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Physical, Cognitive, and Affective: A Three-part Framework for Information Design

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This article first explores limitations of the prevailing concept of document design. Next, it offers a definition of information design—a framework meant to broaden the popular perspective on design in our field. The article then describes in detail the three types of design activities involved in technical communication: physical design, cognitive design, and affective design. Last, this article suggests the strengths and limitations of this framework. Appendixes describe implications of this framework to the teaching of technical communication to majors in the field, to the practice of technical communication in industry, and to research in the field.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2000

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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