People

Jan Spyridakis, PhD

Jan SpyridakisProfessor, Human Centered Design & Engineering
University of Washington

jansp@uw.edu
Sieg Hall, Room 411
UW HCDE Box 352315, Seattle, WA 98195
Website »

Professor Spyridakis's current research focuses on assessing the effect of document and screen design variables on comprehension, perceptions, and user behavior; the refinement of methods for remotely assessing users and readers of online information; and the development of an Open Source toolkit--WebLabUX--to support remote user assessment.

With students in her Internet-Based User Experience Lab, she have been conducting empirical studies to assess the effect of web design features on users' comprehension, perception, and behavior. For more on this research, look at publications on the publications page with Wei, Barrick, Cuddihy, Bartlell, Halko, Maust, Mobrand, Schultz, or Freeman.

Education

Ph.D. Educational Curriculum and Instruction, University of Washington
M.A.T. (MA in Teaching) English, University of Washington
B.A. English, University of Washington

Professional Interests

  • Assessment of document and screen design variables and their effect on readers and users
  • User-centered design
  • Assessing users through the internet—refinement of methods

Honors and Awards

  • Rigo Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Field of Communication Design from Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on the Design of Communication (SIGDOC) (2016).
  • Invited Keynote Speaker at ACM SigDoc Conference (2016).
  • Editorial Board, Communication Design Quarterly.
  • CCCC Technical and Scientific Communication Award for “Best Article Reporting Qualitative or Quantitative Research in Technical or Scientific Communication (2014).
  • First Place in Poster Competition, International Professional Communication Conference, Vancouver, Canada, IEEE Professional Communication Society (2013).
  • Board of Advisors. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.
  • Ronald S. Blicq Award for Distinction in Technical Communication Education (2008).
  • Distinguished Contributions to Lifelong Learning Award. University of Washington (2007).
  • Frank R. Smith Outstanding Journal Article Award, "Distinguished Technical Communication 2006, for "The Effect of Heading Frequency on Comprehension of Print Versus Online Information." (The first place award for articles appearing in Technical Communication.) (2007).
  • Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research, Society for Technical Communication. First ever award from the Society for Technical Communication for excellence and leadership in research (2007).
  • Invited plenary speaker, International Conference on Discourse, Cognition and Communication, Utrecht, The Netherlands (2006).
  • Jay R. Gould Excellence in Teaching Award from the Society for Technical Communication (May 2004).
  • Frank R. Smith Outstanding Journal Article Award, "Distinguished Technical Communication 2000" for "Developing Heuristics for Web Communication" (from the Society for Technical Communication) (2001).
  • Frank R. Smith Outstanding Article Award for "The Influence of Semantics and Syntax on What Readers Remember" (from the Society for Technical Communication) (2000).
  • Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Washington Outreach Programs (2000).
  • Fellow, Society for Technical Communication (1997).
  • Achievement Award for Best Research Article for "Reduced Text Structure at Two Text Levels: Impacts on the Performance of Technical Readers" (from the Society for Technical Communication, Chapter 34) (1995).
  • Award of Distinguished Communication for "Writing for Human Performance: Relating Reading Research to Document Design"(from the Society for Technical Communication) (1993).
  • Best Article Reporting Formal Research in Technical or Scientific Communication for "Signaling Effects: Increased Content Retention and New Answers" (National Council of Teachers of English) (1991).
  • Visiting Scientist, Battelle Human Affairs Research Center, Human Factors Organizational Effectiveness Study Center, Seattle, WA.(1989-1991).
  • Distinguished Teaching Award," University of Washington (1990).
  • "Faculty Achievement Award," College of Engineering, University of Washington (1989).
  • Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society.
  • Pi Lambda Theta National Honor Society.

Selected Publications

Some links below lead directly to PDFs; other links lead to PDFs through the original publications.

Watson, B., Stamnes, M., Jeannot-Schoreder, J., and J. Spyridakis. API Documentation and Software Community Values: a Survey of Open-Source API Documentation. SIGDOC '13 Proceedings of the 31st ACM International Conference on Design of Communication, October 1, 2013.

Jones, N., McDavid, J., Derthick, K., Dowell, R., and J.H. Spyridakis. Plain Language in Environmental Policy Documents: An Assessment of Reader Comprehension and Perceptions. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 42, 4, 331-371, 2012.

Cuddihy, E. and J.H. Spyridakis. From Web Designer to Research: Using Experiment Patterns to Research Web Design Decisions. Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 2012.

Bartell, A. and J.H. Spyridakis. Managing Risk in Internet-Based Research. Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 2012.

Cuddihy, E. and J.H. Spyridakis. Effect of Visual Design and Placement of Intra-Article Navigation Schemes on Reading Comprehension and Website User Perceptions. Computers in Human Behavior, 28, 4, 1399-1409, 2012.

Cuddihy, E., Mobrand, K., and J.H. Spyridakis. Web page previews: Effect on comprehension, user perceptions, and site exploration. Journal of Information Science, 38, 2, 103-117, 2012.

Thayer, A., Evans, M.B., McBride, A., Queen, M., and J.H. Spyridakis. I, Pronoun: A Study of Formality in Online Content. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication,40, 4, 447-458, 2010.

Freeman, K. and J.H. Spyridakis. Effect of Contact Information on the Credibility of Online Health Information. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 52, 2, 152-166, 2009.

Derthick, K., Jones, N., Dowell, R., McDavid, J., Mattern, D., and J.H. Spyridakis.  Effectiveness of Plain Language in Environmental Policy Documentation for the General Public. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, Honolulu, HI, July 2009.

Rush, S., Masker, B., Halko, S., Cuddihy, E., Halko, J., Spyridakis, J. Internet-Based Research for the Desktop and Beyond: Building a Foundation of Excellence for Information Design on the Web. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, Honolulu, HI, July 2009.

Cuddihy, E., Wei, C., Bartell, A.L., Barrick, J., Maust, B., Leopold, S.S., and J.H.  Spyridakis. Conducting an Automated Experiment over the Internet to Assess Navigation Design for a Medical Web Site Containing Multipage Articles. In G. Hayhoe and H. Grady (Eds.), Connecting People with Technology: Issues in Professional Communication. Farmingdale, NY: Baywood Publishers, Amityville, NY, 31-41, 2008.

Spyridakis, J.H., Mobrand, K., Cuddihy, E., and C. Wei. Using Structural Cues to Guide Readers on the Internet. Information Design Journal, 15, 3, 242-259, 2007.

Mobrand, K., Cuddihy, E., and J.H. Spyridakis. The Effect of Structural Cues on User Comprehension, Navigational behavior, and Perceptions. Proceedings of the IEEE Professional Communication Society, Seattle, WA, Oct. 2007, 7 pgs.

Gygi, K. and J.H. Spyridakis.  Developing a Cultural Model to Support Web Site Localization: a Case Study of Uzbek School. Proceedings of the Society for Technical Communication 52nd Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, May 13-16, 138-142, 2007. (PDF)

Thayer, A., Evans, M., McBride, A., Queen, M., and J.H. Spyridakis. Content Analysis as a Best Practice in Professional Communication Research. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 37, 3, 267-279, 2007.

Mobrand, K. and J.H. Spyridakis. Explicitness of Local Navigational Links: Comprehension, Perceptions of Use, and Browsing Behaviour. Journal of Information Science, 33, 1, 41-61, 2007.

Gygi, K.F. and J.H. Spyridakis. Developing a Cultural Model to Support Web Site Localization: A Case Study of Uzbek School Web Sites. Proceedings of the Society for Technical Communication 54th Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN, May 13-16, 138-142, 2007. (PDF)

Bartell, A., Schultz, L., and J.H. Spyridakis. The Effect of Heading Frequency on Comprehension of Print versus Online Information. Technical Communication, 53, 4, 416-426, 2006. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H., Wei, C., Barrick, J., Cuddihy, E., and B. Maust. Internet-Based Research: Providing a Foundation for Web Design Guidelines. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 48, 3, 242-260, 2005.

Wei, C.Y., Evans, M.B., Eliot, M., Barrick, J., Maust, B, and J.H. Spyridakis. Influencing Web Browsing Behaviour with Intriguing and Informative Hyperlink Wording. Journal of Information Science, 31, 5, 433-445, 2005.

Cuddihy, E., Wei, C., Bartell, A.L., Barrick, J., Maust, B., Leopold, S.S., and J.H. Spyridakis. Conducting Remote, Internet-based Experiments on Web Design. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (July, Ireland), 554-561, 2005. (PDF)

Evans, M.B., McBride, A.A., Queen, M., Thayer, A., and J.H. Spyridakis. Tone Formality in English-Language University Web Sites around the World. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (July, Ireland), 2005.

Wei, C., Cuddihy, E., Barrick, J., and J.H. Spyridakis. Conducting Usability Research through the Internet. Proceedings of the Usability Professional Association (June, Montreal ), 2005. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H., Schultz, L.D., Alexandra L. Bartell. Heading Frequency and Comprehension: Studies of Print versus Online Media. Proceedings of the Society for Technical Communication 52nd Annual Conference (Seattle, WA ), May 8-11, 138-142, 2005.

Wei, Carolyn, Maust, Brandon, Barrick, Jennifer, Cuddihy, Elisabeth, and Jan H. Spyridakis. Wikis for Supporting Distributed Collaborative Writing, Proceedings of the Society for Technical Communication 52nd Annual Conference (Seattle, WA ) May 8-11, 204-209, 2005. (PDF)

Schultz, L., and J.H. Spyridakis. The Effect of Heading Frequency on Comprehension of Online Information: A Study of Two Populations. Technical Communication, 51, 4, 504-516, 2004. (PDF)

Evans, M.B., McBride, A.A., Queen, M., Thayer, A., and J.H. Spyridakis. The Effect of Style of Typography on Perceptions of Document Tone. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 300-303, 2004. (PDF)

Evans, M.B., Wei, C., and J.H. Spyridakis. Using Statistical Power Analysis to Tune-up a Research Experiment: a Case Study. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 14-18, 2004. (PDF)

Barrick, J., Maust, B., Spyridakis, J.H., Eliot, M., Wei, C., Evans, M., and K. Mobrand. A Tool for Supporting Web-Based Empirical Research: Providing a Basis for Web Design Guidelines. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 189-193, 2004. (PDF)

Evans, M.B, Wei, C., Eliot, M., Barrick, J., Maust, B., and J.H. Spyridakis. The Effect of Informative, Intriguing, and Generic Hyperlink Wording on Web Browsing Behavior. Proceedings of the International Technical Communication Conference, 313-317, 2004. (PDF)

Evans, M.B., McBride, A.A., Queen, M., Thayer, A., and J.H. Spyridakis. Has the Tone of online English Become Globalized: An Empirical Research Study Investigating the Written Tone of University Web Sites around the World. Proceedings of CATaC'04: Cultural Attitudes towards Technology and Communication, 135-139, 2004. (PDF)

Freeman, K.S., and J.H. Spyridakis. An Examination of Factors that Affect the Credibility of Health Information on the Internet, Technical Communication, 51, 2, 239-263, 2004. (PDF)

Kolko, B.E., Wei, C, and J.H. Spyridakis. Internet Use in Uzbekistan: Developing a Methodology for Tracking Information Technology Implementation Success. Information Technologies and International Development, 1, 2, 1-19, Winter 2003.

Isakson, C. and J.H. Spyridakis. The Influence of Semantics and Syntax on What Readers Remember. Technical Communication, 50, 4, 538, 553, 2003. Invited reprint with updated postscript for Golden Anniversary edition of Technical Communication. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H., Wei, C., and B.E. Kolko. The Relationship of Culture and Information-Seeking Behaviour: A Case Study in Central Asia. Adjunct Proceedings of HCI International 2003, Crete University Press, 167‚ 168, 2003.

Haselkorn, M.P., Sauer, G., Turns, J., Illman, D.L., Tsutsui, M., Plumb, C., Williams, T., Kolko, B., and J.H. Spyridakis. Expanding the Scope of Technical Communication: Examples from the Department of Technical Communication at the University of Washington. Technical Communication, 50, 2, 174‚ 191, 2003. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H. and W. Fukuoka . The Effect of Inductively Versus Deductively Organized Text on American and Japanese Readers. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 45, 2, 89-114, 2002.

Schultz, L.D. and J.H. Spyridakis. The Effect of Heading Frequency on Comprehension of Online Information. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 513-518, 2002.

Mobrand, K.A. and J.H. Spyridakis. A Web-Based Study of User Performance with Enhanced Local Navigational Cues. Proceedings of IEEE International Professional Communication Conference, 500-508, 2002.

Fukuoka , W. and J.H. Spyridakis. Japanese Readers' Comprehension of and Preferences for Inductively Versus Deductively Organized Text. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 43, 4, 355-367, 2000.

Spyridakis, J.H. Guidelines for Authoring Comprehensible Web Pages and Evaluating Their Success. Technical Communication, 47, 3, 301-310, 2000. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H. Quicklist for Authoring Comprehensible Web Pages and Evaluating Their Success. Excerpted from Guidelines for Authoring Comprehensible Web Pages and Evaluating Their Success. Technical Communication, 47, 3, 301-310, 2000. (PDF)

Van der Geest, T. and J.H. Spyridakis. Developing Heuristics for Web Communication. Technical Communication, 47, 3, 359-382, 2000. (PDF)

Fukuoka , W. and J.H. Spyridakis. The Organization of Japanese Expository Passages. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 42, 3, 166-174, 1999.

Isakson, C. and J.H. Spyridakis. The Influence of Semantics and Syntax on What Readers Remember. Technical Communication, 46, 3, 366-381, 1999. (PDF)

Fukuoka , W., Kojima, Y., and J.H. Spyridakis. Illustrations in User Manuals: Preference and Effectiveness with Japanese and American Readers. Technical Communication, 46, 2, 167-176, 1999. (PDF)

Andrews, D.C., Spyridakis, J.H., Driskill, L.P., and N.L. Hoft. Teaching International Technical Communication. Technical Communication Quarterly, 7, 3, 329-338, 1998.

Spyridakis, J.H. and C.S. Isakson. Nominalizations vs. Denominalizations: Do They Influence What Readers Recall? Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 28, 2, 163-188, 1998. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H., Miller, A., and W. Barfield. Usability Evaluations for Intelligent Transportation Systems. In W. Barfield and T. Dingus (Eds.), Human Factors in Intelligent Transportation Systems. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 217-246, 1998.

Ng, L., Barfield, W., and J.H. Spyridakis. Defining User Information Requirements for Intelligent Vehicle Highway Systems (IVHS) Using Survey Methodologies. In W. Barfield and T. Dingus (Eds.), Human Factors in Intelligent Transportation Systems. New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 287-324, 1998.

Spyridakis, J.H., Holmback, H., and S.S. Shubert. Measuring the Translatability of Simplified English in Procedural Documents. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 40, 1, 217-246, 1997.

Haselkorn, M., Spyridakis, J., Blumenthal, C., Michalak, S., Goble, B., and M. Gardner. Bellevue Smart Traveler: Design, Demonstration, and Assessment. WA-RD 376.1, Olympia, WA . Prepared for Washington State Department of Transportation, 82 pgs., 1995.

Shubert, S., Spyridakis, J.H., Holmback, H., and M. Coney. The Comprehensibility of Simplified English in Procedures. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 25, 4, 347-369, 1995.

Miller, C., Spyridakis, J.H., and M. Haselkorn. A Development Tool for Advanced Traveler Information Systems Screen Designs. IVHS Review, 75-97, 1994 (Summer).

Michalak, S., Spyridakis, J.H., Haselkorn, M.P., Goble, B., and C. Blumenthal. Assessing User Needs for Dynamic Ridesharing. Transportation Research Record 1459, Transportation Research Board/National Research Council, National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 32-38, 1994.

Wenger, M.J. and J.H. Spyridakis. Reduced Text Structure at Two Text Levels: Impacts on the Performance of Technical Readers. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 23, 4, 333-352, 1993.

Crosby , P., Spyridakis, J.H., Ramey, J., Haselkorn, M., and W. Barfield. A Primer on Usability Testing for Developers of Traveler Information Systems. Transportation Research-C, 1, 2, 143-157, 1993. (PDF)

Conquest, L., Spyridakis, J.H., Barfield, W., and M. Haselkorn. The Effect of Motorist Information on Commuter Behavior: Classification of Drivers into Commuter Groups. Transportation Research-C, 1, 2, 183-201, 1993.

Goble, G., Michalak, S., Haselkorn, M, Spyridakis, J., and C. Blumenthal. Bellevue Smart Traveler: Reducing SOV Commuting. Proceedings of Pacific Rim TransTech Conference/ASCE Third International Conference on Applications of Advanced Technologies in Transportation Engineering, ASCE Volume I, 286-292, 1993.

Spyridakis, J.H. Conducting Research in Technical Communication: The Application of True Experimental Designs. Technical Communication, 39, 4, 607-624, 1992. (PDF)

Plumb, C. and J.H. Spyridakis. Conducting Survey Research in Technical Communication. Technical Communication, 39, 4, 625-637, 1992. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J. H. and M.J. Wenger. Writing for Human Performance: Relating Reading Research to Document Design. Technical Communication, 39, 2, 202-215, 1992. (PDF)

Furman, A., and J.H. Spyridakis. The Effect of System-Initiated Advice on the Use of Menu Navigation Shortcuts. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 35, 2, 112-119, 1992.

Williams, T. and J.H. Spyridakis. Visual Discriminability of Headings in Text. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 35, 2, 64-71, 1992.

Haselkorn, M., Barfield, W., Spyridakis, J., Conquest, L., Dailey, D., Crosby , P. , Goble, B., and M. Garner. Real-time Motorist Information for Reducing Urban Freeway Congestion: Commuter Behavior, Data Conversion and Display, and Transportation Policy. Technical Report , NTIS No: PB90-235466/XSP, WA-RD 240.1, Olympia, WA . Washington State Department of Transportation and USDOT, 183 pgs., 1992.

Spyridakis, J.H. An Emerging Model of Signaling Effects. Technical Communication, 38, 4, 600-603, 1991. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H. and M.J. Wenger. An Empirical Method of Assessing Prior Knowledge and Topic Familiarity in Reading Comprehension Research. British Educational Research Journal, 17, 4, 353-360, 1991. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H., Wenger, M.J., and S. Andrew. Technical Communicator's Guide to Understanding Statistics and Research Design. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 21, 3, 207-219, 1991. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H. and C.S. Isakson. Hypertext: A New Tool and Its Effect on Audience Comprehension. International Professional Communication Conference 91, Proceedings for International Professional Communication Conference, Orlando, FL, Section 2, 37-44, 1991.

Haselkorn, M., Barfield, W., Spyridakis, J., Goble, B., and M. Garner. Traffic Reporter: A Real-Time Commuter Information System. Applications of Advanced Technologies in Transportation Engineering, ASCE: New York , 26-30, 1991.

Spyridakis, J.H., Barfield, W., Conquest, L., Haselkorn, M., and C. Isakson. Surveying Commuter Behavior: Designing Motorist Information Systems. Transportation Research, 25A, 1, 17-30, 1991.

Spyridakis, J., Haselkorn, M., Barfield, W., Goble, B., and M. Garner. Designing and Implementing a PC-Based, Graphical, Interactive, Real-Time Traveler Information System that Meets Commuter Needs. Proceedings of Vehicle Navigation and Information Systems (VNIS '91), IEEE, 1045-1048, 1991.

Haselkorn, M., Spyridakis, J., and W. Barfield. Surveying Commuters to Obtain Functional Requirements for the Design of Graphics Based Traffic Information Systems. Proceedings of Vehicle Navigation and Information Systems (VNIS '91), IEEE, 1041-1044, 1991.

Barfield, W., Haselkorn, M., Spyridakis, J.H., and L. Conquest. Integrating Commuter Information Needs in the Design of a Motorist Information System. Transportation Research, 25A, 2-3, 71-78, 1991.

Wenger, M.J., Spyridakis, J.H., Haselkorn, M.P., Barfield, W., and L. Conquest. Motorist Behavior and the Design of Motorist Information Systems. Human Factors and Safety Research Related to Highway Design and Operation, 1990. Transportation Research Record No. 1281, 159-167, 1990.

Gray, B.G., Barfield, W., Haselkorn, M., Spyridakis, J.H., and L. Conquest. The Design of a Graphics-based Traffic Information System Based on User Requirements. Proceedings of the 34th Annual Human Factors Society, 603-606, 1990.

Haselkorn, M., Barfield, W., Spyridakis, J.H., and L. Conquest. Understanding Commuter Behavior for the Design of Motorist Information Systems. Paper #890800, 69th Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, 1990.

Haselkorn, M., Barfield, W., Spyridakis, J.H., and L. Conquest. Improving Motorist Information Systems: Towards a User-Based Motorist Information System for the Puget Sound Area, WA-RD 187.1, Olympia, WA . Washington State Department of Transportation and WSDOT, 139 pgs., 1990.

Spyridakis, J.H. Signaling Effects: A Review of the Research—Part I. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 19, 3, 227-240, 1989. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H. Signaling Effects: Increased Content Retention and New Answers—Part II. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 19, 4, 395-415, 1989. (PDF)

Wenger, M.J. and J.H. Spyridakis. The Relevance of Reliability and Validity to Usability Testing. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 32, 4, 265-271, 1989.

Spyridakis, J.H. and T. Standal. Signals in Expository Prose: Effects on Reading Comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 12, 3, 285-298, 1987. (PDF)

Spyridakis, J.H. (1987) Authors' Plans Meet Readers' Plans. International Technical Communication Conference Proceedings, RET 70-73, 1987.