HCDE at CSCW 2019

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The annual Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) brings together top researchers and practitioners who study technologies that support collaboration and new ways of living and working together.

The University of Washington’s Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering — together with colleagues across Human-Computer Interaction and Design programs at the University — regularly has a significant presence at CSCW.

The following HCDE students, alumni, and faculty will present their latest research and discoveries at CSCW 2019, happening November 9-13, in Austin, Texas. Read abstracts below, and find more information on the CSCW program website.

PAPERS

ABSTRACT

In pediatric chronic care, the treatment process affects not just the child's physical health, but his or her psychosocial and emotional development. As a result, caring for pediatric patients with a chronic illness such as cancer is becoming a daunting task for parental caregivers. They are expected to fulfill the caregiving needs of managing the child's health condition and treatment while also meeting the parenting needs of translating knowledge, communicating about the illness, and making numerous decisions on a daily basis for their sick child due to the child's young age. Drawing on 15 semi-structured interviews, we examined parental caregivers' perspectives on raising a child while also managing the child's health. We identified three tensions that participants encountered as they balanced parenting and caregiving responsibilities: (i) tension between ensuring the child's health and safety and attending to the child's social development, (ii) tension between disclosing health-related information and minimizing the psychological burden on the child, and (iii) tension between rewarding the child's cooperation in treatment and maintaining discipline. Together, these tensions reveal an ongoing process through which caregivers assess and interpret their actions and responsibilities relative to anticipated consequences across multiple timescales. These findings reveal opportunities for sociotechnical systems to account for and support this active process of iterative cycles of assessment.
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ABSTRACT

Although Collaborative Information-Seeking (CIS) is becoming prevalent as people engage in shared decision-making, interface components adopted in the most commonly used information seeking tools (e.g., search, filter, select, and sort) are designed for individual use. To deepen our understanding of (1) how such single-user designs affect people's consensus building processes in CIS and (2) how to devise an alternative design to improve current practices, we conducted two 4-week diary studies and observed how groups seek out places together. Our studies focus on social event coordination as a case where CIS is necessary and important. In Study 1, we examined the major challenges people encounter when performing CIS using their preferred tools. These challenges include difficulties in capturing mutual preferences, high communication cost, and disparity of work depending on a group member's perceived role as an organizer or invitee. We discovered that improving a group's shared understanding of the target information they seek (e.g., places, products) could potentially address the challenges. In Study 2, we designed, deployed, and evaluated ComeTogether, a novel system that supports a group's social event coordination. ComeTogether adopts Collaborative Dynamic Queries (C-DQ), an interface designed to allow a group to share their preferences regarding potential destinations. Study 2 results indicate that using C-DQ increased users' awareness of other group members' preferences in performing CIS, making their coordination more transparent, more inviting, and fairer than what their current practice allows. Meanwhile, ComeTogether improved communication efficiency of groups while presenting opportunities to learn about others and to discover new places. We provide implications for design that explain considerations for adopting C-DQ and identify future research directions. 
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ABSTRACT

In this paper, we argue that strategic information operations (e.g. disinformation, political propaganda, and other forms of online manipulation) are a critical concern for CSCW researchers, and that the CSCW community can provide vital insight into understanding how these operations function—by examining them as collaborative “work” within online crowds. First, we provide needed definitions and a framework for conceptualizing strategic information operations, highlighting related literatures and noting historical context. Next, we examine three case studies of online information operations using a sociotechnical lens that draws on CSCW theories and methods to account for the mutual shaping of technology, social structure, and human action. Through this lens, we contribute a more nuanced understanding of these operations (beyond “bots” and “trolls”) and highlight a persistent challenge for researchers, platform designers, and policy makers—distinguishing between orchestrated, explicitly coordinated, information operations and the emergent, organic behaviors of an online crowd.
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ABSTRACT

This paper re-traverses the author’s investigations across several years as he sought to pin-down the meaning of the in vivo category ‘domain’. The paper is a methodological reflection on the grounded theory approach to concept development, with a focus on the technical terms: in vivo category, iteration on the code, and sensitizing category. It is also a substantive theoretical contribution, elaborating the concept of a domain in computing, data and information science, and how it has long served as an organizing principle for developing computational systems. Four tricks of the trade for studying the ‘logic of domains’ are offered as sensitizing concepts to aid future investigations.
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ABSTRACT

Early childhood is a critical developmental period when children's experiences have lasting impacts on long-term outcomes. Thus, an evidence-based understanding of how technology can support early childhood education (ECE) classrooms promises to be disproportionately useful to children's long-term wellbeing. We conducted an observational study at ten child-care centers, complemented by interviews with teachers and directors. Using a \emph{Uses and Gratifications (U\&G) perspective, we found that the gratifications teachers seek when they incorporate technology into the classroom cluster into six categories, such as encouraging technology literacy, regulating children's behavior, and supporting child autonomy. Using these themes, we contribute a set of design priorities for supporting this population. We also contribute an expansion of the U\&G perspective to include: 1) \emph{gratifications resisted}, to account for the ways in which teachers resist gratifying uses of technology, and 2) differentiation between \emph{direct gratifications} and \emph{indirect gratifications} to better describe technology use in collaborative contexts.
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ABSTRACT

Sociotechnical imaginaries are futures that people envision might be possible and desirable. They have a real impact on how systems are designed and what values they have embedded in their design. This article examines imaginaries about autonomous systems, decentralized systems, and decentralized autonomous systems. Through a discussion of the literature on autonomous and decentralized systems and how these imaginaries play out in the blockchain community based on my qualitative research, I demonstrate how decentralized autonomous systems are related to imaginaries about the organization of and the future of work. I identify three framings of imaginaries about autonomous systems: (1) autonomous technology as physical objects, (2) as mathematical rules, and (3) as artificial mangers. I also identify two sometimes conflicting framings of imaginaries about distributed and decentralized technology: these technologies as a new form of production and as freedom from control. These imaginaries intersect in decentralized autonomous systems, and I examine what they can tell us about the design and governance of such technologies. Lastly, I suggest ways of using the concept of imaginaries in participatory design.
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ABSTRACT

As voice-based conversational agents such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant move into our homes, researchers have studied the corresponding privacy implications, embeddedness in these complex social environments, and use by specific user groups. Yet it is unknown how users categorize these devices: are they thought of as just another object, like a toaster? As a social companion? Though past work hints to human-like attributes that are ported onto these devices, the anthropomorphization of voice assistants has not been studied in depth. Through a study deploying Amazon Echo Dot Devices in the homes of older adults, we provide a preliminary assessment of how individuals 1) perceive having social interactions with the voice agent, and 2) ontologically categorize the voice assistants. Our discussion contributes to an understanding of how well-developed theories of anthropomorphism apply to voice assistants, such as how the socioemotional context of the user (e.g., loneliness) drives increased anthropomorphism. We conclude with recommendations for designing voice assistants with the ontological category in mind, as well as implications for the design of technologies for social companionship for older adults.
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WORKSHOP PRESENTATIONS

ABSTRACT

This day-long workshop aims to support and grow the community of CSCW and HCI scholars that investigate the past to inform the design, critique and conceptualization of technology. At this workshop, we will learn from examples of historically-based CSCW and HCI work, explore issues in historical method that come up in such work, share methods and techniques, provide feedback and support to ongoing investigations; and define a shared agenda for future research on this topic. The workshop will also highlight research and methods that focus on non-Western contexts and that give voice to historically marginalized groups. Based on the workshop, we will develop a white paper and a website that will collect resources to support CSCW based historical investigations.
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ABSTRACT

Process has been a topic of concern for CSCW since the beginning. Contemporary developments in sociotechnical landscapes have raised a number of new challenges for the study of processes (e.g., massive online communities that bring together vast crowds; Big Data technologies that connect many through the flow of data across sites and contexts; etc.). These developments re-open questions about how we study, document, conceptualize, and design to support processes in complex, contemporary sociotechnical systems. This one-day workshop will bring together researchers and scholars across academia and industry to: discuss the CSCW community’s unique focus and methodological toolkit for studying process and workflow; provide a collaborative space for the improvement and extension of new and ongoing research projects within this space; and catalyze a network of scholars with expertise and interest in addressing challenging methodological questions around studying process in contemporary, sociotechnical systems.
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ABSTRACT

Recent discussions of online social technologies focus on their negatives in relation to wellbeing, prioritizing offline relationships and reduced screen time. However, many marginalized communities depend on online social technologies for building community, gaining social support and informational resources, and even exploring identity. This makes the continued use of these technologies crucial for the wellbeing of marginalized communities. This workshop aims to bring together a diverse group of researchers across subfields and across marginalized groups to discuss what digital wellbeing looks like for marginalized populations, share the state of knowledge in participants’ respective fields, and identify opportunities for leveraging social technologies for wellbeing among and across these communities. We will engage in exercises intended to foster mutual understanding, identify commonalities between populations/areas of inquiry, and bridge gaps between these research areas. Our goal is to stimulate interdisciplinary collaboration, with the hope of advancing an overall research agenda regarding digital wellbeing for marginalized populations.
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POSTERS & DEMOS

ABSTRACT

The English language Wikipedia is notable for its large number of articles. However, 288 other active language editions of Wikipedia have also developed through the intricate interactions of contributing editors. While the editor interactions in the English Wikipedia have been researched extensively, these other language editions remain understudied. To understand how editors currently come to consensus in article building in the Spanish language, a team of researchers has leveraged an existing English framework that depicts how power and policies play a role in mass collaboration. Using this English language framework, we are utilizing qualitative coding methods to build a unique model of the editor interactions on the Spanish language Wikipedia (ES). The results of this study will help contribute to a deeper understanding of how a framework in a different language edition of Wikipedia varies from the English. Our preliminary findings show that the power plays utilized in the Spanish Wikipedia talk pages differ in type and amount from power plays identified in the talk pages in the English language Wikipedia (EN), suggesting different forms of editor interactions and facilitation strategies across this multilingual platform.
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ABSTRACT

The Cambridge Analytica scandal triggered a conversation on Twitter about data practices and their implications. Our research proposes to leverage this conversation to extend the understanding of how information privacy is framed by users worldwide. We collected tweets about the scandal written in Spanish and English between April and July 2018. We created a word embedding to create a reduced multi-dimensional representation of the tweets in each language. For each embedding, we conducted open coding to characterize the semantic contexts of key concepts: “information”, “privacy”, “company”and “users” (and their Spanish translations). Through a comparative analysis, we found a broader emphasis on privacy-related words associated with companies in English. We also found more terms related to data collection in English and fewer associated with security mechanisms, control, and risks.Our findings hint the potential of cross-language comparisons of text to extend the understanding of worldwide differences on information privacy perspectives.
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