Skip to main content

News & Events

HCDE at CHI 2022

Faculty and students from the University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering had a strong presence at the 2022 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), the premier international conference on Human-Computer Interaction.

CHI logoHCDE researchers are contributing 19 papers to the 2022 CHI conference, including one selected for the Best Paper Award recognition (given to the top 1% of submissions) and three selected for Best Paper Honorable Mention recognition (given to the top 5% of submissions).

Researchers from the UW community overall contributed to 51 papers. These publications draw upon 6 different UW departments and programs, demonstrating the exceptional power of interdisciplinary research that is at the heart of the UW DUB community. Read the full list of UW contributions on the DUB website.

CHI 2022 was conducted as a hybrid-onsite full conference from April 30 through May 5 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Find information about contributions of HCDE researchers below. Names of HCDE students and faculty are in bold.




Designing for the Bittersweet: Improving Sensitive Experiences With Recommender Systems

Caitlin Lustig, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Artie Konrad, Facebook; Jed R Brubaker, University of Colorado Boulder

It is difficult to design systems that honor the complex and often contradictory emotions that can be surfaced by sensitive encounters with recommender systems. To explore the design and ethical considerations in this space, we interviewed 20 people who had recently seen sensitive content through Facebook’s Memories feature. Interviewees typically described how (1) expectedness, (2) context of viewing, and (3) what we describe as “affective sense-making” were important factors for how they perceived “bittersweet” content, a sensitizing concept from our interviews that we expand upon. To address these user needs, we pose provocations to support critical work in this area and we suggest that researchers and designers: (1) draw inspiration from no/low-technology artifacts, (2) use empirical research to identify contextual features that have negative impacts on users, and (3) conduct user studies on affective sense-making. CAUTION: This paper discusses difficult subject matter related to death and relationships.


Anticipate and Adjust: Cultivating Access in Human-Centered Methods

Kelly Mack, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Emma J McDonnell, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Venkatesh Potluri, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Maggie Xu, Vanderbilt University; Jailyn Zabala, Carnegie Mellon University; Jeffrey P Bigham, Carnegie Mellon University; Jennifer Mankoff, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Cynthia L Bennett, Carnegie Mellon University

Methods are fundamental to doing research and can directly impact who is included in scientific advances. Given accessibility research's increasing popularity and pervasive barriers to conducting and participating in research experienced by people with disabilities, it is critical to ask how methods are made accessible. Yet papers rarely describe their methods in detail. This paper reports on 17 interviews with accessibility experts about how they include both facilitators and participants with disabilities in popular user research methods. Our findings offer strategies for anticipating access needs while remaining flexible and responsive to unexpected access barriers. We emphasize the importance of considering accessibility at all stages of the research process, and contextualize access work in recent disability and accessibility literature. We explore how technology or processes could reflect a norm of accessibility. Finally, we discuss how various needs intersect and conflict and offer a practical structure for planning accessible research.


How Interest-Driven Content Creation Shapes Opportunities for Informal Learning in Scratch: A Case Study on Novices' Use of Data Structures

Ruijia Cheng, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Sayamindu Dasgupta, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Benjamin Mako Hill, UW Communication

Through a mixed-method analysis of data from Scratch, we examine how novices learn to program with simple data structures by using community-produced learning resources. First, we present a qualitative study that describes how community-produced learning resources create archetypes that shape exploration and may disadvantage some with less common interests. In a second quantitative study, we find broad support for this dynamic in several hypothesis tests. Our findings identify a social feedback loop that we argue could limit sources of inspiration, pose barriers to broadening participation, and confine learners’ understanding of general concepts. We conclude by suggesting several approaches that may mitigate these dynamics.


The Social Embeddedness of Peer Production: A Comparative Qualitative Analysis of Three Indian Language Wikipedia Editions

Sejal Khatri, UW Information School; Aaron Shaw, Northwestern University; Sayamindu Dasgupta, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering / University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Benjamin Mako Hill, UW Communication / Harvard University

Why do some peer production projects do a better job at engaging potential contributors than others? We address this question by comparing three Indian language Wikipedias, namely, —Malayalam, Marathi, and Kannada. We found that although the three projects share goals, technological infrastructure, and a similar set of challenges, Malayalam Wikipedia’s community engages language speakers in contributing at a much higher rate than the others. Drawing from a grounded theory analysis of interviews with 18 community participants from the three projects, we found that experience with participatory governance and free/open-source software in the Malayalam community supported high engagement of contributors. Counterintuitively, we found that financial resources intended to increase participation in the Marathi and Kannada communities hindered the growth of these communities. Our findings underscore the importance of social and cultural context in the trajectories of peer production communities.

Bridging Contextual and Methodological Gaps on the "Misinformation Beat": Insights From Journalist-Researcher Collaborations at Speed

Melinda McClure Haughey, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Martina Povolo, UW Communication; Kate Starbird, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering

As misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories increase online, so does journalism coverage of these topics. This reporting is challenging, and journalists fill gaps in their expertise by utilizing external resources, including academic researchers. This paper discusses how journalists work with researchers to report on online misinformation. Through an ethnographic study of thirty collaborations, including participant-observation and interviews with journalists and researchers, we identify five types of collaborations and describe what motivates journalists to reach out to researchers — from a lack of access to data to support for understanding misinformation context. We highlight challenges within these collaborations, including misalignment in professional work practices, ethical guidelines, and reward structures. We end with a call to action for CHI researchers to attend to this intersection, develop ethical guidelines around supporting journalists with data at speed, and offer practical approaches for researchers filling a “data mediator” role between social media and journalists.

Critical-Playful Speculations With Cameras in the Home

Neilly H Tan, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Brian Kinnee, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Dana Langseth, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Sean A Munson, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Audrey Desjardins, UW Art + Art History + Design

Smart home cameras present new challenges for understanding behaviors and relationships surrounding always-on, domestic recording systems. We designed a series of discursive activities involving 16 individuals from ten households for six weeks in their everyday settings. These activities functioned as speculative probes—prompting participants to reflect on themes of privacy and power through filming with cameras in their households. Our research design foregrounded critical-playful enactments that allowed participants to speculate potentials for relationships with cameras in the home beyond everyday use. We present four key dynamics with participants and home cameras by examining their relationships to: the camera's eye, filming, their data, and camera's societal contexts. We contribute discussions about the mundane, information privacy, and post-hoc reflection with one's camera footage. Overall, our findings reveal the camera as a strange, yet banal entity in the home—interrogating how participants compose and handle their own and others’ video data.

Designing Flexible Longitudinal Regimens: Supporting Clinician Planning for Discontinuation of Psychiatric Drugs

Eunkyung Jo, University of California Irvine; Myeonghan Ryu, Independent Researcher; Georgia Kenderova, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Samuel So, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Bryan Shapiro, University of California Irvine; Alexandra Papoutsaki, Pomona College; Daniel A Epstein, University of California Irvine

Clinical decision support tools have typically focused on one-time support for diagnosis or prognosis, but have the ability to support providers in longitudinal planning of patient care regimens amidst infrastructural challenges. We explore an opportunity for technology support for discontinuing antidepressants, where clinical guidelines increasingly recommend gradual discontinuation over abruptly stopping to avoid withdrawal symptoms, but providers have varying levels of experience and diverse strategies for supporting patients through discontinuation. We conducted two studies with 12 providers, identifying providers’ needs in developing discontinuation plans and deriving design guidelines. We then iteratively designed and implemented AT Planner, instantiating the guidelines by projecting taper schedules and providing flexibility for adjustment. Provider feedback on AT Planner highlighted that discontinuation plans required balancing interpersonal and infrastructural constraints and surfaced the need for different technological support based on clinical experience. We discuss the benefits and challenges of incorporating flexibility and advice into clinical planning tools.

Embracing Four Tensions in Human-Computer Interaction Research With Marginalized People

Calvin Liang, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Sean A Munson, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Julie A Kientz, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering

Human-computer interaction has a long history of working with marginalized people. We sought to understand how HCI researchers navigate work that engages with marginalized people and considerations researchers might work through to expand benefits and mitigate potential harms. In total, 24 HCI researchers, located primarily in the United States, participated in an interview, survey, or both. Through a reflexive thematic analysis, we identified four tensions—exploitation, membership, disclosure, and allyship. We explore the complexity involved in each, demonstrating that an equitable endpoint may not be possible, but this work is still worth pursuing when researchers make certain considerations. We emphasize that researchers who work with marginalized people should account for each tension in their research approaches to move forward. Finally, we propose an allyship-oriented approach to research that draws inspiration from discourse occurring in tangential fields and activist spaces and pushes the field into a new paradigm of research with marginalized people.

Exploring Interactive Sound Design for Auditory Websites

Lotus Zhang, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Jingyao Shao, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Augustina Ao Liu, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Lucy Jiang, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Abigale Stangl, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Adam Fourney, Microsoft; Meredith Ringel Morris, Microsoft; Leah Findlater, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering

Auditory interfaces increasingly support access to website content, through recent advances in voice interaction. Typically, however, these interfaces provide only limited audio styling, collapsing rich visual design into a static audio output style with a single synthesized voice. To explore the potential for more aesthetic and intuitive sound design for websites, we prompted 14 professional sound designers to create auditory website mockups and interviewed them about their designs and rationale. Our findings reveal their prioritized design considerations (aesthetics and emotion, user engagement, audio clarity, information dynamics, and interactivity), specific sound design ideas to support each consideration (e.g., replacing spoken labels with short, memorable audio expressions), and challenges with applying sound design practices to auditory websites. These findings provide promising direction for how to support designers in creating richer auditory website experiences.

From Who You Know to What You Read: Augmenting Scientific Recommendations With Implicit Social Networks

Hyeonsu B Kang, Carnegie Mellon University; Rafal Dariusz Kocielnik, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Andrew Head, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Jiangjiang Yang, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Matt Latzke, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Aniket Kittur, Carnegie Mellon University; Daniel S Weld, UW Computer Science & Engineering / Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Doug Downey, Northwestern University / Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence; Jonathan Bragg, Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence

The ever-increasing pace of scientific publication necessitates methods for quickly identifying relevant papers. While neural recommenders trained on user interests can help, they still result in long, monotonous lists of suggested papers. To improve the discovery experience we introduce multiple new methods for augmenting recommendations with textual relevance messages that highlight knowledge-graph connections between recommended papers and a user’s publication and interaction history. We explore associations mediated by author entities and those using citations alone. In a large-scale, real-world study, we show how our approach significantly increases engagement—and future engagement when mediated by authors—without introducing bias towards highly-cited authors. To expand message coverage for users with less publication or interaction history, we develop a novel method that highlights connections with proxy authors of interest to users and evaluate it in a controlled lab study. Finally, we synthesize design implications for future graph-based messages.

"I Don't Even Remember What I Read": How Design Influences Dissociation on Social Media

Amanda Baughan, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Mingrui Ray Zhang, UW Information School; Raveena Rao, UW Information School; Kai Lukoff, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Anastasia Schaadhardt, UW Information School; Lisa D Butler, University at Buffalo; Alexis Hiniker, UW Information School

Many people have experienced mindlessly scrolling on social media. We investigated these experiences through the lens of normative dissociation: total cognitive absorption, characterized by diminished self-awareness and reduced sense of agency. To explore user experiences of normative dissociation and how design affects the likelihood of normative dissociation, we deployed Chirp, a custom Twitter client, to 43 U.S. participants. Experience sampling and interviews revealed that sometimes, becoming absorbed in normative dissociation on social media felt like a beneficial break. However, people also reported passively slipping into normative dissociation, such that they failed to absorb any content and were left feeling like they had wasted their time. We found that designed interventions–including custom lists, reading history labels, time limit dialogs, and usage statistics–reduced normative dissociation. Our findings demonstrate that interaction designs intended to capture attention likely do so by harnessing people’s natural inclination to seek normative dissociation experiences. This suggests that normative dissociation may be a more productive framing than addiction for discussing social media overuse.

Insights and Opportunities for HCI Research Into Hurricane Risk Communication

Robert Soden, University of Toronto; Lydia B Chilton, Columbia University; Scott Miles, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Rebecca Bicksler, Co-Risk Labs; Kaira Ray Villanueva, Columbia University; Melissa Bica, University of Colorado Boulder

Communicating risk to the public in the lead-up to tropical storms has the potential to significantly reduce the impacts on both livelihood and property. While significant research has been conducted in the storm risk community on how people receive, seek, and utilize risk information, given the importance of computing technologies and social media in these activities, human-centered design stands to make important contributions to this area. Drawing on an extensive literature review and 48 interviews with hurricane experts and members of the public, this paper makes three contributions. First, we provide a broad overview of hurricane risk communication. We then offer a set of guiding insights to inform HCI research work in this domain. Finally, we identify 6 opportunities that future human centered design work might pursue. In sum, this paper offers an invitation and a starting point for HCI to take up the problem of hurricane risk communication.

"In This Online Environment, We're Limited": Exploring Inclusive Video Conferencing Design for Signers

Jazz Rui Xia Ang, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Ping Liu, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Emma J McDonnell, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Sarah Coppola, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering

As video conferencing (VC) has become increasingly necessary for many aspects of daily life, many d/Deaf and hard of hearing people, particularly those who communicate via sign language (signers), face distinct accessibility barriers. To better understand the unique requirements for participating in VC using a visual-gestural language, such as ASL, and to identify practical design considerations for signer-inclusive videoconferencing, we conducted 12 interviews and four co-design sessions with a total of eight d/Deaf signers and eight ASL interpreters. We found that participants’ access needs regarding consuming information (e.g., visual clarity of signs), communicating (e.g., getting attention of others), and collaborating (e.g., working with interpreter teams) are not well-met on existing VC platforms. We share novel insights into attending and conducting signer-accessible video conferences, outline considerations for future VC design, and provide guidelines for conducting remote research with d/Deaf signers.

Monitoring Pets, Deterring Intruders, and Casually Spying on Neighbors: Everyday Uses of Smart Home Cameras

Neilly H Tan, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Richmond Y Wong, University of California Berkeley; Audrey Desjardins, UW Art + Art History + Design; Sean A Munson, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; James Pierce, UW Art + Art History + Design

The increased adoption of smart home cameras (SHCs) foregrounds issues of surveillance, power, and privacy in homes and neighborhoods. However, questions remain about how people are currently using these devices to monitor and surveil, what the benefits and limitations are for users, and what privacy and security tensions arise between primary users and other stakeholders. We present an empirical study with 14 SHC users to understand how these devices are used and integrated within everyday life. Based on semi-structured qualitative interviews, we investigate users’ motivations, practices, privacy concerns, and social negotiations. Our findings highlight the SHC as a perceptually powerful and spatially sensitive device that enables a variety of surveillant uses outside of basic home security—from formally surveilling domestic workers, to casually spying on neighbors, to capturing memories. We categorize surveillant SHC uses, clarify distinctions between primary and non-primary users, and highlight under-considered design directions for addressing power imbalances among primary and non-primary users.

Monitoring Screen Time or Redesigning It? Two Approaches to Supporting Intentional Social Media Use

Mingrui Ray Zhang, UW Information School; Kai Lukoff, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Raveena Rao, UW Information School; Amanda Baughan, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Alexis Hiniker, UW Information School

Existing designs helping people manage their social media use include: 1) external supports that monitor and limit use; 2) internal supports that change the interface itself. Here, we design and deploy Chirp, a mobile Twitter client, to independently examine how users experience external and internal supports. To develop Chirp, we identified 16 features that influence users’ sense of agency on Twitter through a survey of 129 participants and a design workshop. We then conducted a four-week within-subjects deployment with 31 participants. Our internal supports (including features to filter tweets and inform users when they have exhausted new content) significantly increased users’ sense of agency, while our external supports (a usage dashboard and nudges to close the app) did not. Participants valued our internal supports and said that our external supports were for “other people.” Our findings suggest that design patterns promoting agency may serve users better than screen time tools.

ProtoSound: A Personalized and Scalable Sound Recognition System for Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Users

Dhruv Jain, UW Computer Science & Engineering / Google; Khoa Huynh Anh Nguyen, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Steven M Goodman, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Rachel Grossman-Kahn, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Hung Ngo, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Aditya Kusupati, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Ruofei Du, Google; Alex Olwal, Google; Leah Findlater, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Jon E Froehlich, UW Computer Science & Engineering

Recent advances have enabled automatic sound recognition systems for deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) users on mobile devices. However, these tools use pre-trained, generic sound recognition models, which do not meet the diverse needs of DHH users. We introduce ProtoSound, an interactive system for customizing sound recognition models by recording a few examples, thereby enabling personalized and fine-grained categories. ProtoSound is motivated by prior work examining sound awareness needs of DHH people and by a survey we conducted with 472 DHH participants. To evaluate ProtoSound, we characterized performance on two real-world sound datasets, showing significant improvement over state-of-the-art (e.g., +9.7% accuracy on the first dataset). We then deployed ProtoSound's end-user training and real-time recognition through a mobile application and recruited 19 hearing participants who listened to the real-world sounds and rated the accuracy across 56 locations (e.g., homes, restaurants, parks). Results show that ProtoSound personalized the model on-device in real-time and accurately learned sounds across diverse acoustic contexts. We close by discussing open challenges in personalizable sound recognition, including the need for better recording interfaces and algorithmic improvements.

Understanding AR Activism: An Interview Study With Creators of Augmented Reality Experiences for Social Change

Rafael M L Silva, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Erica Principe Cruz, Carnegie Mellon University; Daniela K Rosner, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Dayton Kelly, UW Communication; Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Princeton University / Snap; Fannie Liu, Snap

The rise of consumer augmented reality (AR) technology has opened up new possibilities for interventions intended to disrupt and subvert cultural conventions. From defacing corporate logos to erecting geofenced digital monuments, more and more people are creating AR experiences for social causes. We sought to understand this new form of activism, including why people use AR for these purposes, opportunities and challenges in using it, and how well it can support activist goals. We conducted semi-structured interviews with twenty people involved in projects that used AR for a social cause across six different countries. We found that AR can overcome physical world limitations of activism to convey immersive, multilayered narratives that aim to reveal invisible histories and perspectives. At the same time, people experienced challenges in creating, maintaining, and distributing their AR experiences to audiences. We discuss open questions and opportunities for creating AR tools and experiences for social change.

Visualizing Urban Accessibility: Investigating Multi-Stakeholder Perspectives Through a Map-Based Design Probe Study

Manaswi Saha, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Siddhant Patil, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Emily Cho, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Evie Yu-Yen Cheng, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Chris Horng, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Devanshi Chauhan, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Rachel Kangas, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Richard McGovern, UW Information School; Anthony Li, University of Maryland; Jeffrey Heer, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Jon E Froehlich, UW Computer Science & Engineering

Urban accessibility assessments are challenging: they involve varied stakeholders across decision-making contexts while serving a diverse population of people with disabilities. To better support urban accessibility assessment using data visualizations, we conducted a three-part interview study with 25 participants across five stakeholder groups using map visualization probes. We present a multi-stakeholder analysis of visualization needs and sensemaking processes to explore how interactive visualizations can support stakeholder decision making. In particular, we elaborate how stakeholders’ varying levels of familiarity with accessibility, geospatial analysis, and specific geographic locations influences their sensemaking needs. We then contribute 10 design considerations for geovisual analytic tools for urban accessibility communication, planning, policymaking, and advocacy.

VoxLens: Making Online Data Visualizations Accessible With an Interactive JavaScript Plug-In

Ather Sharif, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Olivia H Wang, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Alida T Muongchan, UW Human Centered Design & Engineering; Katharina Reinecke, UW Computer Science & Engineering; Jacob O Wobbrock, UW Information School

JavaScript visualization libraries are widely used to create online data visualizations but provide limited access to their information for screen-reader users. Building on prior findings about the experiences of screen-reader users with online data visualizations, we present VoxLens, an open-source JavaScript plug-in that—with a single line of code—improves the accessibility of online data visualizations for screen-reader users using a multi-modal approach. Specifically, VoxLens enables screen-reader users to obtain a holistic summary of presented information, play sonified versions of the data, and interact with visualizations in a “drill-down” manner using voice-activated commands. Through task-based experiments with 21 screen-reader users, we show that VoxLens improves the accuracy of information extraction and interaction time by 122% and 36%, respectively, over existing conventional interaction with online data visualizations. Our interviews with screen-reader users suggest that VoxLens is a “game-changer” in making online data visualizations accessible to screen-reader users, saving them time and effort.

Give to support HCDE student travel

The Mary B. Coney Endowed Fund, named in honor of Emeritus Professor Mary Coney, supports HCDE students by funding costs associated with travel to conferences and international workshops. Your support of this fund enriches the HCDE student experience and enhances HCDE's influence in the field.

Make a gift here

Originally published May 3, 2022