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BBL: Designing for User Agency and Participation

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This week at HCIL Brown Bag Lunch (BBL), we host an external speaker: Foad Hamidi from University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Foad will talk about, “Designing for User Agency and Participation.”


Time: 10/12 (Thursday) from 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Place: HCIL (2105 Hornbake, South wing)
Lunch: Free pizza!


Digital technologies provide many opportunities to engage the interest and attention of users of all ages. A central question for the designers of these systems is what aspects of user interaction do they want to encourage and emphasize. In this talk, I present several research projects in which I designed digital systems to motivate user participation and collaboration. These projects include a digital living media system that engages child users though the dynamics of caring and responsibility and a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) open-source communication board for non-verbal users. For each project, I describe how I worked closely with various stakeholders including children, parents and teachers. I conclude with reflections on how to design digital system to support human agency and participation.


Foad Hamidi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Participatory Design, Digital Living Media Systems and DIY Assistive Technology. He is passionate about interdisciplinary cormmunitity-engaged research and has work on research projects in different cultural contexts, including Kenya, Bhutan and Mexico. He has a PhD in Computer Science from York University, Toronto.

Please join us on Thursday and enjoy the talk along with a lively discussion with Foad over pizza!