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Julie Kientz Research Group

Winter 2015

Reading Group: Game Design and Theory
Mondays, 4:30-5:30 p.m.

This reading group will bring together students and faculty to read and discuss research papers relevant to the design, evaluation, and theory of games and video games. Each week, there will be two students assigned to choose and lead the group a discussion on a single paper they select. This will be a 1-credit hour course for HCDE 596, with 2 hours per week of reading and 1 hour per week of group discussion. The group will meet on Mondays from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (Room TBA). This group will be co-led by Ph.D student John Porter and Associate Professor Julie Kientz. If you are interested in registering, please contact John Porter at

Winter 2015

Technology Use and Family Life
Thursdays, 2-3:30 p.m.

Join us this winter to explore the ways that families integrate technology into daily life, and the ways in which they resist technology in favor of spending time together. Prior work shows that children and parents alike feel frustration with other family members' use of technology but few supports exist to help address this challenge. We will be designing, implementing, and assessing a tool for enabling families to establish and enforce "technology contracts." These contracts are intended to help family members of all ages define and stick to the screen-time behaviors that they feel work best for them and their family.

This group will be co-led by PhD student Alexis Hiniker ( and Associate Professor Julie Kientz ( If interested, please complete this survey indicating interest in the group by December 1. We will notify you in the first week of December if we can accommodate you in the group based on demand. Group will meet Thursdays from 2-3:30 p.m.. Available for 2 or 3 credits.

Autumn 2014

Mobile App Design for Preschoolers

The group is currently full for Autumn 2014.

More iTunes apps are designed for toddlers and preschoolers than for any other age group, yet these apps routinely draw on interaction design paradigms created for adults. These UI decisions don’t always translate well, and we will be exploring new design solutions to make children’s games more developmentally appropriate.

Join us this fall to shift the way children’s games are created. We are looking for students to work on reviewing relevant design literature, brainstorming design solutions, creating both paper and high-fi mock ups, implementing tablet prototypes, and (most importantly!) testing apps with kids. If you are interested in designing for HCI’s youngest and most playful users, we’d love to hear from you. Send mail to and describing your interest in the group, your level in the program (e.g., BS, MS, PhD), relevant skills and experience, and the number of credits you are seeking. Space will be limited to approximately 5 students based on fit. We will confirm ability to register by September 1.
  • This DRG will be co-led by Professor Julie Kientz and PhD student Alexis Hiniker.
  • We meet weekly on Thursdays from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m. (tentative).
  • You can register for 2-3 credits.

Julie Kientz's Directed Research Group archive: