EXPLORE

Technical Program

Papers and Notes

Overload is Overloaded: Email in the Age of Gmail
The term email overload has two definitions: receiving a large volume of incoming email, and having emails of different status types (to do, to read, etc). Whittaker and Sidner proposed the latter definition in 1996, noticing that email inboxes were far more complex than simply containing incoming messages. Sixteen years after Whittaker and Sidner, we replicate and extend their work with a qualitative analysis of Google’s Gmail. We find that email overload, both in terms of volume and of status, is still a problem today. Our contributions are 1) updating the state of email overload, 2) extending our understanding of overload in the context of Gmail and 3) comparing personal with work email accounts: while work email tends to be status overloaded, personal email is also type overloaded. These comparisons between work and personal email suggest new avenues for email research.

Catherine Grevet
Georgia Institute of Technology
David Choi
Google, Inc.
Debra Lauterbach
Google, Inc.
Eric Gilbert
Georgia Institute of Technology

What If We Ask A Different Question?: Social Inferences Create Product Ratings Faster
Consumer product reviews are the backbone of commerce online. Most commonly, sites ask users for their personal opinions on a product or service. I conjecture, however, that this traditional method of eliciting reviews often invites idiosyncratic viewpoints. In this paper, I present a statistical study examining the differences between traditionally elicited product ratings (i.e., “How do you rate this product?”) and social inference ratings (i.e., “How do you think other people will rate this product?”). In 5 of 6 trials, I find that social inference ratings produce the same aggregate product rating as the one produced via traditionally elicited ratings. In all cases, however, social inferences yield less variance. This is significant because using social inference ratings 1) therefore converges on the true aggregate product rating faster, and 2) is a cheap design intervention on the part of existing sites.

Eric Gilbert
Georgia Institute of Technology

Reflection through Design: Immigrant Women’s Self-Reflection on Managing Health and Wellness
Women comprise nearly half of the immigrant population worldwide and are susceptible to a wider range of health challenges compared to immigrant men. We present the findings of four participatory design sessions with immigrant women from the Caribbean to identify health and wellness challenges they faced and to conceptualize technologies to help them manage these issues. Stress, dietary challenges (specifically obesity), mental health, and domestic abuse, as identified by the women, form the focal themes for the design sessions. Their design approaches emphasized rebuilding the support structure, reducing stressors through entertainment and relaxation and encouraging positive gradational lifestyle changes. In conceiving health and wellness technologies for immigrant women, our work highlights opportunities for HCI to consider the role of others (and who benefits) and to reflect on the role of design and the underlying values and themes designs encompass. Finally, we emphasize how the technologies conceived by these women support rather than replace social solutions to the health and wellness challenges faced by these and other immigrant women.

Deana Brown
Georgia Institute of Technology
Victoria Ayo
Georgia Institute of Technology
Rebecca E Grinter
Georgia Institute of Technology

Measuring Operator Anticipatory Inputs in Response to Time-delay for Teleoperated Human-robot Interfaces

Many tasks call for efficient user interaction under time delay – controlling space instruments, piloting remote aircraft and operating search and rescue robots. In this paper we identify an underexplored design opportunity for building robotic teleoperation user interfaces following an evaluation of operator performance during a time-delayed robotic arm block-stacking task in twenty-two participants. More delay resulted in greater operator hesitation and a decreased ratio of active to inactive input. This ratio can serve as a useful proxy for measuring an operator’s ability to anticipate the outcome of their control inputs before receiving delayed visual feedback. High anticipatory input ratio (AIR) scores indicate times when robot operators enter commands before waiting for visual feedback. Low AIR scores highlight when operators must wait for visual feedback before continuing. We used this measurement to help us identify particular sub-tasks where operators would likely benefit from additional support.

Jonathan Bidwell
Georgia Institute of Technology
Alexandra Holloway
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Scott Davidoff
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

StepStream: A School-based Pervasive Social Fitness System for Everyday Adolescent Health
Computer-supported fitness interventions for adolescents have the potential to improve adolescents’ attitudes and perceptions about physical activity through peer influence and interpersonal accountability. Past research has explored the potential of interventions based on competition and social-comparison mechanisms. We present a new approach: school-based, pervasive social fitness systems. We describe one such system: StepStream, a pedometer-based microblog we designed and deployed for four weeks with 42 US middle school students. StepStream users improved their attitudes about fitness and increased their sense of social support for fitness. The least-active students also increased their daily activity. We show that our school-based social fitness approach performed comparably in attitude and behavior change to more competitive or direct-comparison systems. These results expand the strategies available computer-supported fitness interventions. Our school-based social fitness approach to everyday adolescent health shows the potential for social computing systems to positively influence offline health behaviors in real-world settings.

Andrew Miller
Georgia Institute of Technology
Elizabeth Mynatt
Georgia Institute of Technology

Just Awful Enough – The Functional Dysfunction of the Something Awful Forums
The Something Awful Forums (SAF) is an online community comprised of a loosely connected federation of forums, united in a distinctive brand of humor with a focus on the quality of member contributions. In this case study we find that the site has sustained success while deviating from common conventions and norms of online communities. Humor and the quality of content contributed by SAF members foster practices that seem counterintuitive to the development of a stable and thriving community. In this case study we show how design decisions are contextual and inter-dependent and together these heuristics create a different kind of online third place that challenges common practices.

Jessica Pater
Georgia Institute of Technology
Yacin Nadji
Georgia Institute of Technology
Elizabeth Mynatt
Georgia Institute of Technology
Amy Bruckman
Georgia Institute of Technology

My Journey Compass: A Preliminary Investigation of a Mobile Tool for Cancer Patients
Health information management for cancer care is a challenging and personal process that changes over time based on one’s needs, goals, and health status. While technologies supporting health information management appear promising, we do not fully understand how health information tools fit into patients’ daily lives. To better understand the opportunities and usage barriers of these tools, we designed and deployed a mobile, tablet-based health management aid: My Journey Compass. After one month of use, we interviewed twelve breast cancer patients to investigate their initial patterns of adoption, adaptation, use and non-use. We found that developing a tool that was customizable, mobile, and integrated into the patients’ healthcare system resulted in a set of surprising uses by breast cancer patients for a wide variety of tasks. Our study demonstrates the potential for health management tools to improve the cancer care experience and for HCI research to influence existing healthcare systems.

Maia Jacobs
Georgia Institute of Technology
James Clawson
Georgia Institute of Technology
Elizabeth Mynatt
Georgia Institute of Technology

Tensions in Scaling-up Community Social Media: A Multi-Neighborhood Study of Nextdoor
This paper presents a study of Nextdoor, a social media system designed to support local neighborhoods. While not the first system designed to support community engagement, Nextdoor has a number of attributes that make it distinct. Our study, across three communities in a major U.S. city, illustrates that Nextdoor inhabits an already-rich ecosystem of community-oriented social media, but is being appropriated by its users for use in different ways than these existing media. Nextdoor also raises tensions in how it defines the boundaries of neighborhoods, and in the privacy issues it raises among its users.

Christina Masden
Georgia Institute of Technology
Catherine Grevet
Georgia Institute of Technology
Rebecca Grinter
Georgia Institute of Technology
Eric Gilbert
Georgia Institute of Technology
W. Keith Edwards
Georgia Institute of Technology

Making Public Things: How HCI Design Can Express Matters of Concern
Science studies scholar Bruno Latour suggests that contemporary democracy is shifting from “matters of fact” to “matters of concern”: contentious conditions entwined with everyday life. What is the role of human-computer interaction (HCI) design in this shift? In this paper we draw from five design projects to explore how design can express matters of concern by communicating the factors and consequences of issues. In the process, we consider the role of design in contributing to the formation of publics and discuss an emerging orientation to publics in HCI design.

Carl DiSalvo
Georgia Institute of Technology
Jonathan Lukens
University of Tennessee
Thomas J Lodato
Georgia Institute of Technology
Tom Jenkins
Georgia Institute of Technology
Tanyoung Kim
Nokio

Exploring the Design Space of Gestural Interaction with Active Tokens through User-Defined Gestures
Multi-touch and tangible interfaces provide unique opportunities for enhancing learning and discovery with big data. However, existing interaction techniques have limitations when manipulating large data sets. Our goal is to define novel interaction techniques for multi-touch and tangible interfaces, which support the construction of complex queries for big data. In this paper, we present results from a study which investigates the use of gestural interaction with active tokens for manipulating large data sets. In particular, we studied user expectations of a hybrid tangible and gestural language engaging this space. Our main results include a vocabulary of user-defined gestures for interaction with active tokens, which extends beyond familiar multi-touch gestures; characterization of the design space of gestural interaction with active tokens; and insight into participants’ mental models, including common metaphors. We also present implications for the design of multi-touch and tangible interfaces with active tokens.

Consuelo Valdes
Wellesley College
Diana Eastman
Wellesley College
Casey Grote
Wellesley College
Shantanu Thatte
Louisiana State University
Orit Shaer
Wellesley College
Ali Mazalek
Georgia Institute of Technology
Brygg Ullmer
Louisiana State University
Miriam K Konkel
Louisiana State University

Faces Engage Us: Photos with Faces Attract More Likes and Comments on Instagram
Photos are becoming prominent means of communication online. Despite photos’ pervasive presence in social media and online world, we know little about how people interact and engage with their content. Understanding how photo content might signify engagement, can impact both science and design, influencing production and distribution. One common type of photo content that is shared on social media, is the photos of people. From studies of offline behavior, we know that human faces are powerful channels of non-verbal communication. In this paper, we study this behavioral phenomena online. We ask how presence of a face, it’s age and gender might impact social engagement on the photo. We use a corpus of 1M Instagram images and organize our study around two social engagement feedback factors, likes and comments. Our results show that photos with faces are 38% more likely to receive likes and 32% more likely to receive comments, even after controlling for social network reach and activity. We find, however, that the number of faces, their age and gender do not have an effect. This work presents the first results on how photos with human faces relate to engagement on large scale image sharing communities. In addition to contributing to the research around online user behavior, our findings offer a new line of future work using visual analysis.

Saeideh Bakhshi
Georgia Institute of Technology
David Shamma
Yahoo Labs
Eric Gilbert
Georgia Institute of Technology

“Narco” Emotions: Affect and Desensitization in Social Media during the Mexican Drug War
Social media platforms have emerged as prominent information sharing ecosystems in the context of a variety of recent crises, ranging from mass emergencies, to wars and political conflicts. We study affective responses in social media and how they might indicate desensitization to violence experienced in communities embroiled in an armed conflict. Specifically, we examine relationships of three established affect measures: negative affect, activation, and dominance as observed on Twitter to a number of statistics on protracted violence in four major cities afflicted by the Mexican Drug War. During a two year period (Aug 2010-Dec 2012), while violence was on the rise in these regions, our findings show a decline in negative emotional expression as well as a rise in emotional arousal and dominance in Twitter posts: aspects known to be psychological markers of desensitization. We discuss the implications of our work for behavioral health, facilitating rehabilitation efforts in communities enmeshed in an acute and persistent urban warfare, and the impact on civic engagement.

Munmun De Choudhury
Georgia Institute of Technology (Microsoft Research)
Andres Monroy-Hernandez
Microsoft
Gloria Mark
University of California, Irvine

Seeking and Sharing Health Information Online: Comparing Search Engines and Social Media
Search engines and social media are two of the most com-monly used online services; in this paper, we examine how users appropriate these platforms for online health activi-ties via both large-scale log analysis and a survey of 210 people. While users often turn to search engines to learn about serious or highly stigmatic conditions, a surprising amount of sensitive health information is also sought and shared via social media, in our case the public social plat-form Twitter. We contrast what health content people seek via search engines vs. share on social media, as well as why they choose a particular platform for online health activi-ties. We reflect on the implications of our results for design-ing search engines, social media, and social search tools that better support people’s health information seeking and sharing needs.

Munmun De Choudhury
Georgia Institute of Technology (Microsoft Research)
Meredith R Morris
Microsoft Research
Ryen W White
Microsoft Research

 

Workshops

Supporting Children with Complex Communication Needs
This workshop’s goal is to bring together researchers and stakeholders concerned with supporting children with complex communication needs (children who have communication difficulties due to significant speech, language, and/or cognitive impairments) through interactive technologies. Topics include:
- design, implementation, and evaluation methods
- needs of specific communities (e.g., autism)
- experiences in previous and current projects

The workshop will also be an opportunity to begin creating a community around this topic. There are specific challenges to this line of research that could significantly benefit from collaboration and coordination across multiple research sites. The workshop will therefore be an opportunity to discuss the possibility of a research consortium.

Juan Pablo Hourcade
University of Iowa, USA
Franca Garzotto
Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Agata Rozga
Georgia Tech, School of Interactive Computing, USA
Monica Tentori
CICESE, Mexico
Panos Markopoulos
Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands
Narcis Pares
Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
Judith Good
University of Sussex, United Kingdom
Helen Pain
Meryl Alper
University of Southern California, USA

HCI Meets Data Mining: Principles and Tools for Big Data Analytics
Contribution & Benefit: Learn key data mining concepts and tools, and how to integrate them with HCI methods for big data analytics, through non-technical introduction and case studies, and technical examples.

Features:

- Learn the foundation of data mining and machine learning methods
- Learn how to integrate these techniques into your research
- Learn about practical tools for storing and analyzing large datasets with commodity PCs
- Understand common pitfalls in applying machine learning methods, and how to avoid them, e.g., feature selection, choosing the right algorithms
- Be inspired by exciting research problems and directions in bridging data mining and HCI

Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
Georgia Tech, College of Computing

 

Works in Progress

Copyright Terms in Online Creative Communities
A key usability problem for websites is the complexity of their terms and conditions. Within the HCI community, attention to this issue to date has primarily focused on privacy policies. We begin to build on this work, extending it to copyright terms. With so many people posting everything from status updates to digital art online, intellectual property rights are increasingly important to the end user. We conducted a content analysis of 30 different websites where users can share creative work, focusing on the licenses and usage rights that users grant to those websites. Due to difficult readability, legalese, and a lack of plain language explanations, it is likely that users may not know what rights they are granting. Next steps include a user survey to determine whether this is the case, and further exploration of the impact on usability.

Casey Fiesler
Georgia Institute of Technology
Amy Bruckman
Georgia Institute of Technology

Passive Haptic Learning of Typing Skills Facilitated by Wearable Computers
Passive Haptic Learning (PHL) allows people to learn “muscle memory” through vibration stimuli without devoting attention to the stimulus. PHL can be facilitated by wearable computers such as gloves with an embedded tactile interface. Previous work on PHL taught users rote patterns of finger movements corresponding to piano melodies. Expanding on this research, we are currently exploring the capabilities and limits of Passive Haptic Learning as we investigate whether more complex skills and meaning can be taught through wearable, tactile interfaces. We are creating and studying a system for passively teaching typing skills, with the ultimate goal of passively teaching Braille typing. Our initial studies in perception and learning provide key information for system development including the importance of visual feedback in learning to type; while our pilot study using the current system for Passive Haptic Learning of typing on an unfamiliar keyboard shows passive learning in all participants.

Caitlyn Seim
Georgia Institute of Technology
Thad Starner
Georgia Institute of Technology

 

Student Design Competition

KNEE: An Everyday Wearable Goniometer for Monitoring Physical Therapy Adherence
Care practice in physical therapy consists of in-person sessions combined with an exercise plan for patients to follow. Physical therapists rely on self-reporting and in-clinic observations to assess recovery, but lack reliable measures for between visits. We present a fully realized wearable device that passively captures knee movement data. We discuss how consultation with physical therapists guided the design of this prototype to support the existing patient-provider relationship.

David Munoz
Georgia Institute of Technology
Andy Pruett
Georgia Institute of Technology
Graceline Williams
Georgia Institute of Technology

 

Student Research Competition

Low-Income Parents’ Perceptions of Technology: Value-based Design Insights
Early diagnoses of developmental delays can lead to improved life outcomes. Families with a low socioeconomic status (SES) are less likely to notice concerns about their child’s development and are also less likely to receive early intervention for their child. A qualitative study was conducted to learn about low SES parents’ familiarity with technology and their current methods for learning about children’s development. In order to deliver design insights for systems that could aid these parents to track their child’s development, an emphasis was placed on not only learning about technology use but also the values that affect parents’ preferences.

David Munoz
Georgia Institute of Technology

 

TOCHI

Health Mashups: Presenting Statistical Patterns Between Wellbeing Data and Context in Natural Language to Promote Behavior Change
People now have access to many sources of data about their health and wellbeing. Yet, most people cannot wade through all of this data to answer basic questions about their long-term wellbeing: Do I gain weight when I have busy days? Do I walk more when I work in the city? Do I sleep better on nights after I work out? We built the Health Mashups system to identify connections that are significant over time between weight, sleep, step count, calendar data, location, weather, pain, food intake, and mood. These significant observations are displayed in a mobile application using natural language, e.g. (You are happier on days when you sleep more.) We performed a pilot study, made improvements to the system, and then conducted a 90-day trial with 60 diverse participants, learning that interactions between wellbeing and context are highly individual and that our system supported an increased self- understanding that lead to focused behavior changes.

Frank Bentley
Yahoo! Labs
Konrad Tollmar
KTH
Peter Stephenson
Humana, Inc.
Laura Levy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Brian Jones
Georgia Institute of Technology
Scott Robertson
Georgia Institute of Technology
Ed Price
Georgia Institute of Technology
Richard Catrambone
Georgia Institute of Technology
Jeffrey Wilson
Georgia Institute of Technology