Journal of Technical Writing and Communication
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Published By Sage Publications

1541-3780, 0047-2816

2022 ◽  
pp. 004728162110725
Jason Tham ◽  
Tharon Howard ◽  
Gustav Verhulsdonck

This article follows up on the conversation about new streams of approaches in technical communication and user experience (UX) design, i.e., design thinking, content strategy, and artificial intelligence (AI), which afford implications for professional practice. By extending such implications to technical communication pedagogy, we aim to demonstrate the importance of paying attention to these streams in our programmatic development and provide strategies for doing so.

2021 ◽  
pp. 004728162110444
Candice Lanius ◽  
Ryan Weber ◽  
Joy Robinson

User experience (UX) researchers in technical communication (TC) and beyond still need a clear picture of the methods used to measure and evaluate UX. This article charts current UX methods through a systematic literature review of recent publications (2016–2018) and a survey of 52 UX practitioners in academia and industry. Our results indicate that contemporary UX research favors mixed methods, and that usability testing is especially popular in both published research and our survey results. This article presents these findings as a snapshot of contemporary research methods for UX.

2021 ◽  
pp. 004728162110413
Jennifer Bay ◽  
Gracemarie Mike Fillenwarth ◽  
Christine Masters-Wheeler

Though the remote internship is certainly not a new phenomenon, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the growth of this model for undergraduate experiential learning. As we consider this shift, we must evaluate how to best assist students completing remote internships. In this article, we argue that infrastructure offers a useful framework for understanding students’ internship experience and corresponding professionalization. We present two case studies of student remote internship experiences, analyzing areas of challenge and success through the infrastructural areas of writing projects, communication, and logistics. We offer recommendations for faculty working with remote student interns to promote positive learning experiences.

2021 ◽  
Vol 51 (4) ◽  
pp. 343-349
Emma J. Rose ◽  
Joanna Schreiber

In this special issue, we reflect on the past and current connections between TC and UX, it is important to recognize the value the two fields bring to one another. The articles in this collection illustrate a move into new spaces, incorporating new methods, and forging new connections and provide us an opportunity to conceptualize the continuously evolving relationship between the fields.

2021 ◽  
pp. 004728162110419
Gustav Verhulsdonck ◽  
Tharon Howard ◽  
Jason Tham

Technical and professional communication (TPC) and user experience (UX) design are often seen as intertwined due to being user-centered. Yet, as widening industry positions combine TPC and UX, new streams enrich our understanding. This article looks at three such streams, namely, design thinking, content strategy, and artificial intelligence to uncover specific industry practices, skills, and ways to advocate for users. These streams foster a multistage user-centered methodology focused on a continuous designing process, strategic ways for developing content across different platforms and channels, and for developing in smart contexts where agentive products act for users. In this article, we synthesize these developments and draw out how these impact TPC.

2021 ◽  
pp. 004728162110385
Richard Leo Enos

This essay argues that technical rhetoric in ancient Athens is neither well nor fully understood in its present historical characterization but rather is best realized as occupying a position on a spectrum of literate skills ranging from an art to a craft. The dismissive views of technical writing advanced by Plato and Aristotle should be reconsidered and specialized literate practices be recognized as an important feature of rhetoric in Athens’ classical period. A review of discursive and material (archaeological) evidence reveals that technical writing was evolving into a craft-skill in Athens as early as the archaic period and, by the classical period, would be regarded as a respected “rhetorical” profession of artistic expression. This essay urges readers to reconsider the restrictive characterization of rhetoric advanced by some historians of rhetoric and include the specialist craft-skills of writing as a manifestation of technical rhetoric that both illustrates, and more accurately represents, the range of classical rhetoric in ancient Athens.

2021 ◽  
pp. 004728162110379
Sean D. Williams

When most people think about the water coming from their kitchen faucets, they seldom consider where the water originates and how transporting it to their homes has environmental impacts. Utilities that supply water know the complexity of their systems, but from their position as a “utility,” they view their job as supplying safe water to their customers, not necessarily stewarding the environment. Consequently, when building large projects like dams, canals, and tunnels, utilities regard environmental disruption as a necessary byproduct of serving growing cities with water. Representations of these projects often replicate the “man conquering nature” frame, praising these engineering marvels for their defiance of nature. Denver Water, the utility that serves almost 1.5 million people on the arid eastern slope of the Colorado Rockies, has produced films describing its complex system since the early 20th century, and these films reveal an evolution of values from dominating nature to actively stewarding the environment. This paper reports on a grounded theory analysis of films produced by Denver Water between 1933 and 2018 examining how the films frame human relationships to the natural environment. The results reveal that the films increasingly express stewardship ideals over those of domination, with recent public communication actively advocating for environmental causes. The paper concludes by suggesting that we can learn important lessons from Denver Water about ethical organizational action for environmental stewardship.

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