Flowcharts, Swimlanes, and Timelines: Alternatives to Prose in Communicating Legal-bureaucratic Instructions to Civil Servants

Stefania Passera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
475 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Government-published documents often fail to communicate clearly – with citizens, but also with “professional readers” like civil servants. Visual or multimodal approaches remain rare. In particular, this is an unhelpful practice in regards to legal-bureaucratic instructions (e.g. contracts, rules, policies), which exist to guide compliant behavior. The study explores the development and the experimental evaluation of a diagrammatic guide for public procurement Terms & Conditions, addressed to civil servants. Results show that the diagrammatic format, in comparison to prose, significantly enhances comprehension accuracy and answering speed, and is perceived as more appealing and functional by the users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-272
Number of pages44
JournalJournal of Business and Technical Communication
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Document Design
  • Information Design
  • Legal/Regulatory Writing
  • Manual Writing/Instructions
  • Organizational Communication

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