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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.183
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.283

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SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.228
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.634

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2014, Issue 202


How to do things with websites: Reconsidering Austin's perlocutionary act in online communication

Stefano Tardini / Asta Adukaite / Lorenzo Cantoni
Published Online: 2014-10-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2014-0043


The importance of online communication has pushed researchers from several communication-related fields to contribute to its design and evaluation; when it comes to websites, usability studies have highly contributed to improve the quality of online applications. Even though usability has taken the point of view of users, its main focus is on the application itself, and on how it should be better designed, and implemented accordingly. This article argues that actual usages by a website's users, as well as the business goals of its publisher should be included in the analysis, to offer a better understanding of website communication. To provide a wider, and more adequate approach to the issue, it is suggested that Austin's model of communicative acts can offer a clear map of all involved elements and needed viewpoints, helping in designing a comprehensive model for researchers in website communication.

Keywords: usability; online communication; speech acts; world wide web; usages; perlocution

About the article

Stefano Tardini

Stefano Tardini (b. 1972) is a postdoctoral researcher at Università della Svizzera italiana 〈stefano.tardini@usi.ch〉. His research interests include eLearning, online communication, social networks, and virtual communities. His publications include Pensare e comunicare (with N. Di Blas et al. 2008); “From paradigmatic to syntagmatic communities: a socio-semiotic approach to the evolution pattern of online travel communities” (with L. Cantoni et al. 2009); and “Health virtual communities: Is the self lost in the Net?” (with L. Camerini & N. Diviani 2010).

Asta Adukaite

Asta Adukaite (b. 1985) is a PhD candidate at Università della Svizzera italiana 〈asta.adukaite@usi.ch〉. Her research interests include information and communication technologies in tourism and learning contexts.

Lorenzo Cantoni

Lorenzo Cantoni (b. 1967) is a professor at Università della Svizzera italiana 〈lorenzo.cantoni@usi.ch〉. His research interests lie where communication, new media and education overlap. His publications include Comunicazione. Teoria e pratiche (with N. Di Blas 2006); Internet (with S. Tardini 2006); “Towards online content classification in understanding tourism destinations' information competition and reputation” (with A. Inversini 2011); and “The online reputation construct: Does it matter for the tourism domain? A literature review on Destinations' online reputation” (with E. Marchiori 2012).

Published Online: 2014-10-01

Published in Print: 2014-10-01

Citation Information: Semiotica, Volume 2014, Issue 202, Pages 425–437, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2014-0043.

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