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Practical Empathy SIGCHI Workshop: Scholarships

HCDE Blog - Tue, 06/23/2015 - 10:58

The following information was sent from the Puget Sound Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction (PSSIGCHI).

Practical Empathy:
Gain Greater Collaboration & Creativity in Your Work
with special guest Indi Young
Friday, July 24, 2015
8:30 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
POP: 1326 5th Avenue Suite 800, Seattle

What if you could become more skillful at recognizing and dispelling your assumptions? What if you could gather reliable understanding about how another person reasons, in order to have smoother collaboration and richer creative ideas?

Join PSSIGCHI for a day of becoming aware of your assumptions and learning what cognitive empathy can mean for your work. Try out a new, deeper kind of listening, which forms the root of cognitive empathy, and apply it within your organization. Learn skills that will allow you to reframe the way you solve problems for people.

Learn more about the event here »

PSSIGCHI is offering two student scholarships to the event! Students interested in the scholarship should send an email to with one sentence describing why they want to attend with their name, phone number, and student status (ie. undergrad — senior, graduate — 2nd year).

Tips for Writing a Personal Essay

HCDE Blog - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 14:38

The following article was re-posted from Advance Course, originally published on May 3, 2015, in the Seattle Times.

Make a statement
11 insider tips from university staff on writing an
enviable personal essay
By Lora Shinn

Most graduate programs require a personal statement or essay for admission. While narrowing your goals and aspirations down to 500 words or fewer may not be a task you relish, it’s a critical component of the application process.

Think of it as an equivalent to a five-credit course, says Jenny Halpin, director of the University of Washington’s Odegaard Writing and Research Center, which helps more than 1,500 students prepare statements for graduate, professional and scholarship programs every year.

Give yourself roughly two months from essay draft to application deadline, Halpin suggests, which allows time to reflect on the program’s questions, brainstorm answers, incorporate your research, review experiences and revise early drafts.

It’s not easy to write these statements, she says. “It’s an awkward genre, not one we have a lot of experience with as writers or people, and it runs counter to what our culture says about basic modestly and humility,” she says. But this is your chance to communicate to the committee that you’re an extraordinary applicant, and they want you in their program.

Here’s a quick run-down of tips from Halpin and Marie Boisvert, director of graduate admission at Pacific Lutheran University.

  1. Read the question. Many writers don’t read the question, or they five it only a cursory look. “We see a lot of draft statements that are off-topic, even if [it is] a reasonably well-crafted statement that tells a good story,” Halpin says. When you lose sight of the initial question, “it looks to the committee that you didn’t care enough about what was actually asked.”
  2. Don’t use templates. Worst-case scenario: you accidentally mention another school (it’s happened, Boisvert says). Everything in your essay must custom-fit the program to which you’re applying.
  3. Craft for the program and program faculty, not the university. The committee reading your letter wants to know why you fit their program, Boisvert notes. If your interests or experiences dovetail with the research focus of a faculty member or department, mention it. Drop faculty members’ names and name published pieces—it shows you’ve done your homework.
  4. Show off. Committee members want to see that you are a good writer, a great fit for the program, intrinsically motivated and can be successful in both the program and in the field as a whole, Boisvert says. They also want to see that you have a realistic understanding of the field and an ability to perform low-supervision research, if you are applying for a research-based program.
  5. Skip the TTYLs and other informal language. “This is your opportunity to show you can write in formal academic style, and there’s so much writing in grad school,” Boisvert says.
  6. Avoid pat phrases. An example: “I always wanted to be a (profession) since I was (age).” The phrase doesn’t contribute much. “Being the doctor isn’t the end game, it’s helping people,” Boisvert says. Skip anything that seems overly nostalgic or sentimental, as well.
  7. Pass on the term “passion.” “We’re glad you’re passionate, but everyone else is saying the same thing,” Halpin says. “Don’t tell me, show me what you mean.” An example: Instead of saying you’re passionate about medicine, detail an interaction with a patient, and how it changed your approach to medicine. “Then we see the passion isn’t just a façade, but really all wrapped up in identity: who you are, how you think and how you imagine your life,” she says.
  8. Address deficiencies. “If you don’t explain it, the reason is left up to the imagination of people on the committee,” Boisvert says. If you didn’t pass a class in freshman year, mention both what went wrong and your remedy. If your scores were low, let the committee know that they don’t reflect your potential. But keep it positive. It’s fine to talk about struggles, but don’t dwell on the negative. “Show your positive and tenacious side,” Boisvert says, two skills critical to grad-school success.
  9. Mind word counts. Many statements require 300–500 words. Bad news: Online application systems’ text boxes will cut you off, Halpin says. So cut in advance, but beware losing unique aspects that make you a compelling candidate, she says. More bad news: Increasingly, graduate programs in medicine and law require a second round of questions to refine the applicant pools, and often those word counts are even more brief.
  10. Revise. Revision should be done last, after the structural work is done. “Read the sentences back to front so you can see what you actually wrote and not what you meant to write,” Halpin says. Read work aloud to catch typos or sentences that don’t sound quite right.
  11. Get help. If you’re already out of school, your alma mater may have a career center that can assist past graduates planning to attend graduate school. Still attending classes? Head to your university’s writing center to ask for help.


Shinn, Laura (2015, May 03). Make a statement: 11 insider tips from university staff on writing an enviable personal essay. The Seattle Times. Retrieved from

Group Health Seminar Series on Patient-Generated Health Data

HCDE Blog - Tue, 06/16/2015 - 10:50

The following information was sent from Group Health Research Institute.

Seminar series on Patient-Generated Health Data
Group Health Research Institute
Metropolitan Park East — 1730 Minor Ave Room 1509A

Are you interested in engaging people in health with mobile technology?

Join us for our upcoming seminar series at Group Health Research Institute (GHRI)! We have an exceptional line up of speakers and talks are open to all.


Learn about Software Product Management at UW

HCDE Blog - Fri, 05/29/2015 - 09:56

Want to get ahead in the world of software product management? UW Professional & Continuing Education has two fall programs designed for those looking to advance their careers in this growing field

Certificate in Software Product Management (9-month Evening Certificate)

Software Product Management Intensive Course (4-day Intensive Course)

Both offerings start September 2015

Sponsored by HCDE and Computer Science & Engineering

Explore the life cycle for digital products in the Web, mobile and software categories. Learn to define and quantify a market opportunity; articulate a product’s value proposition and target customer; develop user-centered product requirements; and create a market launch strategy. Apply learning through hands-on activities and get feedback from senior product managers.

Learn more:

Info session webinar on June 12. RSVP here:


User Experience Design Intern at Posh Technologies

HCDE Blog - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 15:59

The following information was sent from Posh Technologies.

Posh Technologies seeks a dynamic, self-starter User Experience Intern.


One of the fastest growing companies in US for 2014 as per Inc 5000 Magazine (link)   – Posh Technologies and Winner of Exporter of the Year Award from US Small Business Administration for

2015 (link)  & numerous other Awards — is looking for a team of 3–4 interns ( paid) to work on:-

  • Interaction Design
  • Website design and implementation
  • Usability Specialist
  • Video and multimedia solutions

The position will assist in several responsibilities, including but not limited to:

  • Attend regular meetings to gather requirements from Business Requirement Documents and question the stakeholders
  • Create visual UI elements to support existing projects; such as icons, style guide, images, PSD designs, HTML prototypes
  • Present ideas and concepts to both creative and technical teams and incorporate feedback accordingly.
  • Wireframe and prototype concepts for websites, mobile web, and native apps
  • Assist with in-house and online user testing
  • Collaborate with teams to define and prioritize user experience research questions.
    Ensure effective communication of research findings, including synthesizing them into workable design principles.
    Participate in client and brainstorm meetings to come up with design concepts.
    Ability to handle multiple projects and meet deadlines.
  • Experience with UX tools (Axure, Balsamiq, etc.) required but not critical



The ideal candidate is a currently enrolled college student (rising Junior, Senior, or first year graduate student) with a minimum of 3.0 GPA that will complete their degree requirements in winter 2015 or later.

Additional qualifications include:

  • Web based portfolio
  • Some relevant experience in application design
  • Understanding of web development and how designs translate to code and markup
  • Well versed in Adobe Creative Suite
  • HTML and CSS experience desired

To Apply– Please send your resume to

HCDE GSA End of Year BBQ

HCDE Blog - Mon, 05/25/2015 - 15:48
HCDE GSA End of Year BBQ
Friday, June 5 | 5–8 p.m. Ravenna Park
Facebook Event

All HCDE undergraduate, graduate, certificate, and PhD students are invited to the End of Year BBQ hosted by the HCDE Graduate Student Association (GSA).

Come celebrate another great year with HCDE and/or celebrate your graduating friends. Meet new friends, or catch up with those you haven’t seen lately in the beautiful Ravenna Park. Find the event in the picnic area in the north-west corner.

Family and friends are invited. For this reason it is imperative that you RSVP if you are coming, and include the number of guests you will bring.



User Research Moderator contract at Microsoft

HCDE Blog - Wed, 05/20/2015 - 09:27

The following job description was sent by Microsoft, members of HCDE Corporate Affiliates Program.

User Research Moderator contract

Summary from Hiring Manager:

“My project is in need of 6 user research moderators that can execute lab research according to a prepared protocol, are great with participants, and can summarize high-level issues and findings. Ideally, a subset of these would have experience with data analysis, some stats background and comfort with stats analysis in Excel or other programs”

Primary Function of Project: Expanding headcount by 6 for a new project responsible for conducting and overseeing user research studies involving 100 people/ week, measuring comforts and other qualities using typical usability metrics

Target Skill Level: Lower level candidates that are good with people, can execute pre-written protocols and document issues will be the best fit. They will counting failures, identifying success rates and recording details from participants (Example, defining comfort level on a 1–10 scale and explaining why)

In Addition Candidates will be:

  • able to summarize high level issues and findings
  • comfortable with Excel or other programs
  • having stats background (not required)
  • familiar with executing UX studies

If interested/have questions call Tol McAleese, Senior Recruiter, at 206–518-5000 ext 5102, or, email at


Partial Scholarship From AIGA Seattle & General Assembly

HCDE Blog - Tue, 05/19/2015 - 15:46

The following information is from AIGA Seattle & General Assembly.

Have you wanted to make a career shift into the exciting universe of UX Design? AIGA Seattle and General Assembly are teaming up to help you do just that.

Enter to win a partial scholarship for General Assembly’s User Experience Design Immersive program, launching this June at their Seattle campus. One winner from the AIGA community will receive $3,000 toward the full-time program, and learn the skills needed to transition into a career in UX Design.

Applications are due Wednesday May 27th! Apply now!


Startup Hall Founder Friday: Meet eMobileCare CEO Khalid Siddiqui

HCDE Blog - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 17:00

The following information was sent from UW’s Startup Hall.

Founder Friday: Meet eMobileCare CEO Khalid Siddiqui
Friday, May 22, 10:30AM
  • Meet a member company at Startup Hall
  • Find out what the startup life is really all about
  • Free coffee/tea/hot cocoa

Come learn what it’s like to start a hardware business. It has its ups and down and needs additional runway to take off. Khalid will discuss the strategy behind eMobileCare, answer questions and have an open discussion.


Meet Khalid, founder of eMobileCare. The company is building a product and a solution to remotely monitor elderly and incapacitated at their residence. The main purpose is to keep individuals safe and keep the community of family, friends and caregivers informed and involved, irrespective of their location. Relevant data is captured 24 x 7 and analyzed by a cloud service to generate alerts, reminders and trend reports. The goal is to provide proactive and predictive healthcare at a much lower cost.  Prior to eMobileCare, Khalid was a senior software architect at Microsoft. Khalid has a Bachelor, Master and Doctorate in Electronics and Computer Engineering and also an MBA. He co-founded SGA, an air pollution monitoring company, soon after under grad degree. He sold SGA after 2 years and went on a world trip and ended up working in Nigeria, UK, Kuwait and UAE, before returning to US to join Microsoft.

HCDE Open House is June 1: Friends & Family are Welcome!

HCDE Blog - Mon, 05/18/2015 - 16:22

HCDE OPEN HOUSE June 1, 2015
4–7 p.m.
Husky Union Building (HUB) Ballroom
UW Seattle Campus

Please join the department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) for our 2015 Open House on June 1, in the HUB Ballroom on the UW Seattle campus.

See presentations from undergraduate and graduate capstone project teams and hear from research groups about the latest topics in Human Centered Design & Engineering. Meet HCDE Corporate Affiliates, HCDE & TC alumni, prospective students, and friends of the department at our biggest event of the year.

Highlights include:
  • Capstone poster showcase and your chance to vote in the People’s Choice Award Capstone contest
  • Networking opportunities for alumni, Corporate Affiliates, students, and faculty
  • HCDE photo booth with free photo prints
  • HCDE Alumni Association sign-up booth
  • FAQ booth for prospective HCDE students
  • Free HCDE giveaways
 Save to your calendar »  Find on Facebook »

Undergraduate Trainee Stipend — Research Experience

HCDE Blog - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 16:59

HCDE Assistant Professor Kate Starbird has an excellent opportunity for up to four openings-Undergraduate Trainee Stipend-Social Media Research during the summer 2015 quarter.

The jobs will run from June 16, 2015 through September 15, 2015. The deadline to apply is May 25, 2015. Interested applicants may apply on HuskyJobs: referencing job number: 90477.

This is a joint-project with the Information School, you may refer to the link below for details:


Bloomberg Philanthropies i-Team

HCDE Blog - Fri, 05/15/2015 - 16:58
Bloomberg Philanthropies i-Team Info Session
Tuesday, May 19
4:30–5:30 p.m.
HCDE Design Lab, 233 Sieg Hall

The City of Seattle has been selected to participate in the Bloomberg Philanthropies Innovation Delivery Teams (i-Team) program.  This team is based in the Mayor’s Office of Policy & Innovation.  The team has recently received approval to hire a Design Expert to join the team (job description attached).  In this role, the Design Expert has the opportunity to bring Human-Centered solutions to the projects and challenges the i-Team tackles.

To learn more, please join us for an Information Session on Tuesday, May 19 from 4:30–5:30pm in HCDE’s Design Lab.  The session will be led by Carlos Terrones, the i-Team Director.

Innovation Delivery Team Playbook »

WiUX: UX Story Telling

HCDE Blog - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 12:03

A new event from HCDE’s Women in User Experience (WiUX) Student Association:

UX Story Telling
Creating dynamic narratives in your portfolio
with Char Easter, UX Designer at the Seattle Times Thursday, May 28
6–8 p.m.
Sieg 232

Find the event on Facebook »

Design and Technology Course Instructor

HCDE Blog - Thu, 05/14/2015 - 11:55

The following information is from Seattle Academy.

SEATTLE ACADEMY is a dynamic, urban prep school, grades 6–12. Our diverse faculty is exceptionally qualified, strong academically, combining rich life experience with passion for their disciplines.

We seek a part-time Design and Technology Course Instructor:  12 week course, offered for three consecutive trimesters beginning August 2015.

An important aspect of designing apps, websites, and other types of tech products is ensuring that users understand how to use the product and can access the information they need. This class will combine psychology, sociology, design, and front-end development to convey best practices for structuring user flows, layouts, information architecture, and more. Students will learn to wireframe apps, create prototypes, and test those prototypes with users to improve their designs.

Please submit cover letters and resumes by email ONLY to: Search Committee at

Internship: User Experience Design at Epic

HCDE Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 18:13

The following information was sent by HCDE Corporate Affiliates Program members, Epic.

User Experience Design Intern

Position Summary
Spend your summer designing applications that will shape the future of healthcare. As a User Experience Design Intern at Epic, you’ll collaborate with fellow interns and full-time designers and developers in creating user-centered applications for the web, desktop, or mobile devices. You’ll be mentored by UXD professionals and take ownership of challenging, meaningful projects from day one. You’ll gain an understanding of your user’s needs and play a critical role in constructing how they interact with our newest applications.

We expect you to be able to demonstrate your ideas with various levels of finish: sketches, wireframes, high-fidelity mockups, and interactive prototypes. We employ a variety of creative software in our work, and you’ll use whichever is best for the task at hand.

The software we create directly improves the way over 50% of Americans receive healthcare — in fact, it’s likely affecting the life of someone close to you. You’ll need to take your work seriously, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to take yourself too seriously (having fun is part of our mission). At Epic, you’ll find a rare combination of intellectually demanding and interesting projects that contribute to the greater good. We are located in Madison, Wisconsin, a city regularly ranked as one of America’s best places to live.


  • A solid portfolio demonstrating strong interactive and visual design skills
  • Education or experience in user-centered design techniques
  • Working towards a bachelor’s degree or greater in human-computer interaction or a related field
  • Eligible to work in the U.S. without visa sponsorship

For fastest consideration, please include a link to your online portfolio or any interactive applications you’ve designed.

Apply on the Epic website »

UW SIGCHI Talk: Collaborative Collecting: The Social Dimensions of User Data

HCDE Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 15:00

Join UW SIGCHI for an invited lecture:

Collaborative Collecting: The Social Dimensions of User Data
Amelia Abreu (UW, Information School)
May 15, 2015
1:30 p.m. — 2:30 p.m.
128 Sieg Hall

When we design user experiences, we emphasize short term use: getting users signed up, initially interacting with the product, integrating it into their lives. But what happens after users have shared and saved meaningful data in a platform? How do users collect and share data, and how does this impact the long term user experience?

In this talk, Amelia Abreu will share findings from a longitudinal field study examining collecting and collaboration in social media platforms. She’ll explore findings about what types of users build collections, and how collections impact how users approach technology. Finally, she’ll share design guidelines for building better collecting experiences and creating stable and secure archival collections.


Based in Portland, Oregon, Amelia Abreu works with agencies, tech companies (large and small), and cultural institutions. Before this, Amelia worked as a researcher and instructor at the University of Washington while pursuing a PhD in Information Science. Her dissertation, “Sharing and Saving” takes a design research approach to examine data collecting and collaboration. She has worked with the Social Media Collective at Microsoft Research and the IXR Group at Intel, both of whom supported her dissertation research.

This free event is open to the pub­lic. Please invite others »

Black Box Festival

HCDE Blog - Mon, 05/11/2015 - 13:40

Dara Birnbaum. ARABESQUE (screening view of ARABESQUE). 2013. Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.

HCDE is a proud community sponsor of Aktionsart’s Black Box art, film and technology festival.

Black Box takes place during the Seattle International Film Festival, May 6 — June 7, 2015, and is organized independently by Aktionsart - a new art and technology nonprofit based in the Pacific Northwest. It was founded in 2014 by Julia Fryett.

See the full festival program here »

CSCW Submission Writing Workshop

HCDE Blog - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 15:25
CSCW Submission Writing Workshop
Friday, May 15, 2 — 5 p.m.
HCDE Design Lab

HCDE faculty Gary Hsieh, Sean Munson, Julie Kientz, and David McDonald are hosting a CSCW submission workshop for HCDE and dub students, from 2–5 p.m. in the Design Lab (Sieg 233).

There will be three 1-hour paper-swapping sessions. You don’t have to participate in all three sessions. The goal is for you to get feedback on outlines, ideas, and writing.

You are also invited to come if you are not working on a submission but can help read/give feedback.

If you are interested in participating, please “register” your paper here:

Startup Hall: Meet Member Company Mo

HCDE Blog - Thu, 05/07/2015 - 15:14

The following information is from UW’s Startup Hall.

Founder Friday: Meet Mo Friday, May 15
10:30 a.m. Meet a Member Company! Students only. Signup (required):

Mo is the co-founder of Karat. Karat is the world’s first dedicated marketplace for expert interviewers. Customers like Intuit, SolarCity, Minted and Interana hire interviewers from Karat’s platform to assess their job candidates which saves time and improves the quality of hire. Prior to Karat, Mo was the Global Head of Strategy/M&A at XBOX, the gaming division of Microsoft. He built a team of 20 professionals and completed over $400M in deals during his tenure. Mo started his career by founding Topic Magazine, a lifestyle publication, right out of undergrad and he grew that business to over $1m in revenue in less than 2 years.

Founder Chat:

Come learn what it’s like to start a business right out of undergrad. Mo will walk a small group of students through his days at Topic Magazine — how he received funding, built the team and navigated the highs and lows of entrepreneurial life. He will then compare the approach he took with Topic to how is building Karat, and answer your questions.

Job: Data Scientist, Modeling Analyst, & Survey Methodologist with Hillary for America

HCDE Blog - Fri, 05/01/2015 - 17:25

The following information was sent from Husky Jobs.

Data Scientist, Modeling Analyst, and Survey Methodologist Hillary for America

Our mission is to give every family, every small business, and every American a path to lasting prosperity by electing Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States.  We are a driven team of passionate people from across the country, working around the clock to achieve our mission and put our country on the right path forward.

Analytics Team Overview

The HFA Analytics department analyzes the campaign’s data to guide strategic decision-making and help optimize resources on the ground, on-line, and on the air.

Our team’s work will be instrumental in helping the campaign determine which voters to target for persuasion and turnout efforts, where to place the most effective media buys, and how to design a compelling communication strategy. By diving head-first into our massive data-sets, the Analytics department will play a critical role in informing campaign strategy.

Role Overview & Day-to-Day

We are looking for Data Scientists, Modeling Analysts, and Survey Methodologists to join our team through November 2016 at our Brooklyn, NY headquarters. They will play a pivotal role in developing data-driven strategies for key primary and battleground states. They will be responsible for designing and building predictive models, field and digital experiments, and research methods. By utilizing their statistical expertise, they will dissect large datasets, synthesize results and present findings to team leaders.

Tasks & Responsibilities

  • Build and validate predictive models for voter behavior to ensure efficient voter contact
  • Develop methods to help optimize fundraising outreach efforts
  • Design, implement, and analyze experiments across various campaign channels
  • Developing and improving campaign survey methodology
  • Producing analyses to help the campaign allocate resource more efficiently
  • Mining text data to improve the campaign’s communication with voters

Required Skills & Background

  • BA/BS Econometrics, Statistics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Machine Learning, Political Science or other technical fields (MS or PhD preferred); OR equivalent practical experience in an analytical setting
  • Expertise with any of the following: predictive analytics and modeling, survey methodology, causal inference, experimental design and analysis, independent research, text analysis/natural language processing or regression analysis
  • Expertise in various statistical packages such as R, STATA, Python, Weka, or Apache Spark
  • Experience with SQL queries and data visualization tools
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a group environment

Application Instructions

To be considered for this position, go to, apply to work on the campaign, and select Data Science from the Teams & Functions box when you submit your resume. Also email to let them know that you have submitted your application. The application process will consist of an initial interview, a timed data science exam, and an interview with the director of the data science team.

The Campaign is an equal opportunity employer. The Campaign believes every employee has the right to work in an environment free from unlawful discrimination as is consistent with our commitment to diversity, respect, and inclusion. Consistent with applicable federal, state and local laws, the Campaign provides all employees and applicants with equal opportunity in all aspects of the employment relationship. This includes employment decisions related to hiring, promotions, transfers, disciplinary action, termination, and training.


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