Julie Kientz Research Group

Winter 2021

Design Considerations for tools Supporting Individuals to Cope with Shame

This DRG will be offered by HCDE Affiliate Professor Mania Orand with guidance from Professor Julie Kientz

Shame is a common emotion that negatively impacts individuals’ mental health. One effective strategy to cope with shame, as psychologists suggest, is to share shame experiences with others and build mutual empathy. Research shows that online communities can facilitate the exchange of sensitive issues for social support. However, few platforms have been specifically designed to facilitate sharing of users’ shame experiences in order to build mutually empathetic connections. In this DRG, we will work together to explore the literature to gain a better understanding of different dimensions of shame experience, such as the importance of anonymity or the desire to be heard without being judged. The literature review will inform the design of platforms that might support individual to cope with shame.


  1. Find, read, and discuss literature about shame and other relevant topics
  2. Discuss design considerations for tools that might facilitate sharing shame experiences
  3. Explore mechanisms that might encourage mutual empathy, while balancing the need for anonymity and the desire to connect with other individuals
  4. Design ideas to support individuals to freely express their feelings

Participation Requirements:

  1. Attend our virtual 2-hour class and working session each week, starting the second week of January
  2. Search for and review the literature 4 hours each week outside of class meeting.
  3. Register for 2 HCDE 496/596 in Winter. Email for registration code
  4. This DRG will be offered as Credit/No Credit.

To enroll, please email Mania Orand, We are planning to meet 4 - 5:45 p.m. PST on Thursdays. 

Winter 2021

Participatory Design for Family-Centered Innovation

Led by Rebecca Michelson, Akeiylah DeWitt, and Professor Julie Kientz

2 credits

This DRG will be meeting on Mondays from 12–2 p.m. PST

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt work and preschool-12th grade education in the United States, families are finding new ways to adapt their home lives accordingly. This DRG topic is motivated by questions about remote learning and childcare needs that were uncovered from a recent study on families using technology in the home. In this DRG, we will work together to define the scope of future design by engaging in activities like reflection, design-thinking, and usability evaluation. We will meet remotely on Zoom once a week and connect via Slack as well. Outputs of this DRG may include low-fidelity prototypes, technology probes, data visualizations, or other creative outputs such as a manifesto for family-centered design. There may be opportunities to carry our outputs forward through a Spring quarter DRG as well.


  1. Based on recent research and stories that DRG participants generate, we will explore the greatest challenges that families with young ones ages 18 and under are experiencing during COVID-19.
  2. Design for family-centered support by leveraging our knowledge, community, and diverse skill sets as DUB students.
  3. Conduct family-centered advocacy in our communities and beyond.

The team is led by Rebecca Michelson and Akeiylah DeWitt, (Human Centered Design & Engineering). For more information about Families and Technology research, see our blog at

Participation: We encourage all UW students who are parents or caregivers for kids and young adults ages 18 to apply! Beginner knowledge of design-thinking is recommended as well. Please reach out with any accessibility needs so that we can meet them.

A group meeting time will be decided based on participant interest and availability. To apply, please reach out to Rebecca directly:

Dr. Kientz's Research Group archive