Research

Julie Kientz's 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.


Design Opportunities for Adaptive Fitness

Spring 2019

The healthy lifestyle practices promoted by fitness technologies such as wearables and smartphone exercise apps are important for all people, yet may look different for those with physical disabilities, especially with respect to physical activity. In this DRG, we will investigate the design space of technologies for adaptive fitness.  Specifically, we will conduct a literature review, examine existing technologies, and design a study protocol to answer questions such as: What facilitators and barriers exist for motivating and accessing adaptive fitness? How do users seeking adaptive fitness use current technologies such as wearables, fitness apps, and social media, and what are the strengths and limitations of these technologies? What design opportunities can we identify for adaptive fitness, including using technology to motivate physical activity as well as adapting physical activity to users abilities and limitations?

Requirements

This DRG is open to undergraduate, Masters, and PhD students in all fields. Priority will be given to those with previous research experience and training in research methods.
Students will be expected to register for 2 credits of HCDE 496/596


Children’s Digital Media Design Toolkit

Spring 2019

There are a number of findings from research on child development, media studies, and interactive technology design that could help inform the design of better interactive technologies for children. However, professional content producers and designers often do not have the time to keep up on these findings or the expertise to make sense of them. In this DRG, we will translate research into actionable design advice by designing, creating, and evaluating a Children’s Digital Media Toolkit, similar to other relevant efforts such as the IDEO Method Cards, Microsoft’s Inclusive Design Toolkit, or Artefact’s Tarot Cards of Design. Activities include reviewing the literature on child development, interaction design and children, and media studies for evidence-based findings with practical relevance; prototyping a toolkit that translates research results into design guidelines presented in an easily-digestible format such as a set of cards; evaluating the toolkit with design professionals; and revising the toolkit based on feedback.

Requirements

This DRG is open to undergraduate and graduate students in all fields.
Students will be expected to register for 2 credits of HCDE 496/596.
We will meet late Tuesday afternoons (between around 3-5 pm) in Spring 2019.


Everyday personal tracking: an exploration through practice

Winter 2019

This DRG focuses on understanding the motivations and challenges around self-tracking and personal informatics. With the introduction of self-tracking tools, people have the possibility to learn about their own behavior and health more than ever before. However, individuals often struggle with how to interpret their data and transform it into behavior change. By experiencing self-tracking over the course of the quarter and engaging with current literature on personal informatics, we seek to understand these challenges and explore ways in which a human centered design and research approach can offer solutions.

To inform our brainstorming and design efforts, students will track one or more aspects of their daily lives and discuss their experiences with self-tracking in class. From this, students will identify potential research questions and/or project ideas related to personal tracking for the future.

Requirements

We are looking for 10 students who have an interest in learning about personal tracking and will be committed to tracking one or more aspects about their daily lives for 10 weeks. We encourage both novice and experienced personal trackers to apply.
This group is open to undergraduate and graduate students from any department and will be meeting every Thursday from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. in Winter 2019.
We expect students to register for 2 credits of HCDE 496/596.

This research group will be led by PhD students Calvin Liang and Susanne Kirchner-Adelhardt with guidance of Associate Professors Julie Kientz (HCDE) and Sean Munson (HCDE).


Gender in HCI

Winter 2019

From “Gender HCI” to “Feminist HCI”, Human-Computer Interaction often discusses gender’s role in computing systems and wider society. But what does “gender” mean, exactly, and how does HCI use it?

In this DRG we will read a mix of HCI and Gender Studies papers, seeking to understand the various lenses through which gender is understood within wider academia, ask how HCI has operationalised the term, and explore the ways in which the field could directly use gender theorists’ work in understanding the way our designs fit into the world.

 


Evaluating connected personas for health information practices of older adults and stakeholders

Autumn 2018

We are looking for 3-4 students interested in helping with a study to evaluate personas and scenarios developed for the SOARING (Studying Older Adults & Researching Information Needs and Goals) project.  This project is focused on understanding ways older adults manage their personal health information and the role that stakeholders such as caregivers, providers, and family members play in those activities. We have developed older adult persona as well as, personas representing family and friends and healthcare providers, that are connected to each older adult persona. These connections demonstrate the complexity of personal health information management (PHIM) for older adults.

We would like to learn how designers would use connected personas and get their perceptions and insights about these types of personas. We have worked on a study design and so the goal for this quarter will be to carry out the study. The quarter will include recruiting participants, conducting the study and planning for analysis.

We are looking for students who have an interested in older adults and/or personal health information. We are also looking for students who have some experience in note-taking and facilitating focus groups.  The DRG will require you to participate in at least one study session that will potentially be conducted on a weekday evening or during the day on a weekend.

If you are interested, please apply for the group by using the following survey: https://catalyst.uw.edu/webq/survey/dawnsaka/360454.

We expect students to register for 2-3 credits of HCDE 496/596.

This research group will be led by PhD student Dawn Sakaguchi-Tang, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Time management strategies for PhD students

Autumn 2018

In this 1-credit DRG, we will work to learn about, share, and practice time management strategies for making good research and writing progress as doctoral students while also making time for self-care and personal goals. Specific strategies will be those used by the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development and include developing a quarter-long strategic plan for writing and research goals, weekly planning meetings, and developing a daily writing habit. We’ll also do some skill shares in terms of tools and strategies for managing to do lists, email, calendaring, etc. The DRG will meet on Friday afternoons from 3–4 p.m. in Autumn 2018, and 30 minutes of that time will be spent individually working on our weekly plans for the following week and keeping each other accountable. This group is only for PhD students, as the concepts will be specific to the skills and strategies needed for balancing research, teaching, and service in completing a PhD.

If you’re interested in signing up, please email Julie Kientz (jkientz@uw.edu) for an add code.


Child-computer interaction and participatory design

Summer 2018

We are looking for students for the Summer 2018 to help with running KidsTeam UW, an intergenerational co-design team of children (ages 6 – 12) and design researchers. There is rich work around how to interact with adults and children together in the co-design space, the role of design techniques in co-design, and the different stages and phases of co-design. You have the opportunity to help us understand this space.

Activities of this research group will include interacting as an adult design partner with children in co-design, working with researchers on multiple projects involving children and design, and running overall logistics to support the intergenerational design team. As well, there will opportunities to join multiple research projects on inclusion and children’s technologies, voice assistants and families, and how do we define what creepy technologies are.

This DRG will require you to participate at least once in KidsTeam UW in the summer from July 30 to August 3rd (9:00 am to 4:30 pm, or multiple days with mornings / afternoons). Students who have completed HCDE 318/418/518 and/or HCDE 417/517 or have relevant experience will be given priority.

Alternatively, students who have experience with learning sciences, education, and child development will also be considered.

If you are interested in participating, please apply to the group using the following form by May 1st:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe8gkxneJ4glRAYdN_h8tjkXJw5d4-8VhJdVFXoEnb4Bg8QiQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

We expect students to register for 3 credits of HCDE 496/596.

This research group will be led by Assistant Professor Jason Yip (iSchool), with support Assistant Professor Alexis Hiniker (iSchool) and Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Time Management Strategies for Ph.D. Students

Spring 2018

In this 1-credit DRG, we will work to learn about, share, and practice time management strategies for making good research and writing progress as doctoral students while also making time for self-care and personal goals. Specific strategies will be those used by the National Center for Faculty Diversity and Development and include developing a quarter-long strategic plan for writing and research goals, weekly planning meetings, and developing a daily writing habit. We’ll also do some skill shares in terms of tools and strategies for managing to do lists, email, calendaring, etc.

The DRG will meet on Friday afternoons from 3–4 p.m. in Spring 2018, and 30 minutes of that time will be spent individually working on our weekly plans for the following week and keeping each other accountable. This group is only for Ph.D. students, as the concepts will be specific to the skills and strategies needed for balancing research, teaching, and service in completing a Ph.D.


Ideation of Design Ideas for Health Information Practices of Older Adults and Stakeholders

Winter 2018

We are looking for students interested in brainstorming design ideas for the SOARING (Studying Older Adults & Researching Information Needs and Goals) project. This project is focused on understanding ways older adults manage their personal health information and the role that stakeholders such as caregivers, providers, and family members play in those activities. We have developed personas and scenarios over the past few quarters. The goal of this project will be to generate many ideas for ways that health information technology could be designed to better support older adults through both divergent and convergent thinking. Co-design sessions with older adults are also a possibility depending on availability.
                                                  
We are looking for students who have an interest in older adults and/or personal health information and are excited about engaging in brainstorming design sessions. Students with good visual design skills are a plus, as we will be preparing a professional “idea book” that will be shared with the design community.
 
This research group will be led by PhD student Dawn Sakaguchi-Tang, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Study on How User Feedback Changes Over Time

Summer 2017

Have you ever wondered how long to run a user deployment study? And how feedback changes over time the longer someone uses your application?

We are interested in running a study to understand how user feedback changes the longer someone uses a system.

We are looking for 2 students to help with getting a 1 year study up and running for evaluating two different systems: a tool for parents to help track their children’s progress and a smartphone application for helping minimize use of “time wasting” apps. We will have participants submit feedback surveys through the study and attempt to understand when they drop off and how feedback changes over time and at what point data saturation is reached.

Experience with managing remote study participants and using Mechanical Turk is a plus, but is not required. We expect students to register for 2 credit hours.

Weekly meetings will be either on Tuesday or Wednesday afternoons sometime between 3-5 starting the week of June 19th and will go through August 18th – you can indicate your availability in the survey.

This DRG will be run jointly by Hyewon Suh (Ph.D. student) and Julie Kientz (Associate Professor).


Participatory Design with Children and Researchers

Summer 2017

We are looking for 4 students for the Summer 2017 to help with running KidsTeam UW, an intergenerational co-design team of children (ages 6 – 12) and design researchers. There is rich work around how to interact with adults and children together in the co-design space, the role of design techniques in co-design, and the different stages and phases of co-design. You have the opportunity to help us understand this space.

Activities of this research group will include interacting as an adult design partner with children in co-design, working with researchers on multiple projects involving children and design, and running overall logistics to support the intergenerational design team. 

This DRG will require you to participate at least once in KidsTeam UW in the summer from July 31 to August 4th (9:00 am to 4:30 pm, or multiple days with mornings / afternoons). Students who have completed HCDE 318/418/518 and/or HCDE 417/517 or have relevant experience will be given priority. 

Alternatively, students who have experience with learning sciences, education, and child development will also be considered. 

We expect students to register for 3 credits of HCDE 496/596.

This research group will be led by Assistant Professor Jason Yip (iSchool), with support from Laura Pina and  Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Persona development: Health information practices of older adults and stakeholders

Summer 2017

This Directed Research Group is looking for up to 2 students for the summer quarter to help with a project called, SOARING (Studying Older Adults & Researching Information Needs and Goals) which is aimed at understanding the ways older adults manage their personal health information and the role that stakeholders such as, caregivers, providers and family members play in those activities. The project team has been doing qualitative fieldwork with older adults to understand their health information practices and needs. They have also done interviews with stakeholders. During the summer quarter, we will dive into the research that has been collected to create personas and scenarios. We will also validate these personas and scenarios by conducting a focus group with older adults and interviews with stakeholders. The focus group and interviews are likely to be conducted off campus.
                                                  
We are looking for students who have experience with developing personas and scenarios, has familiarity with conducting focus groups and is able to help with analyzing qualitative data.
 
DRG meeting times will be Wednesdays from 1p-2p and you are also welcomed to join in the SOARING team meetings from 2p-3p. We expect students to register for 2-3 credits of HCDE 496 or HCDE 596.

This research group will be led by PhD student Dawn Sakaguchi-Tang, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Developing a Validated Measure of User Value

Summer 2017

Previously, we have investigated what constitutes user burdens in computing technologies (https://www.hcde.washington.edu/files/news/Suh-UserBurdenScale-CHI2016.pdf) and that led us to think what constitutes user values. Because some technologies expose high user burden but if a user finds greater value in using, they’d sacrifice/endure existing burden and sustain use. So we are interested in finding what exactly constitutes user values associated with computing systems and how they affect people’s willingness to accept and reject/refrain their use and ways to measure them.

We are looking for two students this Summer Quarter to help with developing and validating a scale for assessing user value. We expect students to register for 3 credits of HCDE 496/596. We will begin the quarter by reading papers about other similar scales and how they have been validated and used. We will then brainstorm questions, refine them, and validate them using quantitative statistical approaches. A previous class in statistics or quantitative methods would be helpful, but a willingness to learn would also work. As we are planning to submit this work to relevant HCI conferences or journals, students seeking for publication opportunities are welcome.

This research group will be led by PhD Candidate Hyewon Suh, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz.


Amazon Alexa: Understanding the role of Voice Assisted Technology in the Home

Spring 2017

Led by PhD student Taryn Bipat

Voice activated assistants are becoming increasingly more prominent in homes across the globe. This is a new computing interface that is beginning to impact our behaviors and interactions similar to mobile phones but with voice rather than a visual screen.  The goal of this project is to understand the the impact this developing technology has on human behavior and to understand the stakeholders perceptions of voice assisted technology. 

We are looking for up to 4 students for the Spring quarter to help with a study understanding the use and impact of Amazon Alexa in the home. As part of this research, you will be using a grounded theory method to analyze data from Amazon.com, online forums, interviews and surveys. At the end of the quarter, students will have a better understanding of how to find emerging patterns in the data and how to translate those findings. In the future, we hope to use these preliminary findings in partnership with KidsTeam UW to create and conduct studies focusing on children and families' uses and perceptions of Alexa.

We are looking for students, who have experience with or a willingness to learn (1) qualitative coding and (2) user testing and interviewing methods. It is not necessary but experience with web scraping will be helpful. 

This is a 3-credit research group offered to undergraduate (HCDE 496) and graduate (HCDE 596) students. Students will meet for 1.5 hours every week and should commit around 4 hours outside of class time. 

This research group will be led by PhD student Taryn Bipat, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Children's Technology Self-Regulation Research

Spring 2017

Led by PhD student Alexis Hiniker

We are looking for up to 3 students for Spring quarter to help with a study on teaching self-regulation pre-school aged children (ages 3-5). The project, sponsored by Sesame Workshop, will evaluate whether a commercially available iPad app, Cookie Monster’s Challenge, can teach children self-regulation skills. As part of this research, you will help with running a study with children at Head Start and other local schools to work with children to collect data and aid with video analysis of the findings. If you’re interested, you can also help with writing the results up for publication. Participants will need to be able to get to on-site study venues at Head Start locations around the Seattle area, either by car or public transit.

Specifically, we are looking for motivated students who have (1) experience conducting user tests of interactive technologies; (2) experience working with children or a desire to learn; (3) the ability to learn to help with coding videos for data analysis. If you have experience working with children who are English Language Learners, that is also a plus.

This research group will be led by PhD student Alexis Hiniker, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Game Accessibility Metadata

Spring 2017

Led by HCDE PhD candidate John Porter

This DRG is being offered as a collaboration between HCDE's CHiLL Lab and the iSchool's GAMER Lab. We are looking for up to 4 students this quarter to help with designing and conducting a survey and series of interviews exploring issues surrounding game accessibility to players with motor impairments. This project seeks to better understand and catalog which mechanics and interactions factor into determining a game's accessibility or inaccessibility to a diverse range of motor impaired users. This information will be used to expand the Video Game Metadata Schema (developed by the iSchool's GAMER Lab) to capture a broad set of descriptive qualities, enabling one to make informed predictions about a given game's accessibility based on individual needs.

Activities for this research group will include the opportunity to participate in the design of a survey instrument and of a semistructured interview protocol, working with the research team to conduct interviews of gamers with motor impairments to learn about their experiences, and data analysis. Priority will be given to HCDE and iSchool students who have completed HCDE 417/517, or who have comparable coursework or other experience with user research methods.

Participating students will register for 3 credits of HCDE 496/596, and should expect to commit up to 9 hours per week (depending on project needs in a given week) on this DRG between meetings, group collaboration, and independent work.

This research group will be led by HCDE PhD candidate John Porter, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE) and Associate Professor Jinha Lee (iSchool).


Youth mental health: a family-oriented approach

Spring 2017

DRG led by Professors Julie Kientz and Sean Munson, and PhD student Arpita Bhattacharya

Teenage years and young adulthood are significant stages of transitioning through rapidly changing social dynamics, career pathways, and exposure to unfamiliar circumstances. Reduction in stress has many benefits in social and mental well-being for thriving, as well as in improving treatment outcomes for physical and mental health challenges. What strategies can help youth to cope with stressful situations and start leveraging skills and resources for developing resilience towards stressful events?  

Family members and caregivers can be supportive social resources accessible to most (but not all) youth and may also be a source of interesting social tensions for youth seeking to become less dependent. Risk taking and learning are important aspects of development, and not all events are predictable, avoidable, or can be under control of a parent.  How can stress and mental health be approached from a family perspective?

In this project, we will involve youth and their families in design activities to understand what they think should be the role of technology in helping them manage and mediate support under stressful circumstances.

Activities: We expect to sketch and brainstorm design ideas, design and conduct focus group workshops and interviews with participants, and analyze qualitative data. Readings and discussions will be based on what will help the team learn related work and relevant skills. We look forward to working with 2-3 students who have interest in the topic, have prior experience in conducting focus groups and analyzing qualitative data such as HCDE 313/418/518, and/or have worked on projects in mental health. Depending on progress, students may have the option to continue on this project after the quarter ends.

Caution: We expect study participants to describe situations and emotions that they find stressful. Students in the team will be exposed to data which may also involve narratives on adverse events or trauma. We will work together to be supportive of one another, however, if you are negatively triggered by such content, we encourage you to take necessary measures for self-care while engaging in the project.

Time: We will decide a time based on the team’s availability. All students participating in the DRG, must attend weekly meetings for 90 minutes. Work outside of the meetings will include reading, contributing to design of study materials, conducting focus groups, interviews, analyzing survey and interview results, and writing results to share. You can register for 1–3 credit hours in HCDE 496/596; for each credit you should expect to spend about three hours of work per week outside of meeting times.


Directed Research Group on Technology for Inclusive Play

Winter 2017

Led by PhD student Kiley Sobel

We are looking for two students this Winter Quarter to help with the design and development of an interactive cooperative iPad application for inclusive play (or play among children with and without disabilities). This application will be used in a two-month design intervention in an inclusive kindergarten classroom during Spring Quarter. (To learn more about this application and research project, see the following paper: https://www.hcde.washington.edu/files/news/Incloodle.pdf.)

Specifically, we are looking for motivated students who have either (1) visual / graphic design skills, and/or (2) programming skills and experience with (or a willingness to quickly learn) Swift / iOS development.

We expect students to register for 3 credits of HCDE 496/596.

This research group will be led by PhD student Kiley Sobel, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE).


Designing for Family Health Informatics

Winter 2017

Led by Research Associate Laura Pina

We are looking for 4 students for Winter Quarter to help with us with building, testing, deploying, and evaluating technologies for family health. Our work focuses on family health. There is rich work around how to design for personal health but less on how to design in the family context — where the health of every family member depends on one another.  You have the opportunity to help us understand this space.

Activities of this research group will include working with the research team to prototype and build health data tracking tools to enable family members to think about their health together. This DRG will require you to have design skills, technical programming skills, and deploy and interview in family homes. We are looking for students with web development: such as python, javascript and visualization libraries, such as D3, C3, and others. Alternatively, students who have completed HCDE 318/418/518 and/or HCDE 417/517 or have relevant experience will be given priority.

We expect students to register for 3 credits of HCDE 496/596.

This research group will be led by Research Associate Laura Pina, with guidance from Associate Professor Julie Kientz.


 

Epiphany moments: Understanding catalysts for health behavior change

Autumn 2016

What can we learn from people who are working towards or have achieved changes in their health behavior? Are there specific moments of “epiphanies” that motivated them to take steps towards positive health outcomes? Theories of behavior change and prior work suggest that many factors come into play to catalyze an individual’s process of behavior change, such as social pressure, increased self-awareness or self-knowledge, and lifestyle changes. In this DRG, we will aim to gain in-depth empirical understanding of these factors and explore if we can design technology to catalyze such motivators of behavior change for those who are not yet motivated to change.

Activities: We expect to work together on to design and conduct interviews, surveys, qualitative analysis, and brainstorming design ideas. Readings and discussions will be based on what will help the team learn related work and relevant skills. We look forward to work with 3-4 students who have interest in the topic and/or have prior experience in conducting interviews and analyzing qualitative data such as HCDE 313/418/518. Depending on progress, students may have the option to continue on this project after the quarter ends.


Research Group on User Testing of SmartQuit smoking cessation app

We are looking for 3 motivated students for Winter Quarter to help with designing and conducting user studies and usability testing for a new smartphone application for assisting with smoking cessation, called SmartQuit. 

Activities in this research group will include working with the research team to construct low-fidelity prototypes suitable for testing with focus groups, usability testing, and possibly expert evaluation such as heuristic evaluation. Completion of HCDE 318/518 and/or HCDE 417/517 is preferred, but not required.

This research group, led by HCDE Associate Professor Julie Kientz, is in collaboration with Fred Hutch Cancer Research Institute and 2Morrow Mobile. 


Participatory Design with Children and Researchers

Summer 2016

We are looking for 4 students to help with running KidsTeam UW, an intergenerational co-design team of children (ages 6 – 12) and design researchers. There is rich work around how to interact with adults and children together in the co-design space, the role of design techniques in co-design, and the different stages and phases of co-design. You have the opportunity to help us understand this space.

Activities of this research group will include interacting as an adult design partner with children in co-design, working with researchers on multiple projects involving children and design, and running overall logistics to support the intergenerational design team. 

This DRG will require you to participate at least once in KidsTeam UW in the summer from August 8 – 12 (9:00 am to 4:30 pm, or multiple days with mornings / afternoons). Students who have completed HCDE 318/418/518 and/or HCDE 417/517 or have relevant experience will be given priority. Alternatively, students who have experience with learning sciences, education, and child development will also be considered. 

We expect students to register for 3 credits of HCDE 496/596.

This research group will be led by Research Associate Laura Pina, with guidance from Assistant Professor Jason Yip (iSchool) and Associate Professor Julie Kientz (HCDE)


Understanding and Designing for a Family Perspective on Health Informatics

We are looking for 4 students for Spring Quarter to help with conducting interviews and design sessions that focus on family health. There is rich work around how to design for personal health but less on how to design in the family context — where the health of every family member depends on one another.  You have the opportunity to help us understand this space.

Activities of this research group will include working with the research team to conduct interviews with families, analyze data, and potentially build and prototype health data tracking tools to enable family members to think about their health together. This DRG will require you to interview families at their home. Students who have completed HCDE 318/418/518 and/or HCDE 417/517 or have relevant experience will be given priority. Alternatively, students who have experience with Android prototyping and development will also be considered. 


Technology Use and Family Life

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 (alexisr@uw.edu) and Associate Professor Julie Kientz (jkientz@uw.edu).

Evaluating a Game to Promote Inclusion of Young Children

This DRG will focus on running an experimental study to determine how effective a tablet application is at supporting play between children ages 4-7 who are typically developing and who experience social, emotional, communication, or other similar disabilities.

In July, we will carry out the study with multiple dyads of children. In August, we will code the collected video data. Participants in the DRG will be expected to facilitate the study by doing tasks such as recording video, taking notes, greeting and debriefing participants, etc. and then help with coding.

The DRG is co-led by HCDE PhD student Kiley Sobel and Associate Professor Julie Kientz. If you are interested in registering, please contact Kiley Sobel at ksobel@uw.edu.


Reading Group: Game Design and Theory

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 12–1 p.m. in 420 Sieg Hall. 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 jrporter@uw.edu.


 
Can Smartphone Usage Predict Sleep Status?
 
Sleep is an important component of health. With long-term, behavioral sleep issues such as insomnia, monitoring the amount of sleep you get can be an important part of helping to find the causes of the problems and work on a solution. Current sleep sensors often require on-the-body sensors and that the user must remember to put it on or turn it on every night, which can lead to high user burden and unreliable data. These issues make it difficult for users to learn about their sleep behaviors over the long term.
 
In this directed research group, we will be working on a new way of identifying sleep behaviors by looking at how people use their smart phones. For example, many people have the habit of charging their phone while they sleep, or the phone may not move for several consecutive hours. The work involved will be collecting data via phone usage logs as well as “ground truth” data via commercial sleep sensors and manual sleep diaries, and then applying machine learning techniques (using the Weka toolkit) to determine whether we can build a model that predicts a user’s sleep status. We already have access to an Android-based logging tool and commercial sleep sensors, so part of the work for this group will be to recruit participants, set up the logging tool on their phone, give them the sleep sensors, and collect information from them and analyze it.
 
Students participating would benefit from having some familiarity with Android phones, basic programming skills (in case we need to do any modifications to the logging tool), and quantitative data analysis skills (or a willingness to learn).
 

Mobile App Design for Preschoolers
 
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 jkientz@uw.edu and alexisr@uw.edu 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.

Designing Information Technology for Healthy Living (2008)
 
Information technologies have a vast potential to enable individuals and families improve the health of their lifestyles. Mobile technologies, persuasive technologies, and collaborative technologies can all support people in setting and achieving goals, such as a healthier diet, better record keeping for their health, and supporting a sustainable lifestyle.
This research group will focus on these topics using a standard Human-Computer Interaction design process by determining design requirements through qualitative evaluations, coming up with design concepts based on those requirements, developing prototypes of different concepts, and evaluating the prototypes with real users. Particular focus for the Winter 2008 quarter will be given to designing and prototyping technologies for aiding individuals with improving their sleep habits.
 
This research group will meet once per week during the Winter 2008 quarter on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 for brainstorming sessions, updates on progress, and sharing results. Students interested in this research group should email Julie Kientz (jkientz@u.washington.edu) with a brief description of their interest in the projects and a description of their various skills. Students with technical prototyping skills or a desire to learn them are especially encouraged to apply.

Persuasive Technologies (Autumn 2009–Spring 2010)
 
Persuasive technologies are being increasingly used to encourage users to lead healthier lifestyles.  Web-based, mobile technologies, video games, and social networking tools have all been used to encourage people to exercise more, eat healthier, stop smoking, drink more water, or get more sleep.
 
This research group will bring together people who are interested in evaluating technologies that encourage users to make better choices that can lead to healthier outcomes. Over the 2009–2010 academic year, we will explore the space for persuasive technologies for health and determine open research questions. In the Spring 2010 quarter, we will continue our study of developing and validating heuristics for evaluating persuasive technologies by applying them to existing persuasive systems.
 
If you are interested in participating in this group, please send an email to Julie Kientz (jkientz@uw.edu) with a short statement of your interests in the group and your skills. Weekly meetings will be held on Wednesdays from 4:00–5:00 P.M. Space is limited, and preference will be given to returning students from previous quarters.
Recommended background reading:
 
Fogg, B. J. 2002. Persuasive technology: using computers to change what we think and do. Link to book.

Designing Interfaces that Make us Think (Autumn 2010–Spring 2011)
 
The advent of computers has made many things much easier in our lives. With mobile phone contact lists, we no longer have to memorize phone numbers, and with Google, we never have to remember anything because we can always just look it up again. Calculators and now advanced systems like Wolfram Alpha have reduced the need for being able to solve complex math problems. While these conveniences have been fantastic for our productivity, there is still some cognitive value to being encouraged to think and learn. Researchers have been exploring the ways that different activities can slow cognitive decline and onset of age-related memory disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer's. Games such as Nintendo's Brain Age are a start to putting these types of activities within reach of users.
 
In this research group, we will be researching and designing ways that computing interfaces can actually make us think more rather than less. The research will include determining opportune times to make tasks cognitively harder, the ways that are acceptable to make users think more without being frustrating or annoying, and the ways the tasks can be seamlessly integrated into people's everyday tasks. Examples may include a Firefox extension that requires you to solve 10 simple arithmetic problems before you load Facebook or switching the order of items on a person's iGoogle home page every visit.
 
The research tasks involved will be to review related literature in human-computer interaction and cognitive psychology, brainstorm ideas for new technologies, prototype high-fidelity prototypes, and determine ways for evaluating the prototypes.
 
The research group is limited to 8 students, and if there is a high demand, preference will be given to students who are willing to commit for more than one quarter. If you are interested in being in the research group, please send an email to Julie Kientz (jkientz@uw.edu) with a paragraph describing your interest in the group and a bit of information about your background, skill set, and career goals. You can sign up for 2 or 3 credit hours. The ability to prototype interactive, high-fidelity interfaces, such as using Flash, Python, Axure, or Balsamiq, or any programming language, is a plus.

Designing Computing Technology for Tracking Children's Developmental Progress (2011-2012)
 
This year, my directed research group will focus on designing and developing technology for promoting healthy development in families with young children. This work will contribute toward a project funded by the National Science Foundation. The goal of this project is to design and evaluate novel technologies that will help to track developmental progress in children under the age of 5 to aid in the early detection of developmental delays. For the past several years, I have been working on this problem through a project called Baby Steps. One of the primary strategies has been to use sentimental record-keeping, such as photos, videos, and stories, as a motivator for also tracking developmental progress. We will continue along these lines, as well as come up with new approaches to encourage parents to track their child's progress.
 
Motivation: The State of Washington has a goal to screen all children under the age of 5 for developmental milestones on a regular basis, and store that information into a centralized database that is accessible from any medical institution, health clinic, or daycare provider. Screening usually consists of parents completing 30 item questionnaires on their child's developmental progress every 2–3 months for their first 5 years of life. Example questions include items such as whether they can stack blocks, make eye contact, play with toys in an imaginative way, respond to their name, or climb up stairs. One of the challenges of this project is to find a way to reach everyone in the state, regardless of their background, culture, income level, literacy, education level, or access to technology.
 
What You'll Do: Our task is to brainstorm creative ways of using different types of technologies to populate this database that can reach anyone in the State of Washington. We will conduct a user-centered process to understand the problem more fully, design brainstorm to uncover new ideas, prototype those ideas, and then evaluate the effectiveness of those technologies for meeting the needs of the stakeholders.
 
Meeting Time: The group will meet from 3:00–4:30 on Tuesdays in Sieg Hall to discuss progress and plan for the quarter. Meetings are mandatory for all registered students.
Timeframe
  • Autumn 2011 quarter will focus on formative studies, including interviews, surveys, etc. to see develop design requirements, personas, and more for technologies that can reach mu
  • Winter 2012 will focus on design brainstorming. Students will pair up in teams and will choose a persona and design and prototype a technology that will meet the needs of that persona group.
  • Spring 2012 will focus on evaluating the prototypes with families and other stakeholders.
Registration: Students will be able to register for up to 3 credit hours of credit/no credit grade of either HCDE 496 or HCDE 596. Because space may be limited, if you are interested in registering, please complete the survey below. The deadline for completing this survey is March 1st, after which you will either be given an add code to register or placed on the wait list. Survey submissions received after March 1st will be placed on the wait list.

Gameplay Design and Theory Reading Group (2011)
 
Selected readings on the fundamentals of gameplay design and usability which are distinguishable from typical usability and design research (IE, Rules of Play, Ludology, Gaming Theory, Flow) and their application to domains within HCI. Workload expectations: At UW, 1 credit = 3 hours of activity. For our seminar, I expect that this will translate to 2 hours of reading and 1 hour of discussion.

Designing Computing Technology for Tracking Children's Developmental Progress (Winter & Spring 2013)
 
For Winter and Spring 2013 quarters, my directed research group will be working on prototyping and running a study of a system that uses social media to encourage developmental milestone tracking by parents of young children. This work will build upon user research already conducted by the Baby Steps project, funded by the National Science Foundation. We will use Twitter and/or Facebook to proactively prompt parents to track and respond to their young child's milestones such as taking their first steps, responding to verbal communication, and making eye contact. After designing a system for supporting prompting and data collection, we will the conduct a research study evaluating its effectiveness.
 
Research activities for each quarter will include:
Spring 2013—Meetings on Thursdays from 2:30–4:00
  • Design a mechanism for using Twitter and/or Facebook to prompt on developmental milestones and collect and store parent responses
  • Develop a functional prototype of social media application
  • Debug and do usability testing on a functional prototype
  • Design a field study for evaluating the prototype
Spring 2013—Meetings on Wednesdays from 2:00–3:30
  • Execute on the study designed during Winter 2013 quarter
  • Recruit participants and conduct interviews/study procedures
  • Collect and analyze data
  • Write up study results and submit for publication
If you are interested in participating, please complete the Catalyst survey by December 3. I will notify participants and provide add codes by December 7. If there are more people interested in participating than we have room to accommodate, I will prioritize based on relevant skill sets (or a willingness to learn) and the ability to commit for both quarters. Students with Python, web programming, and/or database skills are especially needed for Winter 2013 quarter. Students with experience working with user populations, conducting user testing, and doing data analysis are especially needed for Spring 2013 quarter.

Developing a Validated Measure of User Burden (Autumn 2013)
 
In any interactive technology, there is often some amount of burden placed on the user that can prevent its use and adoption. Burdens can include mental, physical, emotional, financial, time, privacy, or access. For example, a food journaling application may induce too significant of a mental, time, and emotional burden on the user that may prevent adoption. If we have a better way of assessing these different burdens, we can hopefully design better systems.
 
Currently, other than just asking participants, there is no way of assessing user burden in a systematic or comparable way. Researchers have adopted scales such as the NASA Task Load Index (NASA-TLX), the System Usability Scale (SUS), or the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) to assess technologies, but there is not yet a scale that assesses user burden.
The goal of this research group will be to develop and validate a scale for assessing user burden. We will begin the quarter by reading papers about other similar scales and how they have been validated and used. We will then brainstorm questions, refine them, and validate them using quantitative statistical approaches. A previous class in statistics or quantitative methods would be helpful, but a willingness to learn would also work.
 
Weekly meetings will take place on Mondays from 3:00 to 4:00 P.M. in Sieg 420.
If you are interested in participating, please email Julie Kientz (jkientz@uw.edu) with a copy of your resume/C.V. and a short statement expressing your interests in the group.