Julie Kientz Research Group

Winter 2019

Everyday Personal Tracking: an exploration through practice

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.


  • 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.

Please note that space is limited. If you are interested, please apply for the group by November 30, 2018, using this survey.

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).


Winter 2019

Gender in HCI

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.

This DRG can be taken for between 1 and 3 credits, and is open to graduate and undergraduate students from any department. If you are interested in participating, please fill out this survey

Autumn 2018

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

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:

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).

Autumn 2018

Time Management Strategies for PhD Students

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 ( for an add code.

Summer 2018

Child-Computer Interaction and Participatory Design

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:

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).

Dr. Kientz's Research Group archive