New Book! Keywords in Design Thinking

I am so excited to announce the release of a new book (my first-ever edited collection)––Keywords in Design Thinking: A Lexical Primer for Technical Communicators and Designers, published by the WAC Clearinghouse and University Press of Colorado in an open-access format. (That means you can read it for free!)

Link to publisher’s page:

I have so many feelings with this project. Mainly, I am thankful to the contributors of this volume for being so patient and kind throughout the proposal, review, and production process. I am also just relieved that this project has finally seen the light of day. Many of you reading this have probably heard me report on the progress of this work since 2019.

Three-plus years ago, I was inspired by a few scholars in writing studies who published open-access resources online (you can find out who these are in the acknowledgement page of Keywords). I was moved to pursue similar efforts, and thought there was a space in technical communication scholarship where design thinking could occupy. I had just defended my dissertation then, and I was still in full, gung-ho maker spirit. I wanted to create something different… something on a different scale than traditional edited collections. I envisioned an encyclopedic handbook that’s bite-size in its units. I wanted to include as many voices as possible. You can find my original call-for-contributions here. And oh, I wanted an unusually quick turnaround.

And then the world changed.

In 2020, despite a global health crisis, the individuals who signed up for the project still submitted their entries. By the time submission was closed, I had received 99 entries from nearly 130 contributors. Unexpected by me, the project had garnered attention by a scholarly press. When the editors from the WAC Clearinghouse’s TPC series approached me for a formal proposal, I was elated but also concerned about the changing timeline. Because the project now needed to undergo peer review, and I knew it would delay release time, I debated this direction with myself, some contributors, my institutional mentors, and ultimately chose to pursue this university press route.

I am grateful that the contributors stuck with me even when faced with multiple revisions during peer review and eventually breaking the monstrous collection into two sets––one on design thinking, and the other on “making.” The WAC series offered a contract for the design thinking collection, and I had then negotiated an advanced contract from Parlor Press for the making collection.

So here we are, the design thinking volume is ready for your perusal and use in teaching! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did completing it. Please share it with your colleagues and students.


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