The Society for Technical Communication (STC) honoured Utrecht University linguists Dr Henk Pander Maat and Prof. Leo Lentz in a ceremony at its annual conference in Rosemont (Illinois) on 22 May. Pander Maat and Lentz received the Frank R. Smith Award for Outstanding Journal Article for their article “Using Sorting Data to Evaluate Text Structure: An Evidence-based Proposal for Restructuring Patient Information Leaflets” (Technical Communication. Vol 58, nr. 3, 2011. pp. 218-237).
The Frank R. Smith award recognises the authors of exceptional articles that appeared in Technical Communication during the preceding calendar year. The judges wrote of their article:
“The Pander Maat and Lentz article is an exemplary piece of research that addresses several important questions about genre conventions, reader expectations, and research methodology. It is well written, demonstrates thorough analysis, and uses statistical methods to prove significance. It illustrates how quantitative research methods can be applied to important communication problems, challenges regulations in favor of user-centered design, and is immediately useful to practitioners.”
Henk Pander Maat is Associate Professor with the group Language and Communication and with the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS. His interest lies in the usability and readability of texts in the domains of expert-lay and organisation-client communication.
Leo Lentz is Professor of document design and communication at the Utrecht Institute of Linguistics OTS. Web usability and text evaluation is the main focus of his research. He develops evaluation methods for reader-focused and text-focused evaluation.
About the Society for Technical Communication (STC)
Technical communication is the process of conveying complex information in a way people can understand and use. The Society for Technical Communication is the largest association of technical communicators in the world, comprised of members on six continents throughout its 100 chapters and 22 Special Interest Groups. STC members work in every industry, producing instructional manuals, online help, multimedia, training resources, and other forms of technical communication. For more information, visit www.stc.org.