Call: 4th Annual Symposium on Communicating Complex Information (SCCI)

4th Annual Symposium on Communicating Complex Information (SCCI)
February 23-24, 2015
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC USA

Call for Proposals

Building on the success of the previous three conferences, the Symposium on Communicating Complex Information (SCCI) explores the relationships between and within the contexts that affect complex information, information design, information architecture, user experience, and usability. It seeks to examine how design and content choices influence people’s behavior when interacting with complex information, and how the knowledge of situational context improves the design of complex information systems.

The intention of SCCI is to foster an integrated approach to the design of complex information by bringing together members from a range of research and practitioner communities. It strives to build upon what we already know about communicating complex information and to clarify our understanding of what issues urgently need further research.

Keynote address will be by Lisa Meloncon, University of Cincinnati.


The future will see the design of information and communication technologies that serve ever more complex purposes and problems. This symposium looks at ways to address those complex purposes and problems. It strives to give forward-looking answers to how we should create and test designs and content that work within increasingly complex environments. Quality designs and content should make the user experience, overall usability, and human-information interaction simpler, not more complex and difficult. The challenge is figuring out how to harness complex phenomena in requirements, design, and testing so that our systems support and enhance the user’s ability to interact with and use this complex information.

As teachers, practitioners, and scholars, how can technical communicators, user experience designers, and interaction designers contribute to new approaches to the design and evaluation of complex information systems and to help to define what is meant by usability and user experience of these systems?

This 2–day symposium is designed to maximize the exchange of information and ideas among the participants. It features a highly interactive format with 12-14 participants giving a 15–20 minute presentation followed by a 20–30 minute discussion.

The symposium is being co-sponsored by East Carolina University and ACM SIGDOC. Accepted papers will be published in a special issue of ACM SIGDOC Communication Design Quarterly and archived in the ACM Digital Library.


Please submit a 2–page position paper about your ongoing work, new interaction designs, opinions or approaches to the problem, or conceptual frameworks or theories. Papers will be peer-reviewed and selected by relevance and likelihood of stimulating and contributing to this discussion.

Upload your proposal to the conference system at:

Possible examples for paper topics could include but are not limited to the following:

  • How information architecture can address structuring complex information spaces.
  • How user experience can address improving the interactions within complex information spaces.
  • What is common and what is different based on domain demands that should inform our analysis of needs, generation of requirements, designs and testing? How do we design for knowledge work among interdisciplinary groups of experts?
  • Methods required for testing and evaluating complex systems (e.g., health care situations, resources allocated among many projects, intelligence analysis of multiple sources of data, customer service working across multiple technologies and/or cultures).
  • Methods of designing to maximize the user experience and enhance user interaction within complex information.
  • Methods of designing to improve decision-making within complex environments.
  • Methods of measuring users’ comprehension of complex material and ensuring maximal comprehension.
  • Methods of developing usability tests appropriate for a specific domain and that account for users’ extensive domain knowledge or lack of domain knowledge.
  • Examinations of domain experts’ retrieval and use of information on the web and best practices for designing and testing for this audience.
  • Reevaluations of usability in light of visual analytics, i.e., using interactive visual interfaces to conduct analytical reasoning and complex knowledge work.
  • Examine web site design for complex sites that require new usability approaches.
  • Descriptions and analyses of the ways that domain experts perceive complexity and simplicity in unique production environments, such as health care.


2 page proposal due:  October 1, 2014
Notice of acceptance:  December 1, 2014
Papers for symposium due:  February 15, 2015
Symposium dates:  February 23–24, 2015

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