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DOC Tables of Contents: 0506070809101112131415

ACM 2015 International Conference on Design of Communication

Fullname:Proceedings of the 33rd ACM International Conference on Design of Communication
Editors:Kathie Gossett; Angie Mallory; Dawn M. Armfield
Location:Limerick, Ireland
Dates:2015-Jul-16 to 2015-Jul-17
Standard No:ISBN: 978-1-4503-3648-2; ACM DL: Table of Contents; hcibib: DOC15
Links:Conference Website
  1. Abstracts
  2. Extended abstracts
  3. Experience reports
  4. Research papers
Intentionally recursive: a participatory model for mentoring BIBAFull-Text 0
  Patricia Sullivan; Michele Simmons; Kristen Moore; Lisa Meloncon; Liza Potts
Technical Communication as an academic field is complex and in need of well-mentored faculty. This article reports on an initiative to improve mentoring of faculty and practitioners that has been underway for three years. We have focused on listening to needs expressed by women in Technical Communication (#womeninTC), comparing what they expressed about their experiences and needs to literature on mentoring models, and developing resources that do a more comprehensive job of addressing their experiences and needs. Our goals are to improve mentoring in ways that are sustainable for faculty and working technical communicators at the same time as we grow a sturdier field.


Portable pedagogy: how interaction design made us better teachers BIBAFull-Text 1
  Laura Gonzales; Rebecca Zantjer; Howard Fooksman
This presentation discusses findings from research conducted with students, faculty, and other university stakeholders around the user experience of assignment writing sheets. We demonstrate how the pedagogical and theoretical takeaways from this research have been translated into personas, conceptual models, and interactive mockups for PromptMe -- a web application that prompts data-driven conversations between instructors and students regarding expectations in assignment sheets. At SIGDOC, we will share our designs, discuss how we see pedagogy reflected in Prompt Me, and highlight the value of designing technologies as a learning strategy. This conversation will spark ideas for enacting democratic teaching through interaction design.
The resonance and residue of the first African American newspaper: how freedom's journal created space in the early 19th century BIBAFull-Text 2
  Valerie Kasper
The Resonance and Residue of the First African American Newspaper: How Freedom's Journal Created Space in the Early 19th Century provides an interdisciplinary approach to historical material that illustrates an alternative history in this country -- a history of and by African Americans. By combining both print and digital research methodologies, new historical information can be discovered that illustrates how the first African American newspaper fought against the influences of white society in the early 19th century and created a space for the black community that became meaningful enough to transform it into a space in which African Americans identified as Americans.
From connect-exchange to ConnectX: the (iterative) story of a mobile app BIBAFull-Text 3
  Elizabeth Oderkirk; Kimberly Jung
Students and faculty studying abroad do not have one multipurpose tool they can use to document and reflect upon their experiences, as well as navigate and understand unfamiliar cultures. To address this, we designed a mobile application that supports and fosters intercultural competence through content sharing. Users tag their media with relevant terms and post it to a stream, allowing peers to interact with others' cross-cultural experiences. We conducted interviews that challenged preconceived proto-personas and allowed us to follow iterative methods to develop a mobile environment that fulfills the need for reflecting upon intercultural situations before, during, and after study abroad.
Government transparency in the U.S?: the ethics, functional literacy, and usability of open geographic government data BIBAFull-Text 4
  Clayton Benjamin
This presentation reports on interviews conducted with Open Code Orlando Brigade members in regards to public information and geodata. Open Code Orlando Brigade is a volunteer group of coders who strive to make public data accessible for both business and public use. However, the public data which they gain access to is often released in static PDFs or file formats which rely on expensive software to open. Therefore, the members of the Brigade must find work arounds to make public information dynamic and useful for public use. The research reports on the ethics and usability of this open public data.
They'lI Ve: combining surrealist research and computer-mediated tools for social justice BIBAFull-Text 5
  Landon Berry
This poster presentation will focus on the Surrealist logic behind a hand-coded website entitled "They'lI Ve," and how it can be combined with computer-mediated tools to create a collaborative invention space aimed at combating global or local issues. In particular, this presentation will demonstrate how the use of Surrealist logic can be used to create constraints on user input that can paradoxically liberate an individual's thought processes as he/she navigates and engages said issues.
What's a better category?: shavers or father's day gifts? BIBAFull-Text 6
  Joseph Yun
Consumer websites such as Amazon.com categorize products both according to themes (i.e. Christmas Gifts) as well as according to taxonomies (i.e. Electronics). With thousands of items to choose from, categorization potentially plays a role in reducing the effects of "choice overload". Utilizing the environment of a university course catalog to test taxonomic (i.e. Computer Science) against thematic categorization (i.e. Choosing a Career). I found that thematic categorization has both immediate and delayed effects: Thematic (vs. taxonomic) categorizing created a more difficult and frustrating process of choosing, however, thematic categories kept individuals browsing longer on secondary pages.
Picturing information for money: visual usage in humanities-based grant applications BIBAFull-Text 7
  Angelia Giannone
Incorporating visuals into technical documents functions as rhetorical and document design moves intended to: simplify dense text, draw attention to particular aspects, or convey emotion. Proposal writing literature, however, tends toward content and text-based analysis and production with little emphasis on visual communication. With this opportunity, this study investigates visual usage in nineteen successful National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) proposals to codify visual practices, describe current uses, and recognize opportunities to better integrate visual communication into this high-stakes genre. Results show that proposal writers in the humanities field seem to use text manipulations frequently and effectively, though there also seems to be little consistency concerning the actual form of typographical manipulations for specific purposes. Further, usage of graphical visuals appears to be an underrepresented aspect of proposal writing both in frequency of incorporating visuals and also diversity and complexity of visuals when they are incorporated in proposals.

Extended abstracts

Barriers to publishing visual rhetoric research BIBAFull-Text 8
  Kathryn M. Northcut
This paper describes the challenges of reproducing artwork as part of the analytical, evaluative, and critical work of scholars of visual rhetoric.
Interactive data visualization for risk assessment: can there be too much user agency? BIBAFull-Text 9
  Sonia H. Stephens
Audiences using interactive data visualizations can experience varying levels of agency as they employ these tools to select scenarios and explore data. While a high level of user agency is often framed in positive terms, this poster presentation argues that too much user agency may be detrimental in certain situations. It focuses on interactive visualizations that display risks associated with sea-level rise (SLR). In these tools, designer constraints on the range of SLR and strong authorial messaging can reduce user agency, but may better inform understanding and decision-making by users.
Economies of type: the public quest for cheap printing BIBAFull-Text 10
  Heather Noel Turner
This poster tracks the ways social media users associate discourse surrounding typeface and cost of ink in order to analyze the circulation of sustainable design on social media and the implications for professional writers, technical communicators, and designers. I will track the circulation of Pixart's Printing "The True Cost of Printing in Comic Sans" infographic across Pinterest and analyze the way(s) this visual is tagged by users. As a preliminary discourse analysis, this poster collects and analyzes public conversations as qualitative data to investigate how the public places this text on the cost of printing typefaces in different discourse communities in order to show awareness or interest of sustainable design.
A prototype theory approach to internationalizing information design in health and medical communication BIBAFull-Text 11
  Kirk St. Amant
As health and medical communication become increasingly international in scope, information designers need to find ways to create visuals that best address the expectations of different cultural audiences. Doing so can be challenging, particularly if the related content is on health or medical topics. Prototype theory, however, can provide a foundation for a framework information designers can use to better understand such issues. This entry provides an overview of how prototype theory can be used to address such factors.
Globalizing technical communication research through digital mapping BIBAFull-Text 12
  Adam Strantz
This poster explores the concept of cultural dislocation that students experience in working in new, unfamiliar cultures. Detailing the results of a case study following a study abroad course in Dundee, Scotland, I offer a method for focusing on location as an important aspect of writing in global contexts. Using mobile tools and mapping software to place student research practices in the context of their locations, this method offers a way for technical communication instructors to highlight research as implicitly tied to the locations and cultures where work happens.
Re-imag(in)ing the digital domestic sphere: a critical-creative study of photography and motherhood in the 21st century BIBAFull-Text 13
  Lindsey Harding
My research explores the relationship between photography and motherhood and, more specifically, the cultural construction of motherhood through digital photographs. The methodology of this critical-creative investigation involves two parts: 1) a case study analysis of select images of the author's children from her personal digital photography collections and 2) the development of a digital platform that encourages reflective engagement in domestic photographs and values the ambiguity and complexity of motherhood. Here, I demonstrate how the contextualization and design of visual media can restore historical specificity to domestic images and enable them to reflect personal experiences of motherhood.
Designing smartphone apps for at risk populations: domestic violence survivors and user experience BIBAFull-Text 14
  Brandy Dieterle
This poster session discusses the interface design for a smartphone app interface intended to empower domestic violence survivors by giving them greater control over geolocation services. User experience and feedback from local domestic violence representatives and administrators were critical to the final interface design. The three main features of the app to be discussed are: a scan feature to check for and notify users of apps using geolocation services; a feature that would completely disable geolocation services; and an option to receive a pop-up notification any time an app attempts to use geolocation services.
Interactive story: project management from inception to testing BIBAFull-Text 15
  Sara Raffel
"Getting a Job at Nikki's Place," an interactive mobile story, uses the ARIS platform to tell the history of the Parramore neighborhood of Orlando, Florida through the eyes of the restaurant's owner, Nick Aiken. In April 2015, the project team tested a prototype of the application with ten fourth and fifth graders from Nap Ford Community School. This presentation discusses the prototype's testing and development from a project management perspective, and incorporates observations from the testing into a case study that explains how the team used the experience to write a handbook for creating mobile stories in the classroom.
The impact of the interface: responding to student writing in CMS's BIBAFull-Text 16
  Mikal Post
This paper discusses the use of course management systems to grade student writing.

Experience reports

Participating in project management experiences in the workplace BIBAFull-Text 17
  Benjamin Lauren
This experience report demonstrates how a multinational software company attempted to train employees with a new project management software platform through the use of play. The report begins by briefly reviewing recent research on the role of play in workplace training. Second, the report explains how the company used play to train employees in a new project management platform. Third, the report describes a stalemate between some employees and management about using the new software and details how the confusion disrupted in the team's workflow. Last, the report reflects on ways a participatory dialogue can be used to make play a viable form of workplace training.
Design process for user interaction with robotic manipulators in industrial internet applications BIBAFull-Text 18
  Doris Aschenbrenner; Michael Fritscher; Felix Sittner; Klaus Schilling
In the paper we want to share our experiences in developing a new telemaintenance system for industrial robots in an active production environment. This has been achieved within a three-year research project. In this article we describe the design methods we have used, and our evaluation approaches.
   The challenge of developing user interfaces for those prototypes lies in the special requirements of the industrial work domain. Highly sophisticated technical tasks need to be carried out under time pressure and in a noisy environment. The human machine interaction of the remote tasks is especially difficult. There's no experience with those remote tasks, as they are only possible with the developed technology.
   The scope of the paper lies in the design process, not in the evaluation results, which will be published separately.
Teaching public speaking without the public: making a case for virtual audiences BIBAFull-Text 19
  Jill Manderson; Binod Sundararajan; Linda Macdonald
This exercise was undertaken to determine whether using a closed video presentation platform as part of a first-year university course could be an aid in teaching public speaking, which could, in turn, support the use of such a system in a blended learning environment. We reviewed grades given by self and peers on video presentations, as well as grades given by instructors and markers in similar in-class presentations, then asked students questions on the effectiveness (n-115). The preliminary findings indicate that students gained confidence from using the video platform, which correlated with improved public speaking skills. We also found, in the first of three tracked assignments, a correlation between the grades given by peers (on video) and the grades given by instructors (in-class) indicating the students' ability to assess themselves and their peers in a manner similar to the instructors'. We conclude that public speaking can be taught without the public.
Leading participant-centered research: an argument for taking a more strategic role as user experience architects BIBAFull-Text 20
  Cait Ryan; Liza Potts
In this experience report, we discuss our experiences in negotiating participant-based research in industry projects. For the past twenty years, academics and practitioners of participant-based research have worked to integrate practices and methods to improve the user experience of products and services. While it is clear that industry is seeing value in participant-centered research, there are difficulties in putting it into practice. Building upon prior research on methods with a firm foundation in technical communication and our experiences working on product teams, we argue that recognizing similarities of method across disparate schools of thought is one way to lead as experience architects. The goal of this work is to propose that we think and act in more strategic ways about participant-centered research as we work with product marketing and service development across our organizations. By reconsidering this work and our roles, we can work across organizations to guide and lead research that can benefit the organization as user experience architects, much in the same way that content strategists have met with success.
Moving from site to presence with a writing program's online identity BIBAFull-Text 21
  Seán McCarthy
This report explores the activity of a graduate "Digital Rhetoric" class that was largely responsible for the redesign of a stand-alone writing program's institutional website and its migration to a new, institutionally-mandated content management system. Despite notable successes, the class-based project failed to take into account the complex socio-technical networks that inform institutional websites. Building on these findings, the project continues -- not just to improve the website, but to map a "presence" for the department that is both distributed across multiple online publishing platforms and embedded in teaching and research within the program.
Responsive, mobile app, mobile first: untangling the UX design web in practical experience BIBAFull-Text 22
  Cheri Mullins
This experience report describes some recent experiences in user interface design for responsive websites, native mobile applications, and mobile-first designs for a corporation supporting multiple platforms, multiple products, and multiple customer types. In order to situate the information and comparisons, the paper includes discussion of certain supporting methodologies, technologies, skill sets, and approaches typical in each. Some of the expected and perceived benefits and drawbacks to these design methods are discussed in the contexts of various stakeholders. This discussion is not an attempt to define or teach these methodologies, but rather to examine certain relative merits and shortfalls of each in context.
Capturing social value in UX projects BIBAFull-Text 23
  Andrew Mara; Miriam Mara
In this experience report, authors detail how qualitative User Experience (UX) research aligned the interests of UX researchers with the interests of the communities being investigated to increase participant engagement. Because UX research is designed to maximize insights into user motivation, part of UX ethical concerns should include how insights get integrated into the communities where the technology is deployed. This report discusses successes and challenges of drawing conclusions from qualitative research in an annual art event. In the Fargo-Moorhead Art Marathon, content creators collected user data, collaboratively strategized with participants, and refined a three-year-old event that has grown from a loose assortment of performances into a ten-day multi-mediated art event created for alternative art engagement. The authors, who conducted initial research to create a phone app to track the participant progress, report on how event data during was evaluated and folded into the next iteration.
HART: the human affect recording tool BIBAFull-Text 24
  Jaclyn Ocumpaugh; Ryan S. Baker; Ma Mercedes Rodrigo; Aatish Salvi; Martin van Velsen; Ani Aghababyan; Taylor Martin
This paper evaluates the Human Affect Recording Tool (HART), a Computer Assisted Direct Observation (CADO) application that facilitates scientific sampling. HART enforces an established method for systematic direct observation in Educational Data Mining (EDM) research, the Baker Rodrigo Ocumpaugh Monitoring Protocol [25] [26]. This examination provides insight into the design of HART for rapid data collection for both formative classroom assessment and educational research. It also discusses the possible extension of these tools to other domains of affective computing and human computer interaction.
Designing an archive for born-digital dissertations BIBAFull-Text 25
  Kathie Gossett
While many dissertations and theses continue to be largely print-based, increasingly the systems being used to archive these documents require digital formats for deposit into their system. The dissertations and theses are then indexed and easily searchable through Google and various library interfaces. However, new types of digital dissertations and theses are being "born-digital" -- that is projects that are conceived and authored as works of new media -- these new types of dissertations and theses often contain elements and media that are not depositable in existing systems such as ProQuest and ETD. The need to develop an open system that would support all digital file types (e.g., HTML/CSS, .mov or .mp4, or XML, JAVA, or PHP, etc.) became apparent. The Digital Dissertation Depository (D3) sought to begin the work of building an open-source, open-access a system to support these born-digital dissertations and theses.
My reviewers: participatory design & crowd-sourced usability processes BIBAFull-Text 26
  Cassandra Branham; Joe Moxley; Val Ross
This paper explores the benefits and consequences of employing crowd-sourced development and usability processes during the early stages of a software-development project. Our context is My Reviewers, a suite of web-based tools designed to facilitate document markup, team projects, peer review, e-portfolio review, and writing-program assessment. Since 2009, WPAs (Writing Program Administrators) at USF (University of South Florida) have been collaborating with instructors at USF as well as with WPAs and instructors at other colleges and universities to develop My Reviewers.
   To illustrate our development and usability processes and to highlight the benefits of working with diverse institutions, we provide a case study of a USF and University of Pennsylvania collaboration to develop e-portfolio tools. We conclude by noting ways our usability processes have matured along with the tool, including adoption of more traditional SCRUM methods and Microsoft Team Foundation Server.
Universal scent blackbox: engaging visitors communication through creating olfactory experience at art museum BIBAFull-Text 27
  Mei-Kei Lai
This paper describes the experience of experimental artwork "Universal Scent Blackbox", which encourages visitors interaction through creating olfactory experience in art museum. Smell is used as the evocative interface between the artwork and the visitors. When a visitor passed by a certain area, it would trigger the odor emission in another area for the other visitors. The visitors on another side could trigger the odor emission back as well. Throughout the experience, visitors can freely explore the scents around the area of the artwork. In addition, the visitors can express their memories of smell through writing onto origami boxes which contribute as a part of the city model of the artwork. The artwork consisted of all the visitors' memories expression and communication at the end of exhibition. The aim of this paper is neither technology investigation nor user experience evaluation. Instead it is an open-end exploration which questions the role of olfactory interface in art museum context and provokes the insights about olfactory interaction design in Human-Computer Interaction. The artwork becomes the inspirational probe to explore the possibilities of olfactory interface with the users when designing for communication. The benefits and drawbacks of the chosen approach towards olfactory interaction design would be discussed. I would also address the lessons learned behind throughout the process.
User-created persona: Namibian rural Otjiherero speakers BIBAFull-Text 28
  Daniel G. Cabrero
Persona is a communicative artefact for usability that currently functions under the umbrella of User-Centred Design (UCD). Since we argue usability methods differ across cultures, this project presents a cross-cultural research probe on persona generated by indigenous Otjiherero speakers in Namibia. The objective is to find out how participants in this milieu take on, understand and portray persona artefacts, what goals of User Experience (UX) emerge from the inquiry, and whether the artefacts created simulate or differ from those in literature. Tentative methods scaffold from benefits attained by persona in the attempt to advance persona technical communication in cross-cultural design. This experience report presents initial findings on narrative content, rhetorical preferences, and the physical layout of persona artefacts as so-far constructed by Otjiherero speakers in rural Namibia. The report draws to a close reflecting on present challenges and advances, and indicating upcoming pathways.
Thinking tools for moving across boundaries BIBAFull-Text 29
  Sarah Tinker Perrault; Susan Verba; Sumayyah Ahmed; Prerna Dudani; Yohei Kato
An interdisciplinary team (from Design, Community Development, Computer Science, and Rhetoric & Writing) created an interactive, updateable timeline showing the Evolution of Participatory Practices (EPP) in five disciplines over 50 years; the team members also documented and reflected on their own participatory practices. This Experience Report describes how the EPP timeline was created and what the team learned about interdisciplinary work in the process. It offers insights that may help other interdisciplinary groups overcome communication differences ranging from the simple (different vocabularies), to the complex (different definitions of shared terms), to the nearly invisible (the powerful, tacit epistemological assumptions underlying each discipline) by conceptualizing the work process in terms of an interdisciplinary rationality island and seeing the timeline as a boundary object. It also describes how making the process itself an object of study ensured that the reflective work necessary to effective teamwork got done.
Effective user experience in online technical communication courses: employing multiple methods within organizational contexts to assess usability BIBAFull-Text 30
  Marjorie Rush Hovde
In teaching online technical communication courses, shaping an electronic interface requires extensive consideration of the user experience, both for students and for faculty members who design and teach the courses. Technical communication faculty members should provide strong examples of effective user experiences and should be leaders in making the interfaces of online learning management systems as usable as possible.
   Principles of usability designed for general web sites may or may not apply to learning management systems designed for educational purposes. In order to create effective online technical communication courses, one needs to consider both usability concerns and pedagogical concerns.
   To assess the usability and pedagogical effectiveness of online courses, faculty members may use indirect means such as heuristic analyses. In addition, they may use direct means such as usability testing, student feedback, and analytic tools. Each approach has advantages as well as limitations. Faculty members will gain the richest information through using multiple approaches.
   In assessing usability and pedagogical effectiveness, faculty members also need to consider the situational constraints and resources in their unique contexts. Understanding and adapting their approaches to use resources well and to work within constraints will benefit their abilities to enhance their student users' experiences with online courses.

Research papers

The obese body as interface: fat studies, medical data, and infographics BIBAFull-Text 31
  Marie Moeller
In a recent issue of CDQ, Aparicio and Costa (2014) present a discussion of the long history of data visualization, articulating that data visualization is, again, gaining in popularity and attention. Included in this discussion of data visualization is a subset of data visualization -- infographics. Such inclusion is apt, considering that Blythe, Lauer, and Curran (2014) found that infographics are one of the top 10 genres in which alumni of technical communication programs reported that they generate on the job site and within their own lives.
   With regard to the importance of and renewed interest in data visualization (and by extension infographics), in this article I call attention to a specific use of the infographic -- as a form of data visualization from health-related organizations of medical and statistical data regarding obesity. Through analysis of obesity infographics, I argue that infographics about medical data can (and do) feminize the "obese" body and claims the female body as an efficient instrument of normalization and cultural management.
   To do so, I rhetorically analyze obesity infographics to illustrate that the infographic genre's goals -- to simplify, clarify, and deliver complex information in a visually compelling manner -- can exercise problematic commitments to expediency and illustrate problematic notions of exigence [Katz, 1992; Ward, 2010; Dragga & Voss 2001]. Such commitments, encourage misreadings of medical data and, by extension, the infographics that convey data regarding body categorizations and notions of health.
   By obfuscating how infographics potentially drive simplification of terms that reify the narrow frames with which we understand "obesity" and "obese" bodies, I argue that such visual representations of data can also serve a metonymic function for ever-narrowing cultural conceptualizations of obesity-as-detriment and obesity-as-bodily-fault. Further, I argue that such problematic use infographics can reduce the complexities of the body and definitions of the body, especially of the "obese" body and definitions of "obesity," with the effect of potentially pathologizing, managing and normalizing information and bodies under the guise of promoting "health" and "healthy living." Interfacing with medical data in this way, in other words, can be both understandable and yet highly problematic; this article illustrates how and why.
Dispelling myths, motivating action: rhetorical complexities and information challenges in the heart healthy advocacy website, go red for women BIBAFull-Text 32
  Antoinette Larkin
In this paper, the design challenges inherent in achieving Kenneth Burke's consubstantiality -- shared identification between people and/or organizations achieved through the practice of rhetoric -- is explored in the branded heart health awareness and advocacy website of the Go Red for Women Movement. Nelson et al identify a two-stage process for health communication: an awareness stage which pushes messages for an audience to contemplate often via television and social media, and a pull phase where the audience pulls health information from mediated sources such as a website. A consubstantial site has effective navigation, design and content. The American Medical Association's guidelines for health information (HI) sites urges the inclusion of a robust search engine, FAQs, a site map and accessibility statement and text accessible to a wide audience (i.e. sixth grade reading level) which when adopted further consubstantiality. From a semiotics perspective, the modality and salience of photographs that accompany text on an HI site are also vital to enhance inclusivity and consubstantiality, as is promotional graphics such as the logo. Information designers need to resist branding demands which often sacrifice above-the-fold space to photographs without high information value. In this instance, without culturally relevant photographs and images, the HI site remains stuck in a push phase with HI seekers being contemplators of rather than actors in their own heart health. By practicing consubstantiality, information designers can help HI seekers become engaged actors.
Factors to actors: implications of posthumanism for social justice work BIBAFull-Text 33
  Emma J. Rose; Rebecca Walton
Contexts, tools, and other nonhuman factors are central to the practice and scholarship of technical communication, particularly communication design. But viewed through the lens of posthumanism, these considerations shift from factors to actors: the hierarchy between humans and nonhumans flattens, and the agency of nonhuman actors and assemblages of actors can be explicitly recognized and accounted for. Planning for the agentive capacities of human and nonhuman actors is a strategy with particular promise for work in social justice. This paper demonstrates how posthumanism can contribute to social justice research in technical communication: presenting two strengths of posthumanism for informing this work and two concerns which may threaten the goals of social justice. Illustrating these points, we present data from a study of transit-dependent bus riders' experiences, demonstrating how posthumanism expands considerations for design. We conclude with three implications to guide scholars in viewing social justice issues through lenses of posthumanism.
Designing tools to support advanced users in new forms of social media interaction BIBAFull-Text 34
  Hyunggu Jung; Sungsoo (Ray) Hong; Perry Meas; Mark Zachry
Interface design practices in social media systems change rapidly, routinely presenting new tools and functionalities. In order to attract a broad base of users and acceptance of system enhancements, interface designs are typically highly conventional, building on best practices in HCI. In such systems, the needs of advanced users are often secondary. To probe how the design of tools should be adjusted to the needs of advanced users, we created CrediVis, a tool for visualizing multi-dimensional user data in Wikipedia. Through a two-round study of advanced users, we find that such users value specialized and complex tools designed to fit their needs. We further observed that although they value such advanced tools they prefer conventional rather than novel interface design. Our study suggests that tool design for advanced users must be closely aligned with needs that can be co-discovered with advanced users.
Socio-technical gaps in online collaborative consumption (OCC): an example of the Etsy community BIBAFull-Text 35
  Ali Gheitasy; José Abdelnour-Nocera; Bonnie Nardi
This study attempts to investigate socio-technical gaps in online collaborative consumption (OCC) in order to improve its user experience, and interaction design requirements. A new combined methodological framework, "predictive ethnography", is proposed to evaluate OCC. Due to its features as a community where OCC takes place, Etsy is the focus of this study. The results from this study, suggest that the sociability issues have more significance in this community compared to the usability problems. The most significant socio-technical gaps concerned Trust creation features such as customers' reviews and rating systems, Relevant rules of behaviour, Clear displayed policies, and Social presence tools.
Using social media sentiment analysis for interaction design choices: an exploratory framework BIBAFull-Text 36
  Mark McGuire; Constance Kampf
Social media analytics is an emerging skill for organizations. Currently, developers are exploring ways to create tools for simplifying social media analysis. These tools tend to focus on gathering data, and using systems to make it meaningful. However, we contend that making social media data meaningful is by nature a human-computer interaction problem. We examine this problem around the emerging field of sentiment analysis, exploring criteria for designing sentiment analysis systems based in Human Computer interaction, HCI. We contend that effective sentiment analysis affects audience analysis, and can serve as a basis for communication design choices that support strategic relationship goals for organizations.
Putting GamerGate in context: how group documentation informs social media activity BIBAFull-Text 37
  Michael Trice
In this paper, I begin the process of examining the value of organizational documentation in evaluating social media activism. I take a rhetorical analysis approach to some of the documentation associated with the GamerGate movement and compare traits within the documentation to social media artifacts and metadata to determine how well the documents reflect the active network in regards to desired behavior and goals. Additionally, I examine the challenges in this approach given the anonymity and diffusion of authorship. Finally, I look at how documentation analysis can help inform big data analysis in online activism.
Emphasizing technical communication as the intersection of STEM and humanities BIBAFull-Text 38
  Alice Daer
As a multidisciplinary field, technical communication is an ideal profession and disciplinary hub within the university for those who wish to bridge engineering with humanities. More specifically, the areas of technical communication represented by SIGDOC are particularly well-suited to house the best work of those seeking better humanities and STEM interactions, especially those concerned with information and interface design; the design of human-computer interaction; data presentation and interaction; workflow analysis and tools; user experience; and participatory design. Indeed the space occupied by us in SIGDOC stands poised for growth. It is here in our concern for an increasingly more intensive pursuit toward better designs for communication that I argue we can bridge production and use; design and uptake; utility and critique.
Identifying latent variables in nonprofit proposal writing: results of two structural equation models BIBAFull-Text 39
  Sarah K. Gunning
This study describes the results of two structural equation models tested within the nonprofit industry. Prior research requested that researchers assess complexity of proposal development, including collaborative and computer-based authoring. Complex interactions are difficult to directly measure, but factor analysis can account for latent variables.
   The study uses structural equation modeling to measure contributors to proposal writers' "Job satisfaction" and "Likeliness to contribute to knowledge management system." The researcher used a 126-item survey to collect 580 responses from members of professional organizations for fundraisers. Five significant pathways explained 25.6% of variance in "Job satisfaction": "Interpersonal trust," "Role in organization," "Learning via books/articles," "Relationship with management," and "Organizational processes." Three factors' pathways accounted for 21.1% of variance within "Likeliness to contribute to KM.": "Relationship with management," "Knowledge acquisition habits," and "Role in organization."
   This work contributes to a preliminary understanding of how communication processes contribute to the proposal writing process.
Users to the rescue: the role of user-generated content (UGC) in the Minnesota affordable care act (ACA) website launch BIBAFull-Text 40
  Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch
This paper examines the potential of User-Generated Content (UGC) as a site of research for web usability. Specifically, this paper shares a case study of blog responses that detailed user experiences with the 2013 launch of MNsure.org, a high-stakes website created to facilitate the online purchase of health insurance in response to the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA). A content analysis of blog responses, informed by qualitative content analysis [1], revealed poor usability of the site, including a low effectiveness rate, several critical errors, and low satisfaction. User stories were remarkably detailed, offering valuable information for website repairs. Connections between UGC and traditional web usability methods such as usability testing were explored in terms of "community," "participation," and "metrics." Overall, the case demonstrated the potential value of UGC content analysis as a complement to traditional usability testing.
Graphical abstracts: a taxonomy and critique of an emerging genre BIBAFull-Text 41
  Suzanne Lane; Andreas Karatsolis; Lily Bui
Graphical abstracts -- visual representations of the central concepts in an article -- are emerging as a genre in STEM fields. Originally used in Chemistry to represent the primary molecules and reactions under investigation, graphical abstracts have spread to other science and engineering fields, and in the process have evolved significantly, adapting for different disciplines and contexts. In this paper, we describe the emergence and current ecology of graphical abstracts, and develop a multi-layer taxonomy for analyzing how graphical abstracts function visually and rhetorically, in relation to the rest of their associated article, and to their mediated context. Using this taxonomy, we begin to suggest ways for authors, editors, and publishers to align the functions more productively.
Envisioning mobile apps for audio description: exploring universal design of national park service brochures BIBAFull-Text 42
  Brett Oppegaard; Thomas Conway; Megan Conway
Unigrid" design specifications created by Massimo Vignelli have provided the standards for the layout of paper brochures at U.S. National Park Service sites for more than three decades. These brochures offer visitors a familiar analog presentation of visual information, blending text, photographs, maps, and illustrations. These materials, however, are not accessible to people who are blind, have low vision, or a print disability. The National Park Service for decades has been challenged -- by requirements and principle -- to offer alternate formats that provide equivalent experiences and information of these print materials. In other words, people who are blind or visually impaired should have access to a "brochure" experience, too. This exploratory study, funded by the National Park Service, takes a new approach to this long-term problem by conducting a content analysis of current Unigrid brochures to determine their fundamental components, found in practice. This components-based approach is intended to provide clear pathways for cross-modal translation of the printed material into audio-described media, which then, can be efficiently distributed via mobile apps, as an extension of these original components.
Building foundations for the crowd: minimalist author support guides for crowdsourced documentation wikis BIBAFull-Text 43
  Luke Thominet
Social help systems are changing the role of professional technical communicators from directly writing documentation to the support of amateurs who write documentation. This paper looks at one genre of social documentation -- the crowdsourced documentation wiki -- and explores how author support guides on these wikis are constructed. Ultimately, the paper argues that author support guides can be reconceptualized as documentation, and consequently that documentation design theories can be used to improve the construction of these guides. The paper concludes by showing how minimalist documentation design theory can improve the way we support amateur authors on these wikis.
Designing mobility apps to support intermodal travel chains BIBAFull-Text 44
  Claas Digmayer; Sara Vogelsang; Eva-Maria Jakobs
Sustainable intermodal transportation is a promising approach to counter increasing CO2 emissions and mobility restrictions in big cities. However, the broad range of travel services hinders users in planning, booking, and processing trips. Such problems can be addressed by offering self-services as mobile applications. Designers of traveler information apps (TIA) must consider which activities travelers need to perform during all phases of an intermodal trip (travel chain) and provide adequate support. To date, the scientific literature lacks models of intermodal travel chains.
   In this paper, the need for support in each phase of an intermodal trip is examined: Intermodal chains are modeled with a literature-based and a scenario-based approach; phases, steps, activities, and required support are identified and compared to unimodal travel chains. Implications for the design of a TIA are discussed.
Addressing sociotechnical gaps in the design and deployment of digital resources in rural Kenya BIBAFull-Text 45
  Jose Abdelnour Nocera; Souleymane Camara
We argue that designing any aspect of information technology requires an understanding of sociotechnical gaps. These gaps are inherent issues deriving from the difference between what is required socially, or culturally, and what can be done technically. In the context of a British-Kenyan project, we introduce an approach for addressing sociotechnical gaps in the design and deployment of digital resources in resource-constrained and culturally different environments. We illustrate how despite having an online, asynchronous tool to visualise sociotechnical gaps among different stakeholders in a design team, we had to complement it with a pen and paper design metaphor elucidation exercise to elicit and visualise locally meaningful user interface elements.
User preferences of software documentation genres BIBAFull-Text 46
  Ralph H. Earle; Mark A. Rosso; Kathryn E. Alexander
Today's technical software users find a wide variety of content online, from videos to forum posts to online articles. This study examines the extent to which the genre of this content matters to the users searching for it. It presents the findings of a new exploratory study that addresses the significance of genre preferences to the users, given that genre is secondary to their actual business goals. It looks at documentation users' usage of, and attitudes towards, documentation genres, and how factors such as work role and past experience come into play. Our conclusions can help individuals who formulate content strategies to understand the extent and strength of genre usage. This in turn can help them determine a strategic mix of documentation genres.
Target data breach: applying user-centered design principles to data breach notifications BIBAFull-Text 47
  Fer O'Neil
This article uses the 2013 Target data breach to illustrate the need for creating a model for companies' communications for data breach notifications. Companies have a duty of responsibility to their customers when hackers steal customer information. This responsibility includes how they communicate the extent and severity of the breach, how it affects individual customers, and what customers need to do to protect themselves. I approach this case from the multi-disciplinary field of technical communication to demonstrate why certain principles from technical communication are preferred to communicate this important information to customers. Using a heuristic approach combined with methods of rhetorical analysis, this article analyzes a data breach notification to evaluate the rhetorical effectiveness of the notification from the user-centered design perspective.
How do entrepreneurs hone their pitches?: analyzing how pitch presentations develop in a technology commercialization competition BIBAFull-Text 48
  Clay Spinuzzi; Gregory Pogue; R. Scott Nelson; Keela S. Thomson; Francesca Lorenzini; Rosemary A. French; Sidney D. Burback; Joel Momberger
Technology innovators must pitch their technology and its business value to potential buyers, partners, and distributors: to make claims that will create interest in the appropriate audiences and offer evidence that those audiences recognize as credible and applicable. Such pitches typically involve a spoken presentation and a slide deck, both of which must persuade stakeholders. The pitch represents a rhetorically complex argument backed by many interconnected genres.
   We examine how innovators in an entrepreneurship development program, structured as a competition, developed pitches in response to feedback. We examine pitch changes in terms of overall structure, individual claims and evidence, and engagement tactics. Our findings suggest that presenters found this task of adjusting their pitches to be difficult, partly because the training program's current feedback does not separate out these different aspects. We recommend developing a heuristic to better structure arguments.
Digital badges for deliberate practice: designing effective badging systems for interactive communication scenarios BIBAFull-Text 49
  Joseph R. Fanfarelli; Rudy McDaniel
This paper investigates the role of digital badging in technical and professional communication for supporting deliberate practice, or practice that is done with intent to improve a skill or ability. The focus is on deliberate practice as it relates to information design and writing within interactive environments. Deliberate practice is deconstructed into its required components with connections established between these components, badges, and best practices in the literature. Relevant theories are discussed and examples are used to demonstrate strategies for implementing badging systems for deliberate practice within technical and professional environments. The takeaway from this paper is that digital badging systems present opportunities to foster deliberate practice. This practice can then improve a variety of skills and abilities within complex environments, both for improving design and better training end users. Our paper synthesizes findings from the literature to suggest a number of best practices for designing opportunities for useful deliberate practice using digital badges.