Tetyana Zhyvotovska

Brief Bio

I am a PhD candidate in Rhetoric and Writing Studies program and assistant instructor at the University of Texas at El Paso. I previously taught at the universities in Ukraine and Languages and Linguistics Department at UTEP. My research and teaching interests are situated at the intersection of technical communication, translation, and user experience.

More About My Work

Being interested in the intersection of technical communication, user experience, and translation, making for me means creating the space where social justice-driven work is taking place for and with diverse communities. Multilingual communities are some of the groups that are often overlooked and marginalized. Technical communication scholars argue that quality of translation and localization in documentation affect lives of people in vulnerable communities and in some cases might even put the health of users at risk (Agboka 2014, p. 316; Batova, 2010, p. 276).

My participation in the WOC project allowed me to focus on technical communication, user experience, and translation intersection through a UX project. In my usability study, multilingual users got engaged with the translated content of the website, which provided an opportunity for me as a researcher to examine how translation functions in multilingual UX, including verbal, visual, and cultural elements as well as elements of localization and internationalization.

One of the important aspects of space making for multilingual communities is focus on empathy. Young (2015) sees empathy as a mindset with focus on people and purpose to understand their thinking and perspectives (p. 18). Gathering, comparing, and analyzing these patterns allows designers to make better decisions about their services and products. This approach helps me view a usability session as a space where a multilingual user produces reactions, formulates reasoning, and takes actions while using a website with multilingual content.

In addition, empathy in this sense means listening: listening to understand one’s thinking patterns, perspectives, and emotions while using a product but also listening to one’s voice in general. Listening is inclusion, and multilingual UX cannot exist without it. Thus, making is creating an inclusive space with empathy and listening as essential and vital strategies.


Agboka, G. Y. (2014). Decolonial methodologies: Social justice perspectives in intercultural technical communication research. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, 44(3), 297-327.  

Batova, T. (2010).Writing for the participants of international clinical trials: Law, ethics, and culture. Technical Communication, 57(3), 266-281.