shared, that you’ll engage with the Student Research Competition content to learn from our field’s emerging scholars, that you’ll leave questions and ideas for presenters in the comments section of their pages, that you’ll participate in our keynote and interactive sessions, and that you’ll check in on our Slack to converse in real-time with us and other attendees. If you have questions or become lost, we hope that you’ll reach out to us in our Slack help-desk so that we can help.

Of course, this is not the conference we imagined it would be when we began planning, but we hope that it’s one that offers you the connection, rejuvenation, and inspiration that are SIGDOC traditions. We look forward to learning with you.

Chris Lam & Autumn Hood, Local Chairs

Headshot of Chris Lam

Chris Lam, UNT

Headshot of Autumn Hood

Autumn Hood, Sabre

Greetings from Denton and UNT!

Although we can’t be together in person, we are certainly together in spirit. And although we aren’t able to host the event here at UNT, we’re hosting in spirit! Denton is not your typical city in Texas. Because of the two universities in town, we’re a diverse mix of folks from all walks of life. And we think that this year’s program reflects that. In particular, we have six local DFW UXers and communication professionals speaking at the Ignite talk event on Friday. 

Thanks for allowing us the opportunity to “host” this wonderful conference. As they say here in Texas, cheers y’all!


Josie Walwema & Daniel Hocutt, Program Chairs

Headshot of Josie Walwema

Josephine Walwema, University of Washington

Headshot of Daniel Hocutt

Daniel Hocutt, University of Richmond

We welcome you to the virtual 2020 SIGDOC Conference, an event whose format we weren’t quite planning for. In some ways the mundane activities of putting together a conference program and preparing its proceedings ran parallel and adjacent to, rather than within, the context of a world turned upside-down by rage, contagion, and protest. Yet we were deeply embedded and affected by what was happening around us – lives upended by COVID-19, the brutal murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, the ensuing protests for social justice across our nation and around the world! And yet we quietly yet resolutely carried on with the work of planning the conference, inviting and receiving manuscripts for the proceedings, soliciting reviewers and feedback, and providing guidance on the kind of remote conference presentations we plan for our rescheduled, revamped SIGDOC 2020 conference.

Like each of you, we have our own stories about how this most remarkable and tragic summer made a difference in our lives. That difference extends back to conference preparation. Recognizing that we are not removed from events around us, we’re facilitating topical conversations and inviting you to lead us in sharing how your research agendas are changing in response to two topics: pandemic-related communication and antiracist and social justice activism. As communication designers and researchers, we’re in a unique position to understand that a pandemic is as much a communication emergency as it is a medical crisis. Similarly, communication is central to facilitating information exchange, mobilization, and coordination in protest movements. From this standpoint, we can influence the way we communicate about the pandemic. Similarly, we have opportunities to engage our communities as never before in acknowledging our country’s racism and in designing research that strives toward antiracist social justice. We’re eager to learn from you, and to share the good work that you’re doing.