A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Apply Empathy Within Your Organization

Each organization exists for a purpose: to bring something to the world, make it available to people, and enable those people to capitalize upon it. Many organizations exist to also make
 a profit. Whether for profit or not, all organizations seek to sustain themselves, so they can continue bringing their things to the world. Within each organization, there is usually a healthy awareness of the purpose, as well as a focus on being sustainably successful.

Young, Indi. UX Magazine (2015). Careers>Workplace>Collaboration>Emotions


Are We There Yet? Effects of Delay on User Perceptions of Web Sites

One of the chronic challenges that will be highlighted by emotional design is site download speed. There are many sources of delay in Web site and application delivery.

Straub, Kathleen. Human Factors International (2003). Articles>Web Design>User Centered Design>Emotions


Attractive Things Work Better   (PDF)

Until recently, emotion was an ill-explored part of human psychology. Some people thought it an evolutionary left-over from our animal origins. Most thought of emotions as a problem to be overcome by rational, logical thinking. And most of the research focused upon negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, and anger. Modern work has completely reversed this view.

Norman, Donald A. JND.org (2003). Design>User Interface>User Experience>Emotions


The Best Faces for the Screen

It doesn't matter how many hours of video and megabytes of graphics can be stuffed onto a silver platter, typefaces still serve an essential function that can't be duplicated by other means--transmitting complex intellectual and emotional messages in a very concise and precise way.

Will-Harris, Daniel. Typofile. Design>Typography>Fonts>Emotions


Beyond Usability: Designing Web Sites for Persuasion, Emotion, and Trust

The next wave in Web site design is persuasive design, designing for persuasion, emotion, and trust. While usability is still a fundamental requirement for effective Web site design, it is no longer enough to design sites that are simply easy to navigate and understand so users can complete transactions. As business mandates for Web site design have grown more strategic, complex, and demanding of accountability, good usability has become the price of competitive entry. So, while usability is important, it is no longer the key differentiator it once was.

Schaffer, Eric M. UXmatters (2009). Articles>Web Design>Emotions>Persuasive Design


Biological Motion and Happy Interfaces

If visual design speaks to the user's aesthetics, and interactive design to the user's cognition, then this seems to be something else. Aside from the notable exception of Don Norman's Emotional Design, this is an aspect of design that we don't often think about: playing to the user's awareness of emotion.

Faaborg, Alex. UX Magazine (2010). Articles>User Experience>User Interface>Emotions


Communicating Emotions Effectively in Online Learning Environments   (PDF)

This paper presents an analysis of the various textual and visual ways that emotions are typically communicated in online learning environments. It also looks at the importance (and limitations) of both verbal and nonverbal online communication from the perspective of Daniel Goleman’s concept of “emotional intelligence.” Descriptions of three case studies demonstrate situations that involve emotionally-based student-instructor interactions that could have become problematic without the instructor’s awareness of the actual emotional issues involved. The paper concludes with a set of recommended guidelines for instructors addressing emotions in online learning situations.

Shirk, Henrietta Nickels. STC Proceedings (2005). Articles>Education>Online>Emotions


Dealing with “Enronitis”: Written Communications for Building Investor Confidence   (PDF)

Recently, investor confidence has deteriorated, in part due to the discovery of fraud at several large companies. As a result, many communications from those in the financial industry have attempted to regain investor trust and confidence. This paper reports my analysis of five such communications and the themes I found appearing in them: need for trust, history of continuous improvement, continued existence of high ethical and professional standards, and investor wisdom. In writing trust-building communications, technical communicators should note: trust is built in several ways, history does not always repeat itself, and emotions are very powerful factors in decision-making.

Bloch, Janel M. STC Proceedings (2003). Articles>Writing>Business Communication>Emotions


Design and Emotion

Emotion is one of the strongest differentiators in user experience namely because it triggers unconscious responses to a product, website, environment or interface. Our feelings strongly influence our perceptions and often frame how we think about or refer to our experiences at a later date.

Spillers, Frank. Demystifying Usability (2004). Articles>Usability>User Experience>Emotions


The Design and Emotion Society

The Design and Emotion society raises issues and facilitates dialogue among practitioners, researchers, and industry, in order to integrate salient themes of emotional experience into the design profession. The Design and Emotion Society was established in 1999 as an international network of researchers, designers and companies sharing an interest in experience driven design. The network is used to exchange insights, research, tools and methods that support the involvement of emotional experience in product design.

Design and Emotion Society, The. Organizations>Graphic Design>Emotions


Design for Emotion and Flow

We create software and websites to display and represent information to people. That information could be anything; a company’s product list, pictures of your vacation, or an instant message from a friend. At this moment, there’s more information available to you than at any other time in history.

van Gorp, Trevor. Boxes and Arrows (2008). Design>Web Design>User Experience>Emotions


Desire Is A Universal Language

No matter how motivated we are or how much effort we invest in our work, it doesn't change the fact that we devote a sizable chunk of our careers to working on brands no one truly cares about. In the 25 years that I’ve worked as a designer, brand consultant, and creative director, I've experienced the good, the bad and, most often, the mediocre. There are myriad reasons for mediocrity, but unfortunately, the one that’s the most detrimental is also the most prevalent.

Hendricks, Nathan. UX Magazine (2012). Articles>User Centered Design>User Experience>Emotions


Digital Fashion

Design is the visual expression of thoughts and feelings, and combines rational and emotional conditions. In digital media the focus is shifted to functionality, primarily because the development is rapid and it takes a lot just to understand the options. This is as truer for users as it is true for designers. Once this phase is over and the standards are set, there will be a growing demand for more refined design solutions: projects that communicate and not just deliver information. Rationality rules at the surface, anything that turns the focus of the users awareness to something specific happens earlier and the motivation comes from the deeper levels of the soul. The whole fuzzy composition is very influential before the content is clearly rendered, if it ever gets clear at all; Sites are in the same situation as billboards, they have to grab the attention of the visitor in the first moment without having him to think about something specific. In a more and more competitive environment there is always an

Jenett, Daniel. Digital Web Magazine (1999). Design>Graphic Design>Aesthetics>Emotions


(e)Xpressive Markup Language?

Conveying the emotional tone of a Web page has, up until now, been impossible with HTML, and the XML standard fails to address this issue. As an interim solution, developers have proposed several new tags to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Hart, Geoffrey J.S. Geoff-Hart.com (1998). Humor>Computing>XML>Emotions


The Emerging Role of Emotional Intelligence in Business Communication Classes   (PDF)

Communication is a major component of emotional intelligence models. While we teach persuasive writing, presentations, bad news, good news, and you orientation in our business communication classes, to date we have not looked at the effects emotional intelligence has on our teaching. Emotional intelligence encompasses all areas that we teach in business communication. The purpose of this paper is to show how emotional intelligence is a part of what makes some people good business communicators and others poor ones. If we knew which students had a high-level or which had a low level of emotional intelligence, hypothetically that information could help us teach business communication concepts more efficiently in our classrooms.

Martin, Jeanette S. Association for Business Communication (2004). Articles>Education>Business Communication>Emotions


Emotion & Design: Attractive Things Work Better

Advances in our understanding of emotion and affect have implications for the science of design. Affect changes the operating parameters of cognition: positive affect enhances creative, breadth-first thinking whereas negative affect focuses cognition, enhancing depth-first processing and minimizing distractions. Therefore, it is essential that products designed for use under stress follow good human-centered design, for stress makes people less able to cope with difficulties and less flexible in their approach to problem solving. Positive affect makes people more tolerant of minor difficulties and more flexible and creative in finding solutions. Products designed for more relaxed, pleasant occasions can enhance their usability through pleasant, aesthetic design. Aesthetics matter: attractive things work better.

Norman, Donald A. JND.org (2002). Design>Web Design>Usability>Emotions


Emotion and Voice User Interfaces

When you hear the term voice user interface (VUI), what comes to mind? Most likely, memories of an interactive voice response system (IVR) for customer service arise. IVRs are certainly not going away. For many companies, they remain the foremost contact point with customers. But voice user interfaces are more than just IVRs. In fact, VUIs have tremendous potential for enhancing the experience of any mobile phone user. As the use of mobile devices and applications proliferates internationally, understanding how to integrate, or mash up, graphic user interfaces (GUI) and VUIs is becoming critically important.

Clayton, Darnell and Colleen Jones. UXmatters (2008). Articles>User Interface>Emotions>Voice


Emotional Design with A.C.T. - Part 1

As UX professionals, we strive to design engaging experiences. These experiences help to forge relationships between the products we create and the people who use them. Whether you’re designing a website or a physical product, the formation of a relationship depends on how useful, usable and pleasurable the experience is. Ultimately, we form relationships with products and services for the same reasons we form relationships with people.

van Gorp, Trevor. Boxes and Arrows (2010). Articles>User Experience>User Centered Design>Emotions


Emotional Design: Communicating an Experience

Today communicating is not always about a single message but an entire experience. One of the reasons the Web and the Internet has gained in popularity is not only because of its commercialization but because users can dynamically interact with it. Walker Gibson uses the term 'mock reader' to describe when a reader accepts the role within a story that an author has presented. The authors of Web sites, the designers, create an experience that immerses the site visitor or viewer into the Web site. A successful Web site designer has the ability to create a 'mock Web visitor' who becomes completely immersed emotionally in the site the designer has created.

Chinn, Darryl. EServer (2001). Design>Web Design>Visual Rhetoric>Emotions


Emotional Factors for Mobile Business Success

How do emotion, meaning and identity shape the design and rapid adoption of mobile devices and services? China is a wonderful place to study this topic.

Braiterman, Jared and Yue Yu. uiGarden (2007). Articles>Business Communication>Emotions>China


Emotional Intelligence: Putting Theory into Practice

Social and emotional learning may seem difficult to teach, but there are activities out there that can help.

Edutopia (2008). Articles>Education>Emotions>User Centered Design


The Emotional Potential of The Web

The Internet can connect people who are continents apart, in a way that is genuinely one-on-one and filled with emotion.

Usborne, Nick. Excess Voice (2002). Articles>Cyberculture>Online>Emotions


Emotional States of Computer Users in Times of Frustration

If there’s one undeniable characteristic of the frustrated computer user, it’s that her patience is gone. She will not be slowly flipping through the user manual. Notice her jerky movements. If she turns to the help (which she doesn’t here), she’ll search for keywords, skim rapidly, click quickly from topic to topic. As we write for users in this state of mind, we have to remember the hurry.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2009). Articles>Documentation>Technical Writing>Emotions


Emotions in Organizations: Joint Laughter in Workplace Meetings    (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Humor and laughter are emotion-involving activities that can be jointly constructed in interaction. This article analyzes instances of joint laughter in leader-member meetings where laughter may or may not be associated with humor. The method applied is conversation analysis in which the focus lies on laughter's role in the microlevel organization of interaction. The results show that the instances of laughter do not occur in accidental locations but are clearly connected to specific activities. First, humor and laughter can be strategically used by team leaders to create collegiality and a good working atmosphere in their teams. Second, laughing together is connected to closing down a topic or a phase in a meeting in a way that displays mutual understanding. Third, shared laughter initiated by team members appears to be a resource that can be used to reduce tension in challenging situations such as the accomplishment of difficult tasks or the treatment of delicate topics. Finally, laughing together can be used to do remedial work in problematic or conflicting situations. Ultimately, joint laughter appears to be a resource that can be used to improve the task performance and, through this, the achievement of the goals of the organization.

Kangasharju, Helena and Tuija Nikko. JBC (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Organizational Communication>Emotions


Emotions Trigger The Right Moves

We pump out a lot of information about product features and benefits on the Web, but have you taken a look at how much -- or maybe how little -- we use emotional appeals to help customers buy our products? Take a look at how customers make purchase decisions.

Allen, Cliff. Allen.com (2001). Articles>Business Communication>Marketing>Emotions



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