Communication Design Quarterly
Symposium on Communicating Complex Information
This paper explores the potential for technical communicators to employ usability research with risk-based interactive geovisualization technologies as a method of cultivating "critical rhetorics of risk communication" for local communities. Through integrating theories from usability studies and risk communication, I offer some new directions for thinking about the productive usability of online, participatory technologies that promote citizen engagement in science. I argue that the key tenets of productive usability afford technical communicators the opportunity to build localized knowledge of risk in real, local users, which in turn improves the capacity for a community and its stakeholders to more effectively communicate risk.
Original Publication Citation
Richards, D. (2015). Testing the waters: local users, sea level rise, and the productive usability of interactive geovisualizations. Communication Design Quarterly, 3(3), 20–24. doi:10.1145/2792989.2792992
Richards, Daniel, "Testing the Waters: Local Users, Sea Level Rise, and the Productive Usability of Interactive Geovisualizations" (2015). English Faculty Publications. 107.