Sean Munson

Spring 2021

Designing for an Asynchronous Remote Communities (ARC) tool to support adolescent depression treatment

This DRG will be offered by Julie Kientz, PhD and Jessica Jenness with guidance from Sean Munson, PhD and Elin Björling, PhD

Over 60% of adolescents diagnosed with depression do not receive mental health care and treatment engagement is low among those who do access care. Asynchronous Remote Communities (ARC) are a promising technology-based approach for engaging adolescents in mental health care that capitalizes on the reach and scalability of technology while also providing support, social interactions, and motivation to engage. ARCs use private online platforms (e.g., Slack, Microsoft Teams) to deliver and gather information from adolescents in a format that is lightweight, accessible, usable, and low burden. Our team of researchers including HCDE faculty Juile Kientz, PhD, Sean Munson, PhD, and Elin Björling, PhD and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine faculty Jessica Jenness, PhD have conducted pilot work to develop a functional Asynchronous Remote Communities (ARC) platform to supplement behavioral activation (BA+ARC) therapy for depressed adolescents using Slack. Our BA+ARC platform included peer and therapist coaching through direct messaging and chat channels, chatbot supported therapy tools, and real-time mood and behavior tracking and visualizations. Mental health clinician and adolescent target users provided critical feedback on design requirements including ARC supplementing versus replacing synchronous therapy sessions and tested preliminary prototypes that adapted core BA elements to a technology platform (BA+ARC). 

We are seeking to adapt our Slack prototype to Microsoft Teams in order to meet certain design criteria including HIPAA compliance and meeting the needs of the clinician’s workflow. We are partnering with Microsoft and Seattle Children’s Hospital engineers to begin the development work and are seeking students to assist in the creation of a design specification document related to this shift from Slack to Teams as well as the addition of automated data collection and visualization tools identified as important by target users.


  1. Understand the design of our current Slack-based prototype that has been developed and feasibility tested with teens and clinicians
  2. Adapt the design of a Slack Prototype for delivering treatment for depression for teens to the Microsoft Teams platform
  3. Create a set of annotated wireframes or an interactive prototype for the new design
  4. Conduct informal usability testing on new ported design
  5. Write a design spec document for communicating that design to a team of developers working at Seattle Children’s and Microsoft by the end of the quarter

Participation Requirements:

  1. Attend our virtual meeting / working session each week, starting the first week of Spring 2021. We will be meeting 4 - 5:20 p.m. PST on Thursdays. 
  2. Experience with prototyping / wireframing and interaction design
  3. Register for 2 HCDE 496/596 in Spring 2021 
  4. This DRG will be offered as Credit/No Credit

To enroll, please complete this form by Friday, March 12. We will let you know if you are selected to join this group by Thursday, March 18.

Winter - Spring 2021

Speculating the Future of Sports Technology (Winter-Spring 2021)

This DRG is at capacity and no longer accepting applications.

Led by: 

  • Sam Kolovson, PhD student, HCDE
  • With guidance from faculty adviser, Sean Munson, HCDE, and input and critique from other students and faculty with relevant experience


  • Seeking 4-6 HCDE/Art/Design students who will work with Sam and 6 student-athletes.
  • Open to BS, MS, or PhD students.
  • Preferred experience: We are looking for students with experience in one or more of the following: design, art, storytelling, cinematography, and video editing. 


We will create three short videos to provoke discussion around the future of tracking and data collection in sports. Through a research method called Speculative Design we will aim to get student-athletes, coaches, and staff at universities in the US as well as the wider collegiate athletic community to think about what they want (or don't want) from sports tracking technologies.

Videos might raise questions such as:

  • Should coaches have access to their athletes’ sleep data?
  • Should we design a device to collect a detailed caloric breakdown of every meal an athlete eats? 
  • What about swallowing or installing a sensor under an athlete’s skin to track exertion? Hydration?


  • An example of a video we might create is this project titled "Uninvited Guests" that is intended to provoke reflection and discussion about whether using tracking devices for remote health monitoring: Example here.
  • A pop culture example of the narrative we might strive for is the movie Her.

What students will do

Throughout the duration of the DRG, students will be introduced to relevant research methods and design skills read through literature, films, and other media. We may also discuss proper execution of these methods and skills during our meetings.

  • Winter 2021: Students will be directly involved with developing original ideas, creating storyboards (narratives for the videos), and designing possible futuristic technology prototypes to appear in the videos.
  • Spring 2021: Working in teams, students will develop the script for the videos, recruit actors, plan out how to create the videos, and shoot the videos (ideally, in-person, socially distanced, but we will adjust our plans for COVID-19 safety).


  • Participate in BOTH winter and spring quarters 2021.
  • Attend our 2-hour meeting each week, time TBD.
  • Work 4-6 hours outside of the class meeting.
  • Register for 2-3 credits of HCDE 496/596.

Dr. Munson's Research Group archive