70.1 February 2023

Recent and Relevant

By Sean C. Herring, Editor

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 Sean Herring at SeanHerring@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.

Audience analysis

Superdiversity: An audience analysis praxis for enacting social justice in technical communication

Cardinal, A. (2022). Technical Communication Quarterly, 31, 343–355. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2022.2056637

“This study adopted a dialectical approach to explore the discourse of breast cancer survivors as they talked about and made sense of corporate involvement in promoting and sustaining breast cancer as a social cause. During semistructured interviews, participants reflected on the commercialization of breast cancer and seemed to grapple with corporate motives, corporate constructions of the disease, and corporate influence on their identity; thus, creating three dialectical tensions: (a) corporate altruism versus self-interest, (b) corporate romanticism versus reality, and (c) survivor identification versus disidentification. Corporations are encouraged to consider ways in which they might collaborate with survivors to BOTH maximize corporate profits AND propel the cause in positive and important ways.”

Katherine Wertz


‘We do everything': The broad, evolving, varied, and tentative corporate communication field

Fyke, J.P., Schmisseur, A., Webb, N.G., Vaughn, M., & Davis, J. (September 2022). Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 85 (3), 279–297 doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/23294906221109192

“These communication instructors delve into the changes happening to technical communicators in the rapidly changing workplace. ‘Through the reflections of professionals occupying a variety of corporate communication roles, our aim was to understand what the corporate communication profession looks like in the current marketplace and the career pathways professionals take. We find that roles and functions are ‘broad and blurred’ and ‘evolving and escalating,’ while pathways and job titles are ‘varied and vacillating’ and ‘tentative and time bound.’ Our article offers theoretical and practical implications for industry and academic professionals looking to bridge the gap between the classroom and the marketplace. We end with pedagogical and curricular implications for corporate communication educators.”

Diana Fox Bentele


Effects of top-down, bottom-up, and horizontal communication on organizational commitment: Evidence from Chinese internet firms

Zhang, Y., Zhang, C., & Liu, M. (2022). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 65(3), 411–426. doi: http://10.1109/TPC.2022.3178201

“‘An organization’s internal communication is an important factor shaping employees’ organizational commitment. Internal communication practices can be classified into three types according to the direction of information flow: top-down, bottom-up, and horizontal communication.’ In this study the researchers explored the relationships between organizational commitment and the three types of communication, investigated ‘any mediating routes that bridge the relationship between internal communication and organizational commitment,’ and asked whether ‘the effects of internal communication on organizational commitment vary for different jobs. . . .’ The authors analyzed ‘survey data from 12,817 full-time employees in the Chinese internet sector,’ concluding “that top-down, bottom-up, and horizontal communication affect organizational commitment positively and significantly via the mediating routes of employees’ perceived job attractiveness or perceived customer service performance. The study also reveals a fit between employees’ job characteristics (e.g., information-processing demands) and internal communication types to improve organizational commitment. . . .”

Lyn Gattis

Transfer rate prediction at self-service customer support platforms in insurance contact centers

Moazeni, S., & Andrade, R. (2022). Available at SSRN. doi: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.eswa.2022.118701

“Customer support constitutes the face of a brand and plays a critical role in shaping customers retention and loyalty. To facilitate customer contacts and to reduce the corresponding operating costs, organizations resort to self-service interaction channels. However, dealing with self-service customer support platforms has been identified to be one of the most frustrating aspects of a poor customer contact experience. This paper builds on real data from contact centers of a major U.S. insurance company, covering about 10 million calls, to study transfer rate at the interactive voice-response platform. We develop an empirical model to analyze features that exert significant impact on the likelihood that a call arrived to the platform is eventually transferred to a live agent. We find evidence that caller types, specific caller intents, trying distinct channels, and payment attempts can help predicting the transfer outcome. Our study confirms the importance of a caller’s location attribute and evinces that the size and composition of the set of effective features and their directions vary substantially across different states. Our results provide managers with several actionable insights to enhance the customer contact experience. For example, our feature selection analysis enables designing personalized interactive voice-response systems based on customer-contact features. Identifying those calls expected to be transferred at any time can guide recruiting and scheduling a workforce with appropriate skill sets. In addition, the transfer rate is a key input variable for various decision making problems arising in the management of call center operations.”

Yvonne Wade Sanchez


Graphic design in public health research

Schmidt, M., Asfar, T., & Maziak, W. (August 2022). Visible Language, 56 (2), 54-83 doi: https://doi.org/10.34314/vl.v56i2

“Most of us know the large impact of graphic design in public health information campaigns that follow research, but these authors studied involving the designers in the research process itself. ‘Graphic design is often deployed in public health research, intervention, and dissemination of information. In some cases, such as the studies shared in this article, graphic design artifacts are the public health intervention, developed and tested within a series of scientific study designs involving research teams with wide-ranging expertise. Relatively little attention has been paid, however, to the role graphic design plays in public health re-search or how graphic designers may contribute to the conduct of research beyond a production services role. . . . Therefore, the goals of this paper are to 1) provide an overview of methods employed to integrate graphic design into a multiyear series of public health research studies, 2) share key results from these studies relevant to graphic design, and 3) discuss the requirements for sustaining research collaborations between graphic designers and public health researchers in ways that effectively combine their fields of expertise and produce more genuine collaboration for the greater benefit of public health.’”

Diana Fox Bentele

Discourse communities

“An excelent good remedi”: Medical recipes as ethos-building tactical technical communication in early modern England

“This article examines how nonprofessionals in early modern England used tactical technical communication and rhetorical strategies to build medical knowledge and healthcare expertise. Using a feminist ethos and tactical technical communication lens, this article details a content analysis study of 4,045 handwritten medical recipes from England dated between 1540 and 1860. Findings from the study extend tactical technical communication by examining non-digital/non-internet spaces and how extra-institutional nonprofessionals build ethos and expertise.”

Rhonda Stanton

Tactical (Dis)connection in smart cities: Postconnectivist technical communication for a datafied world

“This study investigates the rhetorics of smart cities and how they define citizens’ agency. We consider the framing of human control against automated technological infrastructures in smart and playable cities. Through examining selected smart city plans from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, we share results from the comparisons of these plans to draw implications for technical and professional communication (TPC) practices and pedagogy. We propose a postconnectivist trajectory for TPC toward the increasingly datafied future.”

Rhonda Stanton

Transnational assemblages in disaster response: Networked communities, technologies, and coalitional actions during global disasters

Baniya, S. (2022). Technical Communication Quarterly, 31, 326-342. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2022.2034973

“In this article, [the author] argue[s] that local disasters are a global concern and that various transnational assemblages emerge during a disaster that support the suffering communities and help in addressing the issues of social justice in post-disaster situations. The transnational assemblages that emerge on social media create innovative practices (via non-western and decolonial ways) of creating communities across the world via crisis communication and distributed work to address social injustices during the disaster.”

Rhonda Stanton


Designing interculturally: Adopting a social justice research framework for ‘Seeing Difference’

Pennell, T.I. (2022). Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 52(1), 33-49. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/00472816221125191

“This paper suggests adding a social justice framework to the questions that Kostelnick suggests to help students investigate culture in ‘Seeing Difference.’ Using visual rhetoric to teach technical communication is beneficial for students; however, problematic representations of culture may unintentionally appear in visual design and are easy to overlook. Using a social justice framework that promotes a contextual study of culture should allow technical communication instructors to prepare students to investigate the social and political aspects of culture. This paper, therefore, revisits ‘Seeing Difference’ and asks that technical communication instructors guide students to research sociopolitical aspects of culture and visuals to develop designs that are interculturally appropriate…”

Anita Ford


Program stakeholders’ experience of a UX graduate training program

Kang, J., & Girouard, A. (2022). Journal of User Experience, 17(4), 164–184. [doi: none]

“‘Experiential learning techniques employed to teach human computer interaction and computing students about user experience (UX) fall into two categories: course-based project learning (industry/community research projects) or outside-of-course training (a UX consultancy). [The authors] sought to diversify the latter category by describing an independent UX training program called the Collaborative Learning of Usability Experiences (CLUE). CLUE has four training components: UX Internship, Workshops, Knowledge Transfer, and Short Courses. [The authors] evaluated the impact of CLUE on program graduate students, host organizations (industry/government partners who mentored students during UX Internships), and faculty. [They] conducted semi-structured interviews with 20 graduate students, 13 alumni, 20 industry/government partners, and 3 faculty. Responses were coded into themes; exemplar quotes are included in this article.’ The researchers describe outcomes and benefits of the program and ‘provide practical recommendations on making a successful UX training program that can satisfy the needs of all program stakeholders.’”

Lyn Gattis

Ethical issues

The neurophysiology of corporate apologies: Why do people believe insincere apologies?

Kraig, A. F., Barraza, J. A., Montgomery, W., & Zak, P. J. (2022). International Journal of Business Communication, 59, 531–550. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488419858391

“CEOs typically offer apologies after transgressions are discovered whether mistakes were corrected or not. Seemingly insincere apologies, however, may damage the company by impugning its reputation. This study uses neurophysiologic data to identify why people believe apologies and identify when resolutions have occurred. Participants watched videos of corporate apologies and earned $3 for each video they watched. They could wager any of their earnings on whether the mistake was resolved with a chance to double their money. Participants could not consciously identify problem resolution, but the similarity of electrodermal activity and a measure of sympathetic and parasympathetic switching could with 61.3% accuracy (p = .001). Wagers were unrelated to whether problems were resolved or not. Yet electrodermal activity components predicted whether a wager was made with 75% accuracy (p = .001). Analysis of physiologic data showed that when leaders identify the problem in an opening statement, address the audience directly, use concrete language to describe how the company will remedy the problem, and minimize the harm done, physiologic arousal is reduced, signaling that the problem will be resolved. [The authors’] analysis shows that people believe insincere apologies when the statements made, whether truthful or not, produce a calming effect in listeners.”

Katherine Wertz

Health communication

Alcohol Use Disorder Narratives in U.S. Digital News Coverage and Engagement on Social Media

Russell, A.M., Montemayor, B.N., Ndulue, E.B., Barry, A.E., & Massey, P.M. (2022). Health Communication. Advanced online publication. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2022.2129314

“Social media regularly serves as a source of news and health-related information subsequently shaping public opinion and behavior. [Authors] examined mainstream digital news narratives about alcohol use disorder (AUD), including coverage of solutions to AUD, and associations between narratives and engagement on social media. AUD-related articles (N = 339) published in top U.S. newspapers and digital native news sources in 2019 were analyzed by trained coders with a structured codebook (κ = 0.75), examining characteristics of stories highlighting specific individuals affected by AUD and solution-framing of AUD. Facebook shares were used as a proxy measure for an article’s potential “reach” on social media. Of articles focused on individuals (72.0%), most (62.7%) depicted individuals affected by AUD as criminals, as opposed to engaging with alcohol treatment or being in recovery (31.1%). These criminal depictions received over eight times as many FB shares, compared to alcohol use treatment or recovery depictions. Law enforcement solutions (63.9%) were depicted most often, followed by AUD-treatment oriented solutions (40.1%), and prevention-oriented solutions (15.8%). Law enforcement solutions received more than five times as much social media engagement than AUD-treatment oriented solutions and over twenty-nine times more engagement than prevention-oriented solutions. There is a need to increase news coverage featuring depictions of individuals who have successfully engaged with alcohol treatment and recovery, reflecting the millions of Americans who have resolved a significant past alcohol problem. News coverage of AUD should also incorporate more depictions of evidence-based prevention-oriented and treatment-oriented solutions to AUD.”

Walter Orr

Development and pretesting of prescription opioid misuse prevention messages: Results and implications for practice

Seitz, H.H., Robertson, M.N., Steen, J., Dulaney, S.G., & Buys, D.R. (2022). Health Communication. Advanced online publication. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2022.2124059

“Well-designed health communication campaigns can contribute to the uptake of preventive behaviors, but there has been a lack of attention on using communication research to develop opioid misuse prevention messages. [Authors] report the results of two studies designed to inform the development of prescription opioid misuse prevention messages for adults ages 30-59. In Study 1, 16 adults across 4 counties participated in semi-structured interviews to provide input on message concepts addressing six key prescription opioid misuse prevention behaviors. In Study 2, 1,335 adults completed an online, survey-based between-subjects experiment in which participants were randomized to a no message control condition or a message condition that aligned with a prevention behavior…The qualitative interviews yielded insights about message preferences and perceived facilitators and barriers related to the prevention behaviors. The online survey demonstrated that attitude and descriptive norms are important determinants of preventive behaviors and potential targets for communication interventions. Message testing results demonstrated that the draft messages were effective in changing intentions to safely store, securely dispose of, and monitor the use of prescription opioids, but they were not effective in increasing intentions to talk to healthcare providers, older adults, or children about proper opioid use. A communication campaign addressing attitudes and perceived descriptive norms may be successful in increasing intentions to engage in opioid misuse prevention behaviors.”

Walter Orr

PRISM and emotions: Understanding the role of fear and hope toward vaccine information seeking intentions

Volkman, J.E., Day, A.M., McManus, T.G., Hokeness, K.L., & Morse, C.R. (2022). Health Communication. Advanced online publication. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10410236.2022.2119689

“Vaccines represent one of the greatest health efforts to help combat diseases, yet they often evoke emotional responses among individuals. These emotional responses can influence an individual’s desire to seek information about vaccines. The purpose of this research was to examine these relationships further using the Planned Risk Information Seeking Model (PRISM) and explore the role of emotions, specifically fear and hope, on vaccine-related information seeking intentions. Two separate models were tested using the PRISM model, one for fear and one for hope. Results suggest fear did not have a significant direct effect on vaccine information seeking, while hope had a positive and significant relationship. Interestingly, both attitude toward seeking and perceived current knowledge each had a positive relationship with information seeking intentions in the fear and hope models. Future research should continue to examine the role of specific emotions within the PRISM model to better predict information seeking intentions.”

Walter Orr

Information management

Knowledge, attitude, and practices related to COVID-19 among poor and marginalized communities in central India: A cross-sectional study

Murali, K., Balagopalan, N., Benawri, J., Bairagi, A. K., Heggannanavar, N. V., Srivastava, A., & Mahajan, S. (2022). PLOS ONE, 17(4), e0264639. doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0264639

“COVID-19 has led to unprecedented challenges and requires local and global efforts for its mitigation. Poor and marginalized populations are more vulnerable to the health, social and economic effects of the pandemic. The objective of this study was to know about the knowledge, attitude and practices towards COVID-19 among poor and marginalized communities in central India and the factors associated with them so that effective risk communication messages can be designed and community engagement needs and strategies can be identified. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using an Interactive Voice Response System as part of the NISHTHA-Swasthya Vani intervention, which is a platform for dissemination of key messages related to COVID-19, social welfare schemes, national health programs and other important information. A total of 1673 respondents participated in the survey. The mean knowledge, attitude and practice scores of the respondents was 4.06 (SD = 1.67) out of 8, 2.46 (SD = 1.18) out of 4 and 3.65 (SD = 0.73) out of 4 respectively. More than 50% respondents exhibited stigma towards recovered COVID-19 patients (n = 347) and towards health workers (n = 384) catering to COVID-19 patients. The factors associated with higher KAP scores were education, occupation, age and primary source of information on COVID-19. There was a positive correlation between knowledge and attitude (co-efficient: 0.32) and a negative correlation between knowledge and stigma (co-efficient: -0.28). The knowledge, and attitude scores related to COVID-19 were low among the poor and marginalized communities, while the prevalence of stigma was high. Therefore, there is a need for effective risk communication for these communities through alternate channels.”

Yvonne Wade Sanchez

Participation styles, turn-taking strategies, and marginalization in intercultural decision-making discourse.

Williamson, J. (December 2022). Business and Professional Communication Quarterly, 85 (4), 445-467. doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/23294906221114830

“This international instructor goes beyond culture to include styles as he studied how people share ideas to make decisions. ‘Marginalization in decision-making discourse results in disempowerment of the marginalized and detracts from the efficacy of participatory decision making. In ESL contexts, it is usually associated with English proficiency. But this view ignores the influence of preferences for different participation styles, an understanding of which is essential for the development of effective pedagogical remedies to the problem of marginalization. The present study addresses this gap by investigating discourse participation and marginalization from a participation styles perspective. Findings reveal that marginalization resulted from a failure to adopt turn-taking strategies associated with dominant participation styles. Implications for pedagogy are discussed.’”

Diana Fox Bentele


Personal factors, wants, and needs: Exploring vocational anticipatory socialization through young adults’ preferences for managerial communication behaviors

Omilion-Hodges, L. M., & Ptacek, J. K. (2022). International Journal of Business Communication, 59, 621–640. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488419893745

“As research continues to indicate a chasm between new hires’ expectations and what managers are equipped to provide, the current research uses a mixed-methods design to explore vocational anticipatory socialization from the perspective of young adults. Through a mix of reliable and valid survey instruments and open-ended items, traditionally aged college students provide insight on how personal factors (i.e., self-efficacy, self-worth, leader identification, etc.) and expressed needs and wants for managerial communication behaviors may influence young adults’ preferences for various approaches to management. Study results indicate that young adults who are particularly self-efficacious want a manager-mentor, whereas those with lower levels of self-efficacy indicate a desire for less task and relational direction from future leaders. This could result in isolation if these employees are not integrated into routine support and growth opportunities. Theoretical and pragmatic implications are discussed with specific recommendations for teacher-scholars, recruiters, and managers.”

Katherine Wertz

Political discourse

Hyperrationality and rhetorical constellations in digital climate change denial: A multi-methodological analysis of the discourse of Watts Up With That

Tillery, D. & Bloomfield, E.F. (2022). Technical Communication Quarterly, 31, 356-373. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2021.2019317

“Using a multi-methodological approach, we analyze member comments in Watts Up With That (WUWT), a climate skeptical Facebook group. Quantitative topic modeling revealed that members claim hyperrationality to undermine climate science. Science-based terms were often connected to other topics, such as immigration and LGBTQ+ rights, creating rhetorical constellations that shifted rhetoric from technical spaces into political and ideological ones. These findings have implications for dealing with the challenge of misinformation’s circulation on social media.”

Rhonda Stanton

Public relations

An examination of the effects of employee words in organizational crisis: Public forgiveness and behavioral intentions

Lee, Y. (2022). International Journal of Business Communication, 59, 598–620. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488419877236

“This study examines how employees’ messages about a corporate crisis affect external publics’ attitudes and behaviors toward an organization. Specifically, the study investigates whether the valence (positive vs. negative) and communication channels (face-to-face vs. social media) of employees’ messages interact with each other. The results of an online experiment indicate that negative messages concerning an organizational crisis significantly affect publics’ perception of message credibility, behavioral forgiveness, and message retransmission intentions when the messages were delivered during face-to-face communication, while negative messages on social media do not significantly affect publics’ attitudes and behaviors. Positive messages had almost equal impacts on the outcomes, regardless of the communication channels through which the message was shared. Theoretical and practical implications for corporate and business communication are discussed.”

Katherine Wertz

Employer postcrisis image restoration: Implications for recruitment

Steiner, Z., & Byrne, Z. (2022). International Journal of Business Communication, 59, 551–582. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488419864712

“A crisis can severely tarnish a company’s image and attempts to restore the damaged image may negatively affect postcrisis recruitment efforts. Because company image plays an important role in job seeker attraction, and company crises are on the rise, [the authors] examined the effects of postcrisis image restoration on job seeker attraction. [The authors] applied image restoration theory to a repeated-measures 2 (negative or neutral company information at Time 1) × 3 (two types of image restoration, and neutral for the same company at Time 2) factorial experimental design. [The authors] used the psychology of apologies to understand the underlying mechanisms by which a company’s image changes in the context of image restoration. Results showed that Time 2 ratings of image were more positive after restoration attempts; however, there was no significant difference between the two types of restoration or with the neutral condition. [The authors] also found that attraction to the organization assessed at Time 2 fully mediated the relationship between perceptions of image and intentions to pursue a job opportunity. The implications of [the authors’] findings are that the valence of image restoration influences job seekers’ pursuant behavior more than what is said within image restoration.”

Katherine Wertz


A commentary on the use of simulated settings in business communication research

Du-Babcock, B., & Chan, A. C. K. (2022). International Journal of Business Communication, 59, 641–652. https://doi.org/10.1177/2329488419878863

“Although there are different views toward the use of simulations for research purposes, interactional data produced in a simulated setting (simulated data) is still common in the field of business communication research. However, little research has been conducted to investigate the extent to which simulated interactional data can be used as an alternative to authentic business communication data. In this commentary, [the authors] review the controversy over the use of simulated data and discuss some contextual factors that may influence the authenticity of simulated data. [The authors] also provide suggestions for improving the compatibility of simulated data when researching business communication.”

Katherine Wertz

Key-notes: A content analysis of ATTW Conferences 1998-2018

Turner, H. N. (2022). Technical Communication Quarterly, 31, 401–415. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2022.2034975

“Technical and professional communication (TPC) frequently analyzes its own research. Although conferences like Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW) are scholarly forums, most work presented is not included in disciplinary analyses or reviews. To articulate a baseline, this article conducts a corpus-based content analysis of the titles and abstracts presented at ATTW or published in Technical Communication Quarterly (TCQ) between 1998 and 2018. The common and key words suggest topic areas and rhetorical features.”

Rhonda Stanton


The aural-visual rhetoric in video game tutorials

Johnson, E. (2022). Technical Communication Quarterly, 31, 374–384. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2021.2021452

“This article asserts that auditory cues can be categorized by rhetorical function into the categories of visual rhetoric, defined by Amare and Manning under Peirce’s Ten Classes of Sign, understanding visual rhetoric to include both images and text. This article expands this definition to aural-visual rhetoric, including auditory elements as visual rhetoric to analyze multimodal Technical and Professional Communication (TPC), demonstrating this method using the opening tutorial scene from Portal 2.”

Rhonda Stanton

Scientific writing

When extension and rhetorical engagement meet: Framing public audiences for agricultural science communication

Pigg, S. & Scheper, L. R. (2022). Technical Communication Quarterly, 31, 385-400. doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/10572252.2022.2034974

“This article reports from a qualitative case study exploring how a team of agricultural scientists framed their nonscientific audiences for science communication. Our results indicate communication audiences and strategies were shaped by state extension systems. As a result, we argue that technical communicators can contribute to agricultural science communication teams by modeling rhetorically engaged communication and building capacity for audiences overlooked by extension models most focused on economic impact.”

Rhonda Stanton


Revisiting SL in TPC through social justice and intercultural frameworks: Findings from survey research

Baniya, S., Edwards, J., Sano-Franchini, J., & Walwema, J. (2022). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 65(3), 353–369. doi: http://10.1109/TPC.2022.3177083

“This article reports on survey-based research of technical and professional communication (TPC) teachers and administrators, illustrating how these participants implement social justice and intercultural communication pedagogies in service learning (SL). . . .’ The authors asked the following research question: ‘How do technical and professional communication teachers and administrators across the US infuse their SL pedagogies with social justice and intercultural communication theories in practice?’. . . . The researchers ‘surveyed 55 TPC teachers and administrators about their experiences with and attitudes toward social justice and intercultural communication in SL.’ The authors’ findings included ‘courses . . . reported as sites of SL projects. . . participants’ self-reported perceptions about social justice in SL. . . [and] four themes related to the application of social justice and intercultural communication theories to SL: activities, constraints, points of resistance, and goals and outcomes.’ The article concludes ‘with recommendations for TPC administrators and programs, and . . . implications for TPC practitioners and future directions for research.’”

Lyn Gattis


Application of wearable computer and ASR technology in an underground mine to support mine supervision of the heavy machinery chamber

Stefaniak, P., Stachowiak, M., Koperska, W., Skoczylas, A., & Śliwiński, P. (2022). Sensors, 22(19), 7628. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/s22197628

“Systems that use automatic speech recognition in industry are becoming more and more popular. They bring benefits especially in cases when the user’s hands are often busy or the environment does not allow the use of a keyboard. However, the accuracy of algorithms is still a big challenge. The article describes the attempt to use ASR in the underground mining industry as an improvement in the records of work in the heavy machinery chamber by a foreman. Particular attention was paid to the factors that in this case will have a negative impact on speech recognition: the influence of the environment, specialized mining vocabulary, and the learning curve. First, the foreman’s workflow and documentation were recognized. This allowed for the selection of functionalities that should be included in the application. A dictionary of specialized mining vocabulary and a source database were developed which, in combination with the string matching algorithms, aim to improve correct speech recognition. Text mining analysis, machine learning methods were used to create functionalities that provide assistance in registering information. Finally, the prototype of the application was tested in the mining environment and the accuracy of the results were presented.”

Yvonne Wade Sanchez

Digital documenting practices: Collaborative writing in workplace training

Nissi, R. & Lehtinen, E. (October 2022). Written Communication, 39(4), 564–599 doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/07410883221108162

“Many of us are more and more dependent on others within our work-sphere and utterly dependent on devices for our writing. This article addresses both. ‘The present article examines collaborative writing in organizational consulting and training, where writing takes place as part of a group discussion assignment and is carried out by using digital writing technologies. In the training, the groups use digital tablets as their writing device in order to document their answers in the shared digital platform. Using multimodal conversation analysis as a method, the article illustrates the way writing is interactionally accomplished in this setting. . . The results show how writing is managed in situated ways and organized by three specific aspects: Access, publicity, and broader organizational practice. The article advances prior understanding of the embodied nature of writing and writing with technologies by demonstrating how the body and the material and social nature of writing technologies intertwine within situated social interaction.’”

Diana Fox Bentele

Usability studies

Motivating factors to self-disclosure on social media: A systematic mapping

Zani, A. A. A., Norman, A. A., & Ghani, N. A. (2022). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 65(3), 370–391. doi: http://10.1109/TPC.2022.3184428

“‘Self-disclosure on social media can cause some privacy risks, but it benefits users and businesses if adequately managed. Companies may benefit from users’ self-disclosure on social media to better understand the consumers’ needs, customize services or products, and address users’ concerns to sculpt positive brand reputation, trust, and sales. In addition, users’ better understanding of self-disclosure motivations helps them manage more suitable topic, platform, and concepts to match the intended online personal or professional persona. Finally, technical communicators’ understanding of the motivation for social media self-disclosures can help them leverage available self-disclosure in producing more effective technical communication and carefully plan self-disclosures with clear motivations. . . .’ The authors asked the following research question: ‘What does the current research about self-disclosure identify as users’ motivation for self-disclosure on social media?’ The authors ‘conducted a systematic mapping study that included relevant journal and conference publications. . . [and] found four categories for social media self-disclosures: discloser-related, audience-related, platform- and affordances-related, and perceived risk- and cost-related. . . .’ The authors conclude that ‘[t]he mapping of available studies helps researchers, academics, and practitioners understand existing self-disclosure motivations and research gaps. In addition, social media stakeholders planning to use social media self-disclosures within their areas of interest can use this study as a starting point to understand what drives social media self-disclosures.’”

Lyn Gattis

User experience

How effectively do we communicate? An analysis of team reflexivity in transition and action phases of team collaboration

Weger, K., Leder, S., Mesmer, B., Menon, V., & Schaub, H. (2022). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 65(3), 392–410. doi: http://10.1109/TPC.2022.3186773

“‘Communication is the backbone of effective collaboration, enabling project success; yet, engineering projects often fail due to poor communication. Specifically, engineering teams may benefit from reflexivity interventions to improve decision making, problem solving, innovation, and performance.’ [The authors] focus on team reflexivity in direct application to engineering project management to identify reflexivity processes that facilitate effective communication. . . .’” The authors asked two research questions: ‘How is team reflexivity expressed through text-based communication? How and when do team members shift between reflexivity processes over time, especially across and between transition and action phases?’ The researchers ‘analyzed collaborative activity among 62 four-person teams in a computer-simulated microworld across two scenarios. The reflexivity processes exhibited during interaction were identified and analyzed using statistical and content analysis. . . . Analyses indicated that team reflection promoted discussions about key issues, facilitated frequent process shifts among transition and action phases, and resulted in overall better performance.’ According to the authors, these ‘findings demonstrate the importance of team reflexivity interventions in engineering project teams to strategically guide members to improve planning, responding, and quality of attention devoted to long-term outcomes. . . [and] demonstrate the importance of deep structured team reflexivity through process shifts to help members understand strategies and goals, and develop shared objectives in complex environments.’”

Lyn Gattis

Mediated communication and customer service experiences: psychological and demographic predictors of user evaluations in the United States

Mays, K. K., Katz, J. E., & Groshek, J. (2022). Social and Management Sciences. doi: https://doi.org/10.3311/PPso.16882

“People around the world who seek to interact with large organisations increasingly find they must do so via mediated and automated communication. Organisations often deploy both mediated and automated platforms, such as instant messaging and interactive voice response systems (IVRs), for efficiency and cost-savings. Customer and client responses to these systems range from delight to frustration. To better understand the factors affecting people’s satisfaction with these systems, we conducted a representative U.S. national survey (N = 1321). We found that people overwhelmingly like and trust in-person customer service compared to mediated and automated modalities. As to demographic attitude predictors, age was important (older respondents liked mediated systems less), but income and education were not strong attitude predictors. For personality variables, innovativeness was positively associated with mediated system satisfaction. However, communication apprehensiveness, which we expected to be related to satisfaction, was not. We conclude by discussing implications for the burgeoning field of human-machine communication, as well as social policy, equity, and the pullulating digital services divide.”

Yvonne Wade Sanchez

Reimagining the role of friction in experience design

Ericson, J. D. (2022). Journal of User Experience, 17(4), 131–139. [doi: none]

“Current definitions of friction in user experience generally advocate for reducing or eliminating friction in the pursuit of efficiency and ease of use. As the field of user experience design increasingly aims to develop highly personalized experiences for unique individuals, this narrow view of friction risks the vital role that friction plays in human life. This paper compares definitions of friction found in other fields and examines ways in which friction shows up in our day-to-day lives to suggest a working definition of friction that clarifies how the concept can be applied to the experience design challenges of tomorrow. To meet these challenges, researchers and designers need to shift from reflexively eliminating friction to intentionally designing friction, which requires asking deeper questions about human needs and goals in addition to examining how we might help people accomplish tasks quickly and easily.”


POWR: A framework to bridge research planning and dissertation writing in engineering and information technology

Holden, J., & Khaw, L. L. (2022). IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 65(3), 427–441. doi: http://10.1109/TPC.2022.3187320

“A Ph.D. is an extended study that requires an initial plan to conceptualize a research project, which is then refined, with results presented in a written dissertation. Diverse entry pathways to research mean that many Ph.D. candidates may experience difficulties in conceptualizing, aligning, and writing up their projects. Thus, there is a need for an effective framework to help students conceptualize their research, as well as a mechanism to transfer it to writing in the required genres. . . . The key concepts for this tutorial center on two fundamental groupings: sociocognitive and sociocultural planning processes, along with genre dissertation writing. . . . [The authors] present the Plan, Organize, Write, Research (POWR) framework. POWR proposes a way to link a sociocognitive and sociocultural planning process and the structuring of research communication. The framework has two stages: POWRa and POWRb. POWRa provides a way to conceptualize the iterative planning process underpinning a long-term project, and provides a bridge to POWRb, the more formal genre communication of the project, through the dissertation document. . . . The tutorial provides a framework to articulate a research project in a supervisory and team environment. It uses terminology and structure relevant to engineering and information technology theses to illustrate the framework. The framework provides an iterative decision-making structure that is systematic, explicit, and equitable for research project planning and transfer into the writing genre of doctoral dissertations.”

Lyn Gattis