Published on December 1, 2014

Communication Design Quarterly (CDQ), the peer reviewed publication of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’s Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) is soliciting article proposals for an upcoming special issue that will examine how aspects of culture, language, nationality, and globalization affect information and communication design in international and intercultural contexts.  This special issue will be published in November of 2015, and the guest editor is Kirk St.Amant of East Carolina University.

Special Issue Description

Until relatively recently, the idea of designing interfaces, informational materials, and instructional content for international audiences was seen as an “extra” or additional process reserved for multinational corporations.  Today, it has become a near imperative for almost any organization.  But developing effective materials for individuals from different nations and cultures is no easy task.  Rather, doing so requires an effective knowledge of how individuals from different cultures and nations

  • Use various technical and informational products
  • Access and share information and ideas via different technologies
  • Perceive and evaluate different aspects of information and communication design

For individuals working in the areas of information and communication design, these factors are central to developing materials that effectively meet audience expectations and are used as intended.  The question thus becomes: how can information and communication design be effectively extended to international contexts? The entries in this special issue will seek to answer this question.  In so doing, the articles published in this issue will constitute a resource for examining and understanding information and communication design issues and practices in global contexts.

Possible Topics for this Special Issue

The guest editor invites proposals for papers on applied research or theory, case histories/studies, commentaries, teaching approaches, and annotated bibliographies that address issues and questions including

  • How do aspects of culture, language, and national identity affect expectations associated with information and communication design?
  • What theories, models, or approaches can help us better understand and address cultural factors affecting expectations of information and communication design in international contexts?
  • What technological factors (e.g., access to the Internet, uses of hand-held devices, and perceptions of social media) do we need to consider in relation to information and communication design in international contexts?
  • What constitutes “best practices” or “effective practices” for internationalizing information and communication design, and why are such practices effective?
  • How should information and communication designers work with translators and localizers to create more effective materials for international audiences?
  • What international legal or policy factors need to be considered (and addressed) when designing materials for users located in other nations?
  • What kinds of research should information and communication designers do – and on what topics should their research focus – to better understand the expectations of users from other cultures and in other nations?
  • How should – or can – information and communication designers expand ideas and practices associated with usability, user experience design, and user testing to develop effective materials for users from other cultures and in other nations?
  • How should educators re-think or revise the teaching of information and communication design to better prepare students to create effective materials for international audiences?

Individuals are invited to submit proposals that try to answer these – or related – questions or ideas in order to further our understanding of how to expand information and communication design practices to global contexts.

Submission Guidelines

Proposals should be between 250-300 words in length and are due by 1 February 2015.  Proposals should be sent to  All proposals should include:

  • The submitter’s name, affiliation, and email address
  • A tentative, descriptive title for the proposed article
  • A summary of the topic/focus of the proposed article
  • An explanation of how the proposed topic/focus connects to the theme of the special issue
  • An overview or outline of the structure of the proposed article (i.e., how the author plans to address the identified topic within the context of the proposed article)

Production Schedule

The schedule for the special issue is as follows:

1 February 2015 – Proposals due
5 February 2015 – Decisions on proposals sent to submitters
5 April 2015 – Initial manuscripts due
5 May 2015 – Reviewer comments to authors
15 June 2015 – Revised manuscripts due
1 July 2015 – Final publishing decisions to contributors
November 2015 – Publication of special issue

Contact Information

Completed proposals should be sent to Kirk St.Amant at  Questions about proposal topics or about the focus of this special issue should be sent to Kirk St. Amant as well.