SCCI 2013

2nd Annual Symposium on Communicating Complex Information (SCCI)

February 25-26, 2013
East Carolina University
Greenville NC


8:30-9 Opening session
9-10 ReaderCentric writing for Prosumer Content in Complex and Complicated Systems such as
David Hailey Utah State University

CCIS sites such as market prosumer products, depending on venders for content. For, this practice is largely profitable, but it is easy to find scores of pages that fail in their task. We will look at a selection of these pages and offer solutions at both tactical and strategic levels.

10-11 The Metarhetorics of Designing Complex Information
Josephine Walwema Oakland University

The revival of rhetoric in designing complex information has brought with it renewed interest in its metarhetorics. Through recognition of the situational nature of design, scholars’ expanded concept of rhetoric encompasses both  linguistic and nonlinguistic phenomena, all of which comprise the metarhetorics of organizing information in simple accessible ways.

11-12 Assemblage, Complexity, and Usability
Gregory Zobel Western Oregon University

Based on efforts to address complexity in improving mobile visitors’ experience in Humboldt County, this presentation proposes that Deleuze’s assemblage concept can be a practical tool for addressing complex systems and problems in usability.

12-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3 Keynote: Is Usability Testing Putting Lipstick on a Pig?
Tharon Howard, Clemson University
3-4 Developing Images of Complexity
Stuart Blythe Michigan State University

This paper describes the development of a dynamic systems model, which consists of several genres, including stock-and-flow diagrams, graphs, annotations, and an interface. It reports on how that development may guide deliberations about climate change.

4-5 Discussion on over-arching ideas of day 1
6:30-8:30 Casual dinner/party at For Your Occasion. 809 Red Banks Road


8-9 Researching and Communicating the Complexity of IT Image Management
Quynh Nguyen, Citrix Systems, Inc.
Ann Charng,
Citrix Systems, Inc.
Jenny Shirey,
Citrix Systems, Inc.

For IT professionals, installing and managing employees’ operating systems is time-consuming and challenging. We devised a flexible interviewing methodology and used information visualizations to explore and explain this complex process.

9-10 Visual Communication in Environmental Health:  Methodological Questions and Compromises
Lisa Meloncon, University of Cincinnati

This paper will use a case study to discuss a series of questions that arose about research methodologies and study design of a visualization project between researchers in environmental health and technical communication. The implication is that new research methods are needed to facilitate trans-disciplinary projects.

10-11 Transforming Contracts from Legal Rules to User-centered Communication Tools: A Human-Information Interaction Challenge
Stefania Passera, Aalto University
Helena Haapio, University of Vaasa

B2B contracts are interfaces for collaboration between firms, but currently they are designed as user-unfriendly legal tools, optimized for court use when collaboration fails. We envision instead contracts as user-centered business tools, utilizing knowledge visualization to enhance clear communication and ease of use.

11-12 Visualizing Complexity and Uncertainty about Climate Change and Sea Level Rise
Donna Kain, East Carolina University
Michelle Covi, East Carolina University

Visualizations of climate change and sea level rise can powerfully convey information about risks and potential impacts. We discuss difficulties people have interpreting graphic information about climate change science.

12-1 Lunch
1-2  It’s Not About Usability
Kevin Richardson Infragistics

Usability typically refers to post-design measurement and testing. What’s needed to create complex systems that are both usable and useful is not usability but Design.

2-3 Cargo cults in communicating information
Michael Albers, East Carolina University

Cargo cults involve using practices with no real understanding of the underlying philosophy. But designing and writing a complex text is a constant decision-making process. Cargo cults may work for simple situations, but fail with increasing complexity.

3-4 Discussion on over-arching ideas & conference wrap up
4 Leave for airport (flights leave at 5:40 and 8:05)