62.2, May 2015

Recent & Relevant

The following articles on technical communication have appeared recently in other journals. The abstracts are prepared by volunteer journal monitors. If you would like to contribute, contact Lyn Gattis at LynGattis@MissouriState.edu.

“Recent & Relevant” does not supply copies of cited articles. However, most publishers supply reprints, tear sheets, or copies at nominal cost. Lists of publishers’ addresses, covering nearly all the articles we have cited, appear in Ulrich’s international periodicals directory.


Communicating food safety via the social media: The role of knowledge and emotions on risk perception and prevention

Mou, Y., & Lin, C. A. (2014). Science Communication, 36, 593–616. doi: 10.1177/1075547014549480

“This study examined the Chinese public’s use of Weibo (a microblog platform) and their cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses to a series of food safety crises. Based on a sample of 1,360 adult Weibo users across China, the study found that Weibo use contributed to cognitive and behavioral responses to food safety concerns, but access to other online and off-line news and information outlets was largely irrelevant. Emotional response toward the food safety incidents was a stronger predictor of both food safety risk perception and prevention action, relative to food safety incident awareness and factual awareness. Theoretical and social implications of study findings are discussed.”

Edward A. Malone

Leveraging social networks for strategic success

Eisenberg, E., Johnson, Z., & Pieterson, W. (2015). International Journal of Business Communication, 52, 143–154. doi: 10.1177/2329488414560283

“Increasingly unpredictable and competitive organizational environments have put pressure on leaders across all industries to better manage change. Key to successful change management is the ability to both: (1) communicate the desired change in ways that create line of sight; and (2) develop regular sources of feedback that measure the extent to which the change has diffused throughout the organization. Social Network Analysis provides this type of useful feedback. By allowing leaders to visualize the informal communication networks in their organizations, social network analysis can help organizations continuously assess and evaluate the effectiveness of their change strategies. Social Network Analysis is gaining in popularity today due to the convergence of interest in performance dashboards and in social media. Organizations investing in social network analysis are doing so now because it helps them to identify individuals who are critical to the organization’s communication flow as well as opportunities for strategic communication aimed at tuning the network to better promote organizational effectiveness.”

Katherine Wertz

On the dark side of strategic communication

Dulek, R., & Campbell, K. (2015). International Journal of Business Communication, 52, 122–142. doi: 10.1177/2329488414560107

“Although clarity holds a privileged place within the field of business/management/corporate communication, adopting a strategic perspective suggests that ambiguity, and even deception, may be appropriate choices, depending on strategic intent. This article builds a framework for analyzing the dark side of strategic communication from both a strategic perspective and a linguistic perspective and then applies it to four business scenarios involving corporate finance; three involve public pronouncements from executives about future stock offerings, while the fourth involves a private statement made by a CEO to an important client and reported to the authors in an interview. The analysis of these scenarios leads the authors to propose that the intentional use of strategic ambiguity occurs along a continuum better represented by multiple shades of gray than a single hue of black.”

Katherine Wertz

Rhetorical functions of hashtag forms across social media applications

Daer, A. R., Hoffman, R. F., & Goodman, S. (2014). Communication Design Quarterly Review, 3, 12–16. doi: 10.1145/2721882.2721884

“This study examines an ethnographically-collected set of social media posts from 5 applications in order to understand the rhetorical functions of something [the authors] call ‘metacommunicative’ hashtags (e.g., #PackersGottaWinThisOne, #thisweddingisawesome). Through a process of inductive analysis, [the authors] identified recurring genre functions that are both context-specific to applications’ ecologies and, at the same time, ‘stabilized enough’ (Schryer, 1993, p. 204) to warrant the use of rhetorical genre theory as a tool for understanding their communicative purposes.”

Lyn Gattis


The CV as a multimodal text

Lipovsk, C. (2014). Visual Communication, 13, 429–458. doi: 10.1177/1470357213497869

“This article aims to broaden our understanding of CV visual design from a critical perspective, using the visual grammar developed by Kress and van Leeuwen as a point of departure. Drawing on an analysis of a set of CVs collected in France, the article highlights the significant role played by visual semiotics in applicants’ construals of professional expertise in their CVs as part of their endeavour to be shortlisted for an interview. It also identifies significant features across the interpersonal, ideational and textual metafunctions of the CVs. The analysis of the CVs is complemented by the recruiter’s comments on the CVs, which further highlight the role of visual features in recruiters’ impressions of job applicants.”

Edward A. Malone

Putting environmental infographics center stage: The role of visuals at the Elaboration Likelihood Model’s critical point of persuasion

Lazard, A., & Atkinson, L. (2014). Science Communication, 37, 6–33. doi: 10.1177/1075547014555997

“Infographics, which integrate visuals and text, can increase audience engagement with message content. Relying on two experiments, this study demonstrates the role of visuals for decisions to critically evaluate pro-environmental messages. Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model as a theoretical foundation, [the authors] demonstrate that individuals engage in greater levels of issue-relevant thinking when shown infographics compared to messages that rely just on text or just on illustration, with learning preferences and visual literacy as moderators. The findings demonstrate that visual content is an important factor for persuasive message processing, and infographic messages hold opportunities for the communication of environmental issues.”

Edward A. Malone


Cities of tomorrow: A synthesis of virtual and physical communities

Tillander, M. (2014). Visual Arts Research, 40, 34–43. [doi: none]

“Designing educational experiences requires an understanding of the new dynamics being brought on by ubiquitous computing and learning made possible through emergent digital technologies. This essay employs a vision of the contemporary city as a framework in understanding the technical and social aspects of art education in an age of digital visual information. . . . The essay illuminates the argument that technology-mediated communication has transformed our notion of the relation between place and community, and moves beyond discussions of ‘technology as a tool’ to focus on the relational combination of technology, communities, institutions, and societies. In this view, co-location is enacted and represented differently in actual and virtual spaces, each of which uniquely shapes educational interactions.”

Edward A. Malone

Integrating online informative videos into technical communication service courses

Mogull, S. A. (2014). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 57, 340–363. doi: 10.1109/TPC.2014.2373931

“Online, informative videos are a popular genre of technical communication but little information is available for instructors to integrate the genre into technical communication courses.” This study examines “the logistics, considerations, and problems encountered when assigning authentic informative videos in introductory technical writing service courses . . . [and asks whether] an authentic informative video project in introductory technical writing service courses [is] an effective learning assignment from the students’ perspectives. . . . In this experience report, [the author] took a teacher-researcher role and triangulated . . . personal observations with a student-perception questionnaire and other student reflections on the assignment. . . . The informative video project was used in a junior-level, introductory technical communication service course. The informative video assignment was an experiential learning assignment in which students worked in small teams to develop ‘real-world’ communications for a peer audience. The learning objectives emphasized in the project include genre analysis, audience analysis, scriptwriting, visual-verbal communication, video production and technology, and project management and teamwork. . . . [S]tudent feedback reveals that this assignment was particularly useful for teaching audience analysis, technology skills, verbal-visual synergy of communication channels, and teamwork. . . . Informative videos are a challenging project but offer a unique opportunity to examine audience analysis and teach verbal-visual parallelism. Furthermore, the equipment and production software are no longer barriers to assigning the project in technical communication courses.”

Lyn Gattis

Making sense of data in the changing landscape of visual art education

Klein, S. R. (2014). Visual Arts Research, 40, 25–33. [doi: none]

“This essay explores how visual art educators can make sense of data, and how they might use open source tools to aggregate, contextualize, visualize and share data using processes such as content curation, mapping, and visualization. These processes are discussed relative to their integration within art education research and practices to support the development of participatory cultures and the advancement of leadership.”

Edward A. Malone

Health communication

Readability and visuals in medical research information forms for children and adolescents

Grootens-Wiegers, P., De Vries, M. C., Vossen, T. E., & Van den Broek, J. M. (2015). Science Communication, 37, 89–117. doi: 10.1177/1075547014558942

“Children are often-overlooked receivers of medical information, and little research addresses their information needs. However, young children are capable of understanding medical concepts, and they express the desire to be informed. This study addresses the quality of medical research information forms for children in the Netherlands, by assessing text readability and the role of visuals. Children’s reading books, nonfiction books, and textbooks were used as comparison. Seven focus groups were conducted to identify children’s preferences and needs for text and supporting visuals. [The authors] argue that the use of visuals is a powerful, but neglected, tool to improve medical information for minors.”

Edward A. Malone

Targeting the American market for medicines, ca. 1950s–1970s: ICI and Rhône-Poulenc compared

Quirke, V. (2014). Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 88, 654–696. doi: 10.1353/bhm.2014.0075

“The forces that have shaped American medicine include a wide set of interrelated changes, among them the changing research, development, and marketing practices of the pharmaceutical industry. This article compares the research and development (R&D) and marketing strategies of the British group Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI, whose Pharmaceutical Division was spun off and merged with the Swedish company Astra to form AstraZeneca) and its French counterpart Rhône-Poulenc (now part of Sanofi-Aventis) in dealing with the American medical market. It examines how, in the process, the relationship between R&D and marketing was altered, and the firms themselves were transformed. The article also questions the extent to which their approaches to this market, one of the most significant markets for drugs in general, and for anticancer drugs in particular, became standardized in the period of ‘scientific marketing.’”

Edward A. Malone

Testing map features designed to convey the uncertainty of cancer risk: Insights gained from assessing judgments of information adequacy and communication goals

Severtson, D. J. (2015). Science Communication, 37, 59–88. doi: 10.1177/1075547014565908

“Barriers to communicating the uncertainty of environmental health risks include preferences for certain information and low numeracy. Map features designed to communicate the magnitude and uncertainty of estimated cancer risk from air pollution were tested among 826 participants to assess how map features influenced judgments of adequacy and the intended communication goals. An uncertain versus certain visual feature was judged as less adequate but met both communication goals and addressed numeracy barriers. Expressing relative risk using words communicated uncertainty and addressed numeracy barriers but was judged as highly inadequate. Risk communication and visual cognition concepts were applied to explain findings.”

Edward A. Malone

Three types of memory in emergency medical services communication

Angeli, E. L. (2015). Written Communication, 32, 3–38. doi: 10.1177/0741088314556598

“This article examines memory and distributed cognition involved in the writing practices of emergency medical services (EMS) professionals. Results from a 16-month study indicate that EMS professionals rely on distributed cognition and three kinds of memory: individual, collaborative, and professional. Distributed cognition and the three types of memory reduce cognitive workload during a 911 response, and they help evoke information as an EMS professional composes the legally binding patient care report. In addition to presenting results, the article details the author’s interaction with two institutional review boards, which influenced the study’s methods. The article argues that scholars should conduct more research on the collaborative and distributed nature of memory as it relates to workplace writing practices. Furthermore, the article calls for developing writing research methods that involve participant recollection.”

Lyn Gattis

Information management

Component content management and quality of information products for global audiences: An integrative literature review

Batova, T. (2014). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 57, 325–339. doi: 10.1109/TPC.2014.2373911

“. . . A growing number of technical communication groups are adopting the strategies, standards, and technologies of component content management. This integrative literature review examines the impacts of component content management on the quality of multilingual information products.” The study finds that “[t]wo divides characterize component content management and multilingual quality. The divide between the academy and industry is marked by different levels of interest in quality, particularly its practical aspects. . . . Therefore, a comprehensive picture of the impacts of component content management on multilingual quality requires combining the perspectives of scholarly and industry authors in technical communication and technical translation and localization.” Using Activity Theory, the author “systematically reviewed literature sources on component content management and multilingual quality in scholarly and trade sources in technical communication and technical translation and localization, then classified all selected publications by their relationships to the research questions, themes within them, and characteristics of the source. . . . [The author concludes that] [c]ontradictory conceptual understandings exist on the impacts of component content management on multilingual quality. . . . Although best practices offer some suggestions for overcoming these challenges, the suggestions do not resolve them sufficiently and do not reconcile the contradiction between consistency and adaptation of information products based on the different expectations of audiences around the globe. . . . Future research needs to be conducted collaboratively by stakeholders in academia and industry and from technical communication and technical translation and localization.”

Lyn Gattis

The elusive promise of reuse

White, L. (2015). Best Practices, 17, 1, 4–5. [Center for Information-Development Management] [doi: none]

This article examines three main challenges to teams who are working to implement content reuse. (1) Writing content for reuse involves organizing content consistently and adhering closely to standards, templates, and guidelines the documentation team has developed. (2) Finding content to reuse can be time-consuming initially but becomes easier with strategic use of metadata for tagging content, so that content searches can be targeted efficiently. (3) Communicating about reused content means talking regularly with other writers about possible effects of changes to previously written content. The author emphasizes that “[c]ontent reuse is not for the faint of heart, but with a commitment to putting sufficient time into the planning and maintenance of reused content, documentation teams can see measurable time savings and enormous improvements in the accuracy and consistency of their deliverables.”

Lyn Gattis

Writing for an audience of machines

Steinmetz, D. (2014). Best Practices, 16, 148–155. [Center for Information-Development Management] [doi: none]

“. . . An increasing percentage of the audience for content is ‘machines,’ or more specifically, ever more sophisticated software playing an intermediary role between accepting requests for information and responding by processing the request and returning information. These tools play a content processing role between the available content and the human consumer of the content. Content processing involves more than the storage, distribution, and display of content; it involves backend analysis supported by huge databases, with impact on what you see, what job you get, and your revenue. . . . Natural-language processing helps make content consumption an approachable problem, but certain formats and characteristics can be a hindrance and reduce the effectiveness and confidence of question-answering systems. Current best practices for content authoring provide a good starting point, but differences do exist.” The author recommends that content developers “[t]ake these differences into account as you review your standards and templates, and then begin to implement the changes for new content to increase its usefulness and accuracy for this newest part of your reading audience.”

Lyn Gattis


Benefits of illustrations and videos for technical documentations

Große, C. S., Jungmann, L., & Drechsler, R. (2015). Computers in Human Behavior, 45, 109–120. doi: 10.1016/j.chb.2014.11.095

“[An] experiment was conducted which compared three types of technical documentations—namely, ‘text only’ documentations, documentations with text and illustrations, and video versions—with respect to objective and subjective measures. The results indicate that whether a task is actually solved or not does not mainly depend on the type of documentation; however, working with documentations with text and illustrations significantly shortens solution times. Depending on the concrete problem, ‘text only’ documentations can elicit a considerably larger number of faulty steps. With respect to subjective measures, ‘text only’ documentations reach especially negative scores, whereas documentations with text and illustrations and video documentations reach comparable—and considerably better—subjective ratings. The results also show significant gender differences.”

Edward A. Malone

Intercultural issues

Beyond authenticity: A visual-material analysis of locality in the global redesign of Starbucks stores

Aiello, G., & Dickinson, G. (2014). Visual Communication, 13, 303–321. doi: 10.1177/1470357214530054

“In this article, the authors examine the global store design strategy launched by Starbucks in 2009 in the wake of the economic crisis, increasing brand dilution, and growing competition. They offer a visual-material analysis of the corporation’s efforts to create a global aesthetic grounded in locality, with an in-depth focus on meaning potentials of materiality and community found across the four store redesigns that were unveiled in Seattle, the coffee company’s hometown, and which functioned as prototypes for store design across the United States, Europe and Asia. They then critically engage Starbucks’ rhetoric/discourse of locality in relation to the more widespread notion of authenticity and argue that, while authenticity is rooted in textual and symbolic arrangements, locality operates in the realm of emplaced and embodied claims of difference. Shifting from authenticity to locality in design and branding practices alters critical engagements and everyday relationships with global consumer capitalism, insofar as this may be increasingly entrenched with vernacular expressions of cosmopolitanism.”

Edward A. Malone

Factors that enable and challenge international engineering communication: A case study of a United States/British design team

Hovde, M. R. (2014). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 57, 242–265. doi: 10.1109/TPC.2014.2363893

“In recent years, many businesses have become involved in internationalized projects, yet understanding the dynamics of engineering communication in virtual dispersed teams is limited.” This study asked how “the factors mentioned in the literature function in an international engineering project . . . [and whether there are] factors that enhance or constrain the work in an engineering setting that are not mentioned in previous studies. . . . This study involved observing international engineer meetings in the US and the UK and interviewing 19 engineers leading an international design team. The participants worked for the same international company with about half from the US and half in Great Britain. . . . Many of the factors identified in general professional communication studies held true for this context. But some features were unique to an engineering environment that the literature had not previously mentioned, including planning for and working with intercultural dispersed virtual engineering teams and that people need to consider many complexities of culture that affect communication practices. Because this study observed one team in the context of only two cultures, future research may determine whether these factors are more widely found in other teams, workplaces, and cultures. Future research may also determine the relative levels of influence of the contextual factors on international dispersed virtual engineering teams. In addition, the study of engineers learning to communicate in international settings may be illuminating.”

Lyn Gattis

Issues of language and competence in intercultural business contexts

Nair-Venugopala, S. (2015). Language and Intercultural Communication, 15, 29–45. doi: 10.1080/14708477.2014.985304

“This paper explores some of the tension between language ability as a type of workplace competence and standardized language use in Malaysian business contexts, which are set against the backdrop of the globalized workplace. Standardized English language use is prioritized as a value-added skill, over contextualized or localized language use as authentic language ability, in these contexts which are natural sites of intercultural communication in multilingual, multiethnic Malaysia. It is contended that standardized English may not be able to compete with the authenticity of contextualized or localized language use for it is the latter that ensures that the work of the localized workplace gets done first before it can lay claim to the globalized economy. The tension between such authentic language use as innate ability and prescribed language use as skills can impinge on intercultural communication competence (ICC).”

Edward A. Malone

A strange familiarity? Place perceptions among the globally mobile

Nielsen, H. P., & Faber, S. T. (2014). Visual Communication, 13, 373–388. doi: 10.1177/1470357214530053

“How do globally mobile people perceive and make sense of a new place in which they have to create an everyday life for themselves? And how may their place perception be communicated through photographs? These are the questions around which this article revolves. The visual material discussed in the article stems from a participatory research project, in which North Denmark functions as a setting for studying local particularities and global convergences. Analysing part of this material, the article explores the perception of—and affiliation with—places and localities, pointing to how perceptions of strangeness and familiarity occur along unexpected lines of difference and similarity depending on the embodied positionality of the involved participants.”

Edward A. Malone

Professional issues

Modern book publishing: Web sites for the trade

Rodzvilla, J. (2015). Journal of Scholarly Publishing, 46, 158–174. doi: 10.3138/jsp.46.2.03

“Handheld computers and online services have democratized the ability to publish and distribute texts. Although today’s authors do not need to work with a publisher who will edit, design, print, and distribute their books, the traditional model of publishing does provide an established means to reach an audience, as well as a rich repertoire of best practices, many of which can now be found online at trade organizations’ Web sites. As new technology continues to create new paths from author to reader, it also helps to improve the jobs of professionals by putting resources like the Chicago Manual of Style and Books in Print online. This article provides information about the online resources available for editorial, production, and sales professionals in the book industry and includes key news sites pertaining to the industry.”

Edward A. Malone


Where did we come from and where are we going? Examining authorship characteristics in technical communication research

Lam, C. (2014). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 57, 266–285. doi: 10.1109/TPC.2014.2363892

“This study explores the characteristics of authors who have published in technical communication journals between 2008 and 2012 to generate insights into who is actively contributing to scholarship in the field. . . . A data set of 674 authors who have published in the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication (TPC), Technical Communication Quarterly, and Journal of Business and Technical Communication (JBTC), between 2008 and 2012 was coded for current department, Ph.D. department, department with a technical communication degree program, research method, and collaboratively authored articles. Data were analyzed using contingency table analysis and correspondence analysis. . . . Authors from English departments constitute nearly 30% of the sample; authors from information systems and technology departments and management, business, and economics departments made up more than 20% of the total sample. A little over 20% of the sample received a Ph.D. degree in technical communication. Authors from information systems and technology departments and management, business, and economics departments are highly associated with TPC. Authors from English departments and writing departments were associated with TCQ and JBTC. TC is associated with authors from education departments and human-centered design departments. Authors from information systems and technology departments and management, business, and economics departments were associated with surveys and experiments. Authors from English departments were associated with case study and mixed methods research. Non-US authors and ones from engineering, computer science, linguistics, information systems and technology, and management, business, and economics departments were all highly associated with collaboratively authored articles. These results provide insights into which disciplines are most influential and opportunities to consider the approaches and training of our diverse population of scholars in an effort to build a cohesive body of research. . . . ”

Lyn Gattis

Scientific writing

The visual invention practices of STEM researchers: An exploratory topology

Walsh, L., & Ross, A. B. (2015). Science Communication, 37, 118–139. doi: 10.1177/1075547014566990

“This article presents results from a qualitative pilot survey of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) researchers concerning techniques used to create graphics for research articles. The survey aimed to induce a methodological vocabulary for a larger project designed to describe and improve STEM visual literacy for nonexperts. However, the survey also revealed interesting problems for investigation—chief among them a mismatch between STEM visual pedagogy and praxis. In addition, participants supplied a handlist of STEM visual communication texts that have informed their praxis. Survey results are presented in the form of a topology—a frequency-based representation of the topics framing participants’ discussion of STEM visual invention.”

Edward A. Malone


The greatest missions never flown: Anticipatory discourse and the projectory in technological communities

Messeri, L. R., & Vertesi, J. (2015). Technology and Culture, 56, 54–85. doi: 10.1353/tech.2015.0023

“This article introduces the concept of the sociotechnical projector to explore the importance of future-oriented discourse in technical practice. It examines the case of two flagship NASA missions that, since the 1960s, have been continually proposed and deferred. Despite the missions never being flown, it argues that they produced powerful effects within the planetary science community as assumed ‘end-points’ to which all current technological, scientific, and community efforts are directed. It asserts that attention to the social construction of technological systems requires historical attention to how actors situate themselves with respect to a shared narrative of the future.”

Edward A. Malone

The virtual flier: The link trainer, flight simulation, and pilot identity

Jeon, C. (2015). Technology and Culture, 56, 28–53. doi: 10.1353/tech.2015.0017

“The Link Trainer is often described as the first successful attempt at what we now recognize as flight simulation and even virtual reality. Instead of asking how well the device simulated flight conditions, this article shows that what the Link Trainer simulated was not the conditions of the air, but rather the conditions of the cockpit that was gradually filled with flight instruments. The article also considers the Link Trainer as a cultural space in which shifting ideas about what it meant to be a pilot were manifested. A pilot in the Link Trainer was trained into a new category of flier—the virtual flier—who was an avid reader of instruments and an attentive listener to signals. This article suggests that, by situating the pilot within new spaces, protocols, and relationships, technologies of simulation have constituted the identity of the modern pilot and other operators of machines.”

Edward A. Malone

Usability studies

Designing globally, working locally: Using personas to develop online communication products for international users

Getto, G., & St.Amant, K. (2014). Communication Design Quarterly Review, 3, 24–46. doi: 10.1145/2721882.2721886

“Extending digital products and services to global markets requires a communication design approach that considers the needs of international (e.g. non-U.S.) users. The challenge becomes developing an approach that works effectively. The concept of personas, as applied in user experience design (UX), can offer an effective solution to this situation. This article examines how this idea of personas can expand communication design practices to include users from other cultures.”

Lyn Gattis

Product review users’ perceptions of review quality: The role of credibility, informativeness, and readability

Mackiewicz, J., & Yeats, D. (2014). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 57, 309–342. doi: 10.1109/TPC.2014.2373891

“Gauging the quality of product reviews through helpfulness votes is problematic for a variety of reasons. [The authors] examine potential characteristics of review quality that span review credibility, informativeness, and readability to contribute to better ways of assessing review quality.” Using a survey distributed though SurveyMonkey Audience, the authors examined 829 participant responses to control and experimental versions of 11 product reviews, with product review quality measured on a five-point scale. The authors used Pearson’s chi square to analyze for significant differences in participants’ perceptions of quality. They found significant differences in statements concerning a reviewer’s prior experience with a similar product (credibility), research into the product (credibility), general recommendation about the product (informativeness), formatting with headings (readability), the extent to which the product met expectations (informativeness), and a specific recommendation about the product (informativeness). “Using these results, companies can better locate quality reviews; reviewers can increase the quality and, therefore, salience of their reviews; and communication specialists can help reviewers write and revise reviews for improved quality. Future research on review quality could investigate other potential characteristics of credibility, informativeness, and readability.”

Lyn Gattis

SUP-Q: A comprehensive measure of the quality of the website user experience

Sauro, J. (2015). Journal of Usability Studies, 10, 68–86. [doi: none]

“A three part study conducted over five years involving 4,000 user responses to experiences with over 100 websites was analyzed to generate an eight-item questionnaire of website quality—the Standardized User Experience Percentile Rank Questionnaire (SUPR-Q). The SUPR-Q contains four factors: usability, trust, appearance, and loyalty. The factor structure was replicated across three studies with data collected both during usability tests and retrospectively in surveys. There was evidence of convergent validity with existing questionnaires, including the System Usability Scale (SUS). The overall average score was shown to have high internal consistency reliability (α = .86). An initial distribution of scores across the websites generated a database used to produce percentile ranks and make scores more meaningful to researchers and practitioners. The questionnaire can be used to generate reliable scores in benchmarking websites, and the normed scores can be used to understand how well a website scores relative to others in the database.”

Ginnifer Mastarone