Research Areas

The HCIL has conducted a broad range of research over the years, and continues to pursue several areas in depth.  Current projects are listed below, and are grouped by area. Past projects can be viewed in our research archive.

Accessibility | Citizen Science | Communities | Computational Journalism | Design Process | Digital Humanities | Digital Libraries | Digital-Physical Interaction Design | Education | Open Data | Privacy | Public Access | Security | Social Media & Networks | Visualization

Accessibility

Inclusive Design Lab
Our goal is to make the next generation of computing technologies more inclusive. We focus primarily on new mobile and wearable technologies -- from touchscreens to head-mounted displays to custom wearable devices -- both for broad use as well as for the needs of people with motor or visual impairments. Another thread of our work focuses on the intersection of HCI and machine learning.

Citizen Science

Open Knowledge Lab
The Open Knowledge Lab studies infrastructures supporting open knowledge. We focus on citizen science and open data, which broaden access to scientific knowledge.

Communities

Science Everywhere
Science Everywhere is an NSF funded research study aimed at understanding how technology can engage entire communities in science learning. We utilize a design-based research approach in which we co-design innovative science learning technology with families, teachers, and leaders in a community, implement that technology in the community, and then redesign that technology in an iterative design process. Broadly, this study will contribute to theory on connected learning by developing an understanding of how to connect science learning at home, school, and community spaces with technology. This study also aims to contribute to our understanding of parent-child learning, interactive display design, and social media for learning.

Computational Journalism

Computational and Data Journalism
Research on computational and data journalism with an emphasis on algorithmic accountability, narrative data visualization, and social computing in the news.

Design Process

Children as Design Partners (Intergenerational Design Teams)
Children, ages 7-11, work with HCIL faculty/staff/students after school and over the summer to create new technolgies for children.

Digital Humanities

Informal STEM Learning Through Alternate Reality Games
Our Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) represent an effort to bring underrepresented populations into STEM fields by engaging them in the uniquely immersive gameplay of ARGs. These games ask players to incorporate and imagine gameplay as it takes place in their day-to-day lives, encouraging them to co-construct the fictional storyline as they play along, and to collaborate with hundreds or thousands of other players dedicated to the same tasks. Our primary audience is teenagers (13-17 years old), including those currently underrepresented in STEM (e.g., females, blacks, and hispanics). Our ARGs inspire players to take on the roles of real life scientists, programmers, engineers, technicians, artists, writers, and explorers as they solve challenges and immerse themselves in the storyworld. This project represents a multidisciplinary partnership with the National Science Foundation (award number 1323306), as well as Brigham Young University, NASA, Tinder Transmedia, Intuitive Company, and the Computer History Museum. Our ARGs bring academic researchers, writers, artists, scientists, transmedia producers, and players together as part of a larger design team.

Digital Libraries

International Children's Digital Library
A library that provides free access to children's books from around the world. By ensuring access to books from many cultures and in diverse languages, we foster a love of reading, a readiness to learn, and a response to the challenges of world illiteracy.

Keshif: Simplicity Driven Visual Faceted Browser
Keshif is a visual data browser that makes it easier to browse and understand your data. It presents visual summaries of your data properties, such as who, what, when and where, in its facets and timeline.

Digital-Physical Interaction Design

Makeability Lab
Founded in 2012 by Dr. Jon Froehlich and students, the Makeability Lab focuses on designing and studying novel interactive experiences that cross between bits and atoms - the virtual and the physical - and back again to confront some of the world's greatest challenges in environmental sustainability, health and wellness, education, and universal accessibility.

Education

Children as Design Partners (Intergenerational Design Teams)
Children, ages 7-11, work with HCIL faculty/staff/students after school and over the summer to create new technolgies for children.

Informal STEM Learning Through Alternate Reality Games
Our Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) represent an effort to bring underrepresented populations into STEM fields by engaging them in the uniquely immersive gameplay of ARGs. These games ask players to incorporate and imagine gameplay as it takes place in their day-to-day lives, encouraging them to co-construct the fictional storyline as they play along, and to collaborate with hundreds or thousands of other players dedicated to the same tasks. Our primary audience is teenagers (13-17 years old), including those currently underrepresented in STEM (e.g., females, blacks, and hispanics). Our ARGs inspire players to take on the roles of real life scientists, programmers, engineers, technicians, artists, writers, and explorers as they solve challenges and immerse themselves in the storyworld. This project represents a multidisciplinary partnership with the National Science Foundation (award number 1323306), as well as Brigham Young University, NASA, Tinder Transmedia, Intuitive Company, and the Computer History Museum. Our ARGs bring academic researchers, writers, artists, scientists, transmedia producers, and players together as part of a larger design team.

International Children's Digital Library
A library that provides free access to children's books from around the world. By ensuring access to books from many cultures and in diverse languages, we foster a love of reading, a readiness to learn, and a response to the challenges of world illiteracy.

Science Everywhere
Science Everywhere is an NSF funded research study aimed at understanding how technology can engage entire communities in science learning. We utilize a design-based research approach in which we co-design innovative science learning technology with families, teachers, and leaders in a community, implement that technology in the community, and then redesign that technology in an iterative design process. Broadly, this study will contribute to theory on connected learning by developing an understanding of how to connect science learning at home, school, and community spaces with technology. This study also aims to contribute to our understanding of parent-child learning, interactive display design, and social media for learning.

Open Data

Open Knowledge Lab
The Open Knowledge Lab studies infrastructures supporting open knowledge. We focus on citizen science and open data, which broaden access to scientific knowledge.

Privacy

Improving Developers' Privacy and Security Decisionmaking
Well-intentioned software developers can put user data at risk when they make errors with complicated encryption protocols, abuse device identifiers and location data, or make other mistakes. In this work, we examine why these errors occur and how they can be prevented.

NetCHI Lab
We study people and networks and create tools to help people with their networks. We are working to facilitate an efficient, secure, and affordable Internet for all by studying how users get online, creating broadband tools, and having fun in the process.

Public Access

International Children's Digital Library
A library that provides free access to children's books from around the world. By ensuring access to books from many cultures and in diverse languages, we foster a love of reading, a readiness to learn, and a response to the challenges of world illiteracy.

Security

Improving Developers' Privacy and Security Decisionmaking
Well-intentioned software developers can put user data at risk when they make errors with complicated encryption protocols, abuse device identifiers and location data, or make other mistakes. In this work, we examine why these errors occur and how they can be prevented.

NetCHI Lab
We study people and networks and create tools to help people with their networks. We are working to facilitate an efficient, secure, and affordable Internet for all by studying how users get online, creating broadband tools, and having fun in the process.

Understanding Security Advice Sources to Improve User Safety
Users selectively choose which security advice to accept and some (most) to reject; however, it is unclear whether they are effectively prioritizing what is most important or most useful. If we can understand from where and why users take security advice, we can develop more effective security interventions.

Social Media & Networks

Informal STEM Learning Through Alternate Reality Games
Our Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) represent an effort to bring underrepresented populations into STEM fields by engaging them in the uniquely immersive gameplay of ARGs. These games ask players to incorporate and imagine gameplay as it takes place in their day-to-day lives, encouraging them to co-construct the fictional storyline as they play along, and to collaborate with hundreds or thousands of other players dedicated to the same tasks. Our primary audience is teenagers (13-17 years old), including those currently underrepresented in STEM (e.g., females, blacks, and hispanics). Our ARGs inspire players to take on the roles of real life scientists, programmers, engineers, technicians, artists, writers, and explorers as they solve challenges and immerse themselves in the storyworld. This project represents a multidisciplinary partnership with the National Science Foundation (award number 1323306), as well as Brigham Young University, NASA, Tinder Transmedia, Intuitive Company, and the Computer History Museum. Our ARGs bring academic researchers, writers, artists, scientists, transmedia producers, and players together as part of a larger design team.

Visualization

CoCo: A Visual Analytics Tool for Comparing Cohorts of Event Sequences
CoCo is a visual analytics tool that enables users to compare two sets of temporal sequence data. It combines automated statistical tests with user-guidance to enable insights, hypothesis generation, and much more. Users see (1) statistics about their dataset, (2) event-level statistics, and (3) a menu of metrics. CoCo displays significance tests in a unified form for measures such as prevalence and duration of gaps.

Computational and Data Journalism
Research on computational and data journalism with an emphasis on algorithmic accountability, narrative data visualization, and social computing in the news.

EventAction: Visual Analytics for Temporal Event Sequence Recommendation
EventAction introduces prescriptive analytics with temporal event sequences. After identifying similar temporal records users can review recommended temporal event sequences that help them achieve their goals and define a personalized action plan.

EventFlow
The HCIL's ongoing work with temporal event records has produced powerful tools for analyzing patterns of point-based events (LifeLines2, LifeFlow). However, users found that point-based events limited their capacity to solve problems that had inherently interval attributes. To address this issue, EventFlow extends its predecessors to support both point-based and interval-based events. With EventFlow, we present novel solutions for displaying interval events, simplifying their visual impact, and incorporating them into meaningful queries.

Keshif: Simplicity Driven Visual Faceted Browser
Keshif is a visual data browser that makes it easier to browse and understand your data. It presents visual summaries of your data properties, such as who, what, when and where, in its facets and timeline.