Research

Jan Spyridakis' Research Group Archive

The following research group descriptions are archived because they are no longer offered, the faculty member is on sabbatical, or the group is taking a break. Please contact the faculty member or an advisor to learn more about these groups.


Amazon Seller Experience Research

Spring 2017—Winter 2018

Led by
Jan Spyridakis, Professor, HCDE
Mike Berg, User Experience Researcher, Amazon

Amazon’s Seller Support UX Research and Design team is partnering with HCDE students to explore design concepts that will support individuals selling products on the Amazon Marketplace.

In our first two quarters we sought to understand the Marketplace and sellers through primary and secondary research efforts. In our third quarter we will pivot from user research to UX design and begin to develop ideas for supporting unmet user needs. Deliverables may include:

  • A problem statement defining a design opportunity
  • Low fidelity design concepts (may include storyboards or task-flow diagrams)
  • Evaluative study of design concepts with end-users (optional)
  • Iterated design mockups or prototype
  • Presentation of a report to Amazon stakeholders

Members of the research group will develop solutions for user challenges identified in previous quarters. The group will have regular access to Amazon Design teams and will work to produce deliverables for Senior Product Managers.

Students participating in the research group for fall quarter 2017 should have an interest in developing design concepts from primary research findings. Skills we will leverage include:

  • Synthesis of findings into user requirements
  • Sketching, development, and iteration of prototype design solutions
  • Evaluation and presentation of design mockups

HCDE undergraduate or graduate majors will participate in this research group by enrolling for 2–4 credits (graded cr/no cr) in HCDE 596 (for graduate students) or HCDE 496 (for undergraduate students). Students are expected to spend, on average, three hours of effort per credit per week (time spent includes the weekly meeting).


Spend that shortness: Exploring the limitations of a predictive machine learning interface

Mike Berg, Senior User Experience Researcher, Amazon
Jan Spyridakis, Professor, HCDE

An Amazon research and design team is interested in partnering with HCDE students to explore emergent design metaphors for information display. This research group will likely take place over three quarters.

Research questions will concern identification of dynamic interfaces that display information in contextual ways. We will explore issues with relying on machine learning to make judgments for content relevancy and question how successful an artificial intelligence is at deriving user intention.

In winter quarter 2017, students will conduct background research, conduct a literature review concerning existing contextual interfaces, create user profiles, and evaluate comparable interface designs. Our Winter Quarter deliverables will include:

  • A literature and competitive review identifying and evaluating existing contextual interfaces
  • Target user profiles
  • Usability evaluation of comparable interface designs
  • Presentation of a report to Amazon stakeholders

In ensuing quarters, the research group may conduct user research with Amazon sellers, create mock-ups, iterate on proposed designs, and run usability evaluations or A/B studies.

Members of the research group will work closely with Product Management and Design teams, and will have an opportunity to influence the direction of future design projects. The team will have access to research labs and design studios

Students interested in joining the research group for winter quarter 2017 should have an interest in conducting scholarly research to learn about contextual interfaces and machine learning, and in conducting usability evaluations of existing interface designs.

The group welcomes students with a desire to conduct academic and usability research and learn more about the topics described here. Additional desired skills include:

  • Experience conducting and presenting secondary research
  • User profiling and persona creation
  • Experience with usability evaluations
  • Interest in sketching and prototype design solutions

Developing a Toolkit to Remotely Assess the User Experience Remotely / WebLabUX Group
This research group uses the Internet to empirically study the effectiveness of electronically delivered information, and to develop tools that allow us to study users as they use electronically delivered information by measuring their behaviors, perceptions, and comprehension when they interact with information online. During the 2013–2014 academic year, we will be furthering the software development of our research toolkit, WebLabUX. Our group has done extensive user interface design in previous quarters, and the main focus for spring 2014 will be on refining and implementing the user interface.
The group welcomes web designers, prototypers, and programmers at all levels. Students with any of the following skills should apply:
  • PHP/MySQL coding of backend data collection infrastructure
  • User interface coding (HTML/CSS, JavaScript/JQuery, PHP)
  • Quality assurance testing
  • Web design and user interface prototyping
The group will meet on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30–5:30 PM in Sieg 420.
Individual user interface design and programming projects will be assigned during the first two weeks of the quarter. Students can participate in this research group by enrolling for 2–5 credits (graded cr/no cr) in HCDE 596 (for graduate students) or HCDE 496 (for undergraduate students). Students are expected to spend, on average, three hours of effort per credit per week (time spent includes the weekly meeting). Interested students should send a short email to Professor Jan Spyridakis (jansp@uw.edu) explaining their interest in the group and describing the strengths they can bring to the group.

Redesigning an Online Learning Resource
 
This research group will be redesigning about 50 online Flash exercises and a MySQL database for recording participant outcomes. We will also redesign the website that hosts the exercises. If time allows, the group may design additional exercises. At this juncture, it is likely that Flash is not what we will keep the exercises in and the research group will research and select a new authoring tool that will have good outcomes in multiple environments. Students with any of the following skills should apply:
  • MySQL 
  • Flash Professional or other authoring tools for elearning and mlearning (and willingness to help select an appropriate tool and learn it if needed) 
  • Web design and development skills (e.g., WordPress)
Students will enroll for 2–5 credits (graded cr/no cr) in HCDE 496 (for undergraduate students) or HCDE 596 (for graduate students). Students are expected to spend, on average, three hours of effort per credit per week (time spent includes the weekly meeting). Our meeting time is to be determined.
Interested students should send a short email describing their (1) interests, (2) relevant skills, (3) major, and (4) available meeting times to Professor Jan Spyridakis (jansp@uw.edu).

Assessing the User Experience Remotely / Open WebLabUX Group (Fall 2013)
 
This research group uses the Internet to empirically study the effectiveness of electronically delivered information, and to develop tools that allow us to study users as they use electronically delivered information by measuring their behaviors, perceptions, and comprehension when they interact with information online. During the 2013–2014 academic year, we will be furthering the software development of our research toolkit, Open WebLabUX. Our group has done extensive user interface design in previous quarters, and the main focus for fall 2013 will be on refining and implementing the user interface. The group welcomes web designers, prototypers, and programmers at all levels (e.g., Drupal theming, PHP, JavaScript/JQuery, HTML/CSS). Individual user interface design and programming projects will be assigned during the first two weeks of the quarter. Students can participate in this research group, which will meet on Tuesdays from 3:30–5:00 PM in Sieg 420, by enrolling for 2–5 credits (graded cr/no cr) in HCDE 596 (for graduate students) or HCDE 496 (for undergraduate students). Students are expected to spend, on average, three hours of effort per credit per week (time spent includes the weekly meeting). Interested students should send a short email to Professor Jan Spyridakis (jansp@uw.edu) explaining their interest in the group and describing the strengths they can bring to the group.

Documentation and the Popularity of Open-Source Programming Libraries and Frameworks (Fall 2013)
 
More and more software developers are using open-source software in their apps and writing open-source software for other developers to use. This research group will use quantitative methods to study open-source software for a variety of platforms and evaluate the role documentation plays in the success and popularity of the open-source software.
 
In this research group, you'll work with Professor Jan Spyridakis and Bob Watson, a PhD student in HCDE, to design the study, conduct the research, and analyze the data. The goal for the Winter quarter is to complete the research and write a paper for submission to a conference for presentation and publication. This will be a great opportunity for both graduate and undergraduate students to see, and experience, a complete research cycle first-hand. Students can participate in this research group by enrolling for 1– credits (cr/no-cr) in HCDE 596 (for graduate students) or HCDE 496 (for undergraduate students). Students are expected to spend an average of three hours of effort each week per credit-hour. The research group will meet weekly for 1.5 hours and at other times as needed. The time and weekday of the group meeting will be arranged before the quarter starts.
 
Some familiarity with programming concepts and languages will be helpful, but is not required. For both HCDE and CSE students, this project provides the chance to learn about aspects that relate to the popularity of open-source software. Interested students should send a short email to Professor Jan Spyridakis (jansp@uw.edu) explaining their interest in the group and suggesting activities that they might like to undertake to contribute to the group goals.