Enhancing Communication Interventions and Evaluations through Communication Design

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Communication design is first and foremost about creating, engineering, or critiquing approaches to communication that achieve specific goals or values. A design approach acts as an integrative perspective for finding the relevance of theory to a specific site of intervention. Communication design processes are illustrated through work on ombuds processes and organ donation campaigns. This research highlights four propositions related to communication design. First, design should be about both creation and critique. Second, design is complementary to, and strengthens, theory (and vice versa). Third, design can be both unique to an intervention or context and iterative from previous designs. Finally, design helps us uncover unexpected and unintended consequences, uncovering hidden properties of communication and leading to opportunities for modifying and correcting communication practices. These unintended consequences and other design successes and failures provide opportunities for learning and creating better systems. In these ways, a commitment to design processes strengthens both our research and our practice of communication across a variety of communication contexts and across different levels of communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-149
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Communication Design
  • Health Campaigns
  • Ombudsman
  • Organ Donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics


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