SCCI 2014

3rd Annual Symposium on Communicating Complex Information (SCCI)

February 24-25, 2014
East Carolina University
Greenville NC


8:45-9:15 Opening remarks
9:15-10:15 Designing Interdisciplinary Teams for Transdisciplinary Policy.
Marybeth Shea & Cameron Mozafari

Informed by work from a USDA Conservation Innovation Grant, the paper discusses work on teaching scientists and farmers to communicate across disciplines with the goal of creating a transdisciplinary best practice environmental standard on bio-mediating noxious emissions of air pollutants from poultry production on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. The paper uses methods from classical rhetorical theory and cognitive science to present ways to approach complexity in science communication specifically for policymaking.

10:15-11:15 “That Usability Course”: What Technical Communication Programs Get Wrong about Usability and How to Fix It.
Quan Zhou, Metropolitan State University

The approach to usability adopted by many technical communication programs often conceptually separates usability from other subject matter areas and places it at the tail-end of a project. We should teach how to infuse agile user experience design, particularly design thinking and prototyping, throughout a design activity.

11:15-12:45 Lunch
12:45-2:15 Keynote:  Whitney Quesenbery

Designing for the Extremes: Embracing Complexity to Solve “Wicked” Problems

One approach to designing for complexity is to break the problem into manageable chunks. But too often, this results in products that meet some of the requirements — but rarely all of them. We’ll look at some new projects that tackle the “wicked” problem of reinventing voting systems to work for everyone, meeting seemingly incompatible requirements for accessibility, privacy, and audibility, and what they can teach us about designing for accessibility to drive innovation.

2:30-3:30 Arguments about the collaboration between a technical writer and usability expert to enhance the user experience. Ramesh Ramamurthy &. Sonia Narang,

With the growing demands of simplified product design, there has been more focus on user needs and intuitive design. Usability expert and technical communicator bring in the user perspective and advocate user’s point of view. The effective collaboration between these roles helps team build a product that delights the user.

3:30-4:30 Discussion on over-arching ideas of day 1
6:30-?? Casual dinner/party


9:00-10:00 Designing Globally, Thinking Locally: An Argument for Design Workflow Virtualization.
Guiseppe Getto & Kirk St.Amant, East Carolina University.

Designing digital experiences for audiences of international users is essential to maximizing the global reach possible through the Web. We advocate opening the design process itself to include both local and globally dispersed (and culturally diverse) users in new ways.

10:00-11:00 Theories, ethics, and messiness in research study design.
Lisa Meloncon
, University of Cincinnati.

Technical and professional communication needs sustained conversations about the challenges of designing transdisciplinary research studies. I look at interconnected concepts <theories, ethics, and messiness> and raise a series of questions to start discussions that can expand how we think about and subsequently enact transdiscplinary research study design.

11:00-12:00 A Comparative Approach to Enhance User Experience in Interaction Design of Visual Analytics Systems.
Zhenyu Cheryl Qian
, Purdue University, Yingjie Victor Chen, Purdue University & Yinghuan Patty Peng, Philips Healthcare.

This paper introduces a comparative strategy to access, synthesize, and redesign an award-winning mobile visual analytics system. This approach incorporates design principles from information design, sensorial design, and interaction design as guidelines, compares multiple systems at the component level, filters and integrates design solutions to enhance user experience.

12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Letting Context Speak: The use of co-creative, design-led, and user-centered design methods in the design of complex communications.
Clinton Carlson
, University of North Texas, Whitney Peake, University of North Texas, & Jeff Joiner, University of North Texas.

This paper discusses how co-creative, design-led, and user-centered design methods are being utilized to gain insight into the factors that influence the communication of food recalls. It looks at the role of designer and public in these methods, and considers the value of these methods for other settings.

2:00-3:00 Models for situational context to address complexity.
Michael J. Albers, East Carolina University

The emergent properties and social-technical interactions within the complex situations makes determining future evolution difficult, if not impossible. Building models that move beyond linear information flows can help development teams obtain a grasp on the overall communication needs.

3:00-4:00 Discussion on over-arching ideas of conference
4:00 Leave for airport  (flights leave at 5:40 and 8:05)