In the time of COVID-19 pandemic, risk communication becomes extremely exigent as the world needs real-time exchange of critical information between experts and people facing health related issues (WHO). Since people are facing threats to their health, economic and social well-being, they need to take immediate actions to protect themselves and their loved one. Therefore, the ultimate purpose of risk communication is to help people at risk to "take informed decisions. " (WHO)
Risk communications actually pervade our everyday lives. Public service announcements educate us about early signs of a stroke. Cars beep at the drivers to fasten the safety belt. Cigarette packs warn customers of the hazards of using this product.
As technical communicators, we are the mediator between technology and end users. Users who are unaware of potential threats and dangers brought about by technologies need our crystal clear content of risk communication. However, are we prepared for communicating to end users a riskier future of various kinds of new technologies?
In this workshop, we will take a progressive approach by (1) extending the definition of risk communication to all sorts of communication that enable readers/users to take informed decisions, and (2) adopt a novel method named "design fiction" to hypothesize, envision and contextualize communication problems that may happen.
What this workshop offers....
This workshop experiments with the speculative design method “design fiction”, aiming to invite participants, who are technical communicators, to engage with the future scenarios where emerging technologies are used. In the workshop, participants will learn to develop fictional use scenarios where a new technological device is used, and analyze the potential risks it might bring. Furthermore, participants need to communicate risks to the targeted users in the most appropriate manners.
Through the playful and speculative tasks, we wish to call for awareness of risks and negative influences that new technology might have on end users, and expand the roles of technical communicators in contributing to creating a safe technological future.
Content Design and Experience
tcworld 2020 topics