RESEARCH AND DESIGN
Explore my R&D projects
Have a look at the qualitative research projects I have led or contributed to below to get an idea of what I’ve worked on, how I implement my skills, and my approach to research from concept to execution. Reach out if you’d like to learn more about a specific project.
AI, ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY, AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES:
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE FUTURE
User Experience Research Ph.D. Intern
This literature review and semi-structured interview study aimed to explore the perceptions of people with disabilities (PwD) on artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) and how both could impact or improve the discovery and learnability of assistive technology (AT). Eight people with disabilities were interviewed and the literature review of academic publications contained a corpus of 60 papers from an initial corpus of 576.
Examples, case studies, and/or prototypes related to the concepts of both discovery and learnability in AT will be incorporated into the study from a literature review for participants to express how these elements may be affected by AI/ML for better or worse. Through this research, PwD will be able to express experiences, insights, thoughts, and possibilities for AI/ML risks and harms for themselves and/or their community.
Issues with discovering AT or accessibility options in addition to AT with poor learnability prevent or disrupt adoption, ease of use, and continued use as needed/desired for PwD who use AT. Determining how to leverage AI/ML to improve discoverability and learnability in AT while taking into consideration how PwD understand and perceive them will make for higher rates of adoption and satisfaction with AT.
BLACK 👩🏽💻 TO THE FUTURE
University of Colorado Boulder
Summer 2023 - Spring 2024
My dissertation research gave Black women, femmes, and non-binary people the opportunity to examine current communication technologies and envision future iterations in an effort to provide themselves and their community with ideas, insights, and directions for better designs and experiences communicating with technology. The research involved my facilitation of two sets of three speculative co-design workshops, six in total, pre-design activities, and a post-workshop questionnaire.
The first set of workshops was a space within which an artifact was developed consisting of the responses and input from workshop participants that provided a cogent representation of what the participants envision and value in future technologies that serve Black women (and in turn which can inspire affordances and designs for other marginalized communities).
The second set of workshops provided the opportunity to examine current communication technology and envision future iterations in an effort to provide ideas, insights, and directions for better designs and experiences with communication technologies. These workshops were a space within which a narrative based on the Black Mirror series was imagined and an artifact from the first study was reacted and responded to by participants. Their feedback focused on how the crafted idea works, how it could be improved, and whether or not the aims expressed in the first workshop for the artifact were made clear.
BLACK MIRROR WRITER'S ROOM EXERCISE WORKSHOP FACILITATION
UX Design Research Intern
I facilitated the Black Mirror Writer's Room exercise in 45 minutes with 7 designers and researchers at Substantial, a design and development agency located in Seattle, WA. I updated the original slide deck from the creator of the exercise, Dr. Casey Fiesler to the workshop participants. Here is her Medium article about the exercise. Here is a link to my slide deck that includes the pitches from the participants.
USER EXPERIENCE RESEARCH FOR AN EDTECH COMPANY
UX Design Research Intern
Focused on this as my main project as an intern at Substantial. Created a research plan in conversation with the client about their questions and hopes for research. The plan included research questions, a timeline, methods, protocol, and a run of show. Recruited seven undergraduate STEM faculty who teach marginalized students. The faculty represented Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), Tribal Colleges, and Predominantly White Institutions (PWIs).
The research involved an hour-long interview and a half-hour follow-up interview with all seven faculty, and a speculative co-design session with six of the seven faculty. Miro was used both for the workshop and to conduct affinity mapping and synthesis. Dovetail was used for the initial thematic analysis. Insights were presented using Google Slides to the client after the interviews and again after the workshop. Here is a link to the presentation.
UX Design Research Intern
I and Sami Foell, the two summer interns, selected a capstone project to collaborate on during our 12-week internship at Substantial that tasked us with creating an Equity-Centered Design (ECD) Maturity Assessment. We conducted preliminary research on what ECD is. Next, we conducted two interviews each with Substantial staff about ECD. After synthesizing their responses, we began developing a prototype. We received feedback from the design team between the low, mid, and high-fidelity prototypes before presenting our assessment at the end of the summer. We used Figma and FigJam for the design, Miro for affinity mapping and synthesis, and Google Slides to share our completed project. Here is a link to our presentation and here is a link to the LinkedIn post from Substantial about our project.
STUDYING BLACK TWITTER AND THE NEGRO MOTORIST GREEN BOOK
Research Project Lead
University of Colorado Boulder
Spring and Summer 2020
I led a team of four other researchers from research design to publication writing to explore Black Twitter and the Green Book. 18 participants were interviewed and over 75,000 tweets were collected using MAXQDA. We also thematically analyzed 4 editions of the Green Book. We used Taguette to conduct open coding and content analysis on the tweets. A Medium post was written about the research to contribute to public scholarship. Four academic publications resulted from this research for Interactions Magazine, GROUP, CSCW, and Social Media + Society.
NATIONAL CENTER FOR WOMEN IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (NCWIT)
I synthesized the most used resources on the NCWIT site using Google Analytics. Resources were then analyzed for corrections, updates, typos, inclusive language, broken links, and suggestions for fixes were made. Next, I supported NCWIT in updating the resources and research on their website. Mock-ups of suggestions for improving specific online resources were created using Google Drawings. Finally, presentations to two different stakeholder groups within the organization were made to outline my process, progress, and suggestions.
CITY OF BOULDER REIMAGINE POLICING PROJECT
City of Boulder, CO
Assisted project manager and project team with qualitative research design for data analysis. After outlining an open coding protocol and training the group to use it as a process, a timeline was created and I led the team in discussions about codes. I and Samantha Dalal, another graduate student, facilitated code collapsing into themes for the project manager to use in the report for the first stage of engagement. Finally, a draft survey tool was designed for the second engagement window of the project using the Likert scale, multiple-choice, and open-ended questions. Here is a link to the project overview.
USER CENTERED DESIGN PROJECTS
Design Activities from User-Centered Design Course
In Fall 2021, I participated in Dr. Jason Zietz' User-Centered Design Course at the University of Colorado Boulder. We learned about behavioral psychology, the brain, how people and animals learn, and how to use design elements (e.g. personas, scenarios, low-fidelity prototyping). Below, you will find descriptions of the potential products and solutions as well as personas and low-fidelity prototypes.
NUDGES + MOTIVATION
Notifications from the Get Out and Vote app will remind people who use the app several times before voter registration is due if they are not registered. Once registered, the app will notify the person using the app when their ballot has been mailed or in places without mail ballots provide a map of all polling locations within their area as soon as those details are available.
MOTIVATION DESIGN ACTIVITY
Using introjected regulation and social norms, this intervention motivates students not to skip class by having an attendance buddy system. Each student is paired with another student throughout the entire class. If both students are present for a class session, the professor looks to build intrinsic motivation by providing positive verbal feedback to the pair. The pair are meant to motivate each other to attend classes and encourage one another to overcome demotivation and make it to class. The intervention is an addition to Canvas under “People” with a tab labeled “Attendance Partner”. A message shows the pair how well they are doing with attendance compared to their classmates. If they are doing Good or Better, there is an audio message from the professor that the students can listen to.
EVIL LEARNING DESIGN ACTIVITY
A “game” that actually has people training a data set for a machine learning algorithm which essentially puts Re-CAPTCHA images and text for people to categorize. The “game” is designed to keep people playing as long as possible and actually earn the game designer money. Each image or text will have a “worth up to value” that completing it will be worth. After a random number of categorizations, the person would receive a random payout from the amount banked from each Re-CAPTCHA completed. The “game” would also include a ranking for the person playing against all other players determined by a combination of the number of Re-CAPTCHAs completed and the number of payouts received. I would sell the categorized Re-CAPTCHA images to companies like Google and Meta which would fund the random payouts and set up the game’s backend to never payout the full amount of the banked payout (only up to 60%).
HEURISTICS AND BIASES ASSIGNMENT
The retirement app is an app that allows people to save for retirement and track how they are aligning with their retirement savings goals. The app takes in information like desired retirement age and annual retirement savings and calculates an estimate for the annual, monthly, and weekly amount that person would need to save in order to reach their retirement goal. The app displays a meter that denotes the number of consecutive contributions the person has made to their retirement savings as a streak. The longer the streak, the more animated the meter becomes. The app also displays statistics about the person’s current retirement savings and their relation to their retirement goal. Finally, the savings goals and statistics of other people who have opted in to share their stories with others on the app are available to see as inspiration. The person using the app can connect with friends and family to see whatever information their friends and family have opted in to share.
“C-mail” is not an app and cannot be added to your phone that way. It is a website designed to be used from a desktop or laptop computer and not mobile devices in order to discourage the constant pressure of always on and available Email. This feature begins by taking input from the person using the product and allows them to set working hours. When emails come in outside of working hours, they are “held” until working hours begin. When emails are sent outside of working hours, the option to schedule send that email for a time within working hours is offered. Also, a signature message is created in all emails with helper default text that can be edited which helps to manage expectations around sending and receiving emails for this person.