David McDonald

Winter - Spring 2020

UX Skills + ________ = Leadership 

Faculty Leaders: 

  • Mike Berg, UX Researcher
  • David McDonald, HCDE Faculty

Student Coordinators:

  • Flower (Zhuofan) Hua, UW Student
  • Britnie Chin, UW Student 

The path to UX Leadership is a mysterious one. There are various resources focused on the characterics of being a leader in the UX field, but there isn’t anything showing the path to leadership and how to get there in the UX community. This DRG will build off of the Pathways: Mapping HCDE career experiences lead by Mike Berg, Paula Chuchro, and David McDonald. During this two quarter DRG we will analyze secondary research, conduct interviews, analyze those interviews for success factors, to understand the meaning of Leadership in UX, and design a UX Leadership Playbook. DRG participants will need to participate in BOTH Winter 2020 and Spring 2020

Students who want to join the DRG should bring the following skills:

  • Experience conducting literature reviews (secondary research) 
  • Experience conducting semi-structured interviews 
  • Interest in creating information visualization in the form of a playbook


We are looking for 12-15 students available for two academic quarters, who are available to meet Monday and Wednesday from 5 PM to 6 PM for Winter and Spring Quarters. This DRG is 2 credits per quarter and is open to both Undergraduate and Graduate students. 

Brief Schedule 

2020 Winter Quarter:

The team will explore the meaning of Leadership in UX from secondary research methods (collecting and reading existing literature). There will be weekly hands-on activities to understand research question, develop a study plan, and conduct mock interviews with feedback from professionals in the industry. 

2020 Spring Quarter:

Based on the work from winter quarter, students will follow their study plan to conduct semi-structured interviews with industry leaders. Students will then begin to design a playbook composed of a small set of cases presented through timelines, key choices, types of experiences, that provided important leadership growth and development.

How to Apply

Please respond to our google form telling us about yourself and your interests, by December 12th.

Our research team welcomes students from different disciplines. Please bring your creativity, passion, and confidence to our team. If there are any questions please contact Flower Hua,

Winter 2020

A Human-Centered Design for Access to Justice

Co-led by: Jane K. Winn (UW Law), Ellen Reed (HCDE), David W. McDonald (HCDE)

As many as one hundred million civil justice problems are faced every year by Americans who cannot afford legal representation, do not recognize their problems as legal problems, or whose legal problems cannot be addressed effectively within existing legal service delivery channels. Nearly 20 years ago, legal aid lawyers and software developers partnered with the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology to create “Access to Justice Author” (A2J Author) a software platform designed for use by legal aid lawyers and court clerks struggling to meet the needs of “self-represented” litigants.

The A2J Author interface was path-breaking when it was first launched, but is now showing its age.  This DRG will conduct a human-centered evaluation of the A2J Author interface used by legal professionals when they design self-guided interviews with the goal of generating legal documents for self-represented litigants. We will also evaluate the user interface presented to the self-represented litigants as they use the self-guided interviews to solve their legal problems. The goal of these evaluations is to develop suggestions for the developers of A2J Author for increasing the usability of  A2J Author for both the legal professionals and self-represented litigants.

Meeting on Tuesdays from 4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Credits: 2

The deadline for applications is Monday, December 9 by 5 p.m. Please apply using this form. We will notify all applicants of our decisions by Friday, December 13.

Questions? Please contact: Jane K. Winn <>

Dr. McDonald's Research Group archive