Texas Tech University

Visual Rhetorics, New Media, and User-Centered Design

Theories, applications, and research in visual communication from a rhetorical and user-centered perspective, including subjects such as Document design, Web design, Multimedia design, Usability studies, Media studies, Instructional design, and Interaction design.


5365: New Media Rhetoric. Introduction to theoretical and practical complexities and practicalities of working with new media and graphics.

5369: Discourse and Technology. Study of the effects of computer networks and digitally mediated knowledge management on theoretical, practical, and pedagogical notions of discourse and discourse communities.

5375: Document Design. Theory and practice of creating comprehensible, usable, and persuasive texts.

5376: Online Publishing. Design and testing of online documents to support instruction and information retrieval.

5377: Visual Rhetoric. Analysis and theory of the persuasive, discursive, and argumentative nature of the visual components of documents.

Note: Some courses are onsite only.

Facilities and Resources

  • Usability Research Lab (URL). The TCR program has a dedicated lab for testing the usability of documents, web sites, and other communication designs.
  • Media Lab. The Media Lab offers hardware, software, and training for using digital media, video, audio, podcasting, streaming, and instructional design
  • Servers. We manage a number of servers for research and development, including Apache and IIS web servers, as well as a Windows Streaming Media server.

Related Work From Our People

  • Dissertation: The Role of Rhetorical Invention for Visuals: A Study of Technical Communicators in the Workplace
  • Dissertation: Open-Source Software Development and User-Centered Design: A Study of Open-Source Practices and Participants
  • Dissertation: Exploring User / Webtext Interactions: An Examination of Gender and Sex Differences in Web Use
  • Dissertation: The Making of Knowledge in Science: Case Studies of Paleontology Illustration
  • Publication: Web Development: A Visual Spatial Approach.
  • Publication: Writing Software Documentation: A Task-Oriented Approach
  • Publication: Cruel Pies: The Inhumanity of Technical Illustrations
  • Publication: Hiding Humanity: Verbal and Visual Ethics in Accident Reports
  • Publication: Multimodal Composing: Teaching Effective Communication Through Exploring Oral, Chirographic, Typographic, and Electronic Culture
  • Publication: ePortfolio Performance Support Systems: Constructing, Presenting, and Assessing Portfolios
  • Publication: New Media Labs as Key Technical Communication Support Spaces