Clay Spinuzzi

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Genre theorists agree that genres work together in assemblages. But what is the nature of these assemblages? In this paper I describe four frameworks that have been used to describe assemblages of genres: genre sets, genre systems, genre repertoires, and genre ecologies. At first glance, they seem to be interchangeable, but there are definite and sometimes(More)
This paper describes a cultural-historical framework for investigating usability, based on activity theory and genre theory. Rather than investigating usability as the property of a single artifact or of a user-artifact dyad, the framework approaches usability as distributed across an entire activity network. The points are illustrated through a(More)
In the early 1980s, Scandinavian software designers who sought to make systems design more participatory and democratic turned to prototyping. The "Scandinavian challenge" of making computers more democratic inspired others who became interested in user-centered design; information designers on both sides of the Atlantic began to employ prototyping as a way(More)
The <i>genre ecology</i> framework is an analytical framework for studying how people use multiple artifacts - such as documentation, interfaces, and annotations - to mediate their work activities. Unlike other analytical frameworks, the genre ecology framework has been developed particularly for technical communication research, particularly in its(More)
Field research in software documentation has a tradition of investigating how artifacts (from documentation to online help to interfaces to mundane equipment such as Post-It? notes) mediate or enable workers to perform complex tasks (see for instance [29]). Understanding artifacts and mediation can be key to understanding how well documentation supports(More)
Arguing that current approaches to understanding and constructing computer documentation are based on the flawed assumption that documentation works as a closed system, the authors present an alternative way of thinking about the texts that make computer technologies usable for people. Using two historical case studies, the authors describe how a genre(More)
Studies of knowledge work tend to take one of two research foci: either on communication (the transactional, intersubjective exchange of information, thoughts, writing, or speech among participants, performed in serial chains) or mediation (the nonsequential, implicit aspects of artifacts that serve to guide and constrain workers' activities). In this(More)
The question: How Korean entrepreneurs in an entrepreneurship program revised their slide decks for their presentations (“pitches”) in response to professional communication genres representing feedback from potential stakeholders in their target markets is examined. Research questions: As entrepreneurs learn to pitch ideas to unfamiliar markets, how do(More)
Researchers today are increasingly attempting to understand the relationship between technology and work through field methods. Surveying field methods commonly used by researchers to observe such interactions, I critically discuss the assumptions underpinning three methods (ethnography, participatory design, and contextual inquiry) and the strengths and(More)