Dr. Kailan Smith Sindelar presents at SIGDOC 2022

Dr. Jordan Frith, Pearce Professor of Professional Communication, and Dr. Kailan Smith Sindelar, recent RCID alum and Assistant Professor of Technical Writing at the University of North Florida, co-presented at SIGDOC in Boston, Massachusetts on Friday, October 7. The two presented “From Microverses to the Supposed Metaverse: Design Insights and Visions of a VR Future.” 

SIGDOC is the Association for Computing Machinery’s (ACM) Special Interest Group (SIG) on Design of Communication (DOC).

The conference’s theme was as follows:

Concerns for public health and community well-being have led to a much needed re-evaluation of how we assemble to share, co-create, and support intellectual work. The use of face masks, social distancing, and Zoom have not only changed the when, why, and how of communication; these COVID-19 adaptations have also forced us to reassess assumptions about communication and become innovative in how we interact with each other. Shifts in identity and purpose, too, characterized as “The Great Resignation,” have encouraged millions of people to reassess their relationship to the spaces in which they work, live, and play.

SIGDOC 2022 will not be a pandemic-themed conference. However, we feel remiss to not acknowledge the obvious social contexts of our gathering and how this intersects with the design of communication. This year’s conference organizers believe returning to a face-to-face conference affords us the opportunity to consider how the COVID-19 pandemic, political protest and activism, social justice, labor rights, and institutional strain have created the conditions to learn from the past–that is, to think about how a usable past creates the conditions for a better present and future.

As we return to face-to-face communication and interaction, we invite participants to consider what it means to return to our communication design practices, reassess our work as researchers, teachers, practitioners, and community activists and find ways to strengthen our resolve in pursuit of change.

While your presentation may not specifically address this year’s theme, we invite you to consider the questions below. We also invite submissions that do not adhere to the conference theme.

“SIGDOC was such a great conference! It was so nice to catch up with people and make new connections,” Dr. Sindelar said. “I’m leaving here with lots of encouragement from amazing people and feeling very energized by their work!”


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