Gary Hsieh

Spring 2018

Design and Development for Crowdsourcing Physical Activity Advice

In this DRG, we are looking for a few designers and developers to work on the design of CrowdFit. CrowdFit is a tool that leverages the potential of people who are remote from each other to provide help for physical activity. CrowdFit enables an online helper, such as a worker from a task marketplace like Mechanical Turk, to create an actionable plan that follows expert techniques and fits the needs of the person they are helping.  CrowdFit has a client interface for the person who receives the physical activity plan and a helper interface for the people who provide the help and support.

The students will work as a team on the website redesign. Students can choose to participate in one of the two roles below, or to work on both aspects.

(1) Design roles: As part of the website redesign, students will perform usability testing, design the brand for this application, create wireframes and assets for the visual and interaction design of the website. Students should have taken HCDE 308 or HCDE 508

(2) Developer roles: Students will develop new features into an existing tool. Students should have taken HCDE 310 or equivalent. Experience is desirable with back end: Python, or Django, and front-end: Javascript, JQuery.

To apply, submit a statement stating why you are interested in participating in this DRG, and your resume. Include a link to your portfolio if you are applying for a design position. Include a link to your github or share example of your development if you are applying for a developer position.  

Apply here:

This course can be taken for 2 credits (2 hours of classroom meeting time + 4 hours of additional work each week). Meeting time TBD based on student’s availability.

Deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 6th. Contact Elena Agapie,, if you have any questions.

Spring 2018

Conversational Agent for Collecting Patient Information in Hospital Waiting Rooms

Note: This research group is at enrollment capacity for Spring 2018

More data from patients are needed to understand low-income patients’ needs and offer tailored services to address these needs. For example, discovering that a patient lacks transportation and thus cannot get to the pharmacy to fill their prescription is an important need that should be addressed. Otherwise, the doctor’s visit and prescription from that visit is wasted. Currently, this type of information is often gathered with paper and pen surveys as patients wait in waiting rooms. However, response rates are low. In this DRG, we will explore the use of conversational agents to facilitate this data collection. Can such an agent increase survey participation and improve the quality of responses? What are the tradeoffs between voice- and text-based interactions in this context?

In this project, we will be working on prototyping the user interaction, visual interface and the conversation dialogs. While we are generally looking for motivated students who are interested in exploring conversational agent designs, students with strong prototyping, design, and technical communication backgrounds are a plus, as we will be preparing for a deployable prototype. 


Gary Hsieh's Directed Research Group archive: