The goal of my research in human-computer interaction is to lower barriers to using technology and accessing information. Much of my work focuses on personalized adaptation, which can be a powerful tool to reduce information complexity and facilitate accessibility for a range of abilities and educational levels.
Research InterestsSome current and past projects include:
Can personalized input models improve touchscreen typing? We have looked at the degree to which natural typing patterns differ from one person to the next [CHI2011a] and designed and evaluated novel personalized touchscreen keyboards [CHI2012a]. The short answer: Yes.
I have identified and explored fundamental challenges of personalization in the context of complex software applications. This work has looked at the issue of user versus system control of interface adaptations [CHI'04], introduced a novel technique called ephemeral adaptation [CHI'09a, IJHCS'09], and identified and characterized the effect that personalization can have on the user's ability to acquire new commands or skills [IJHCS'09]. The benefits of personalization are also more likely to outweigh the costs as task difficulty increases, e.g., when screen size is small [CHI'08b].
A major thread of my current research examines the accessibility of mobile and touchscreen interaction for people with motor or visual impairments [CHI'13a, CHI'13b]. In the past, we have introduced enhanced area cursors, which reduce the need for fine, corrective pointing movements with a mouse that can be particularly difficult for users with motor impairments [UIST'10]. I have also worked on multi-layered interfaces for older adults [TACCESS'10] and on applications to support daily activities such as cooking [CHI'05] for individuals with aphasia, an acquired language disorder.
Information and Communication Technologies and Development
Following my desire to improve access to information for all, I have worked on ICTD projects focusing on literacy, education and health. While an intern at Microsoft Research India, I primarily studied how semi-literate users, who have some but little reading skill, work with multimodal interfaces [CHI'09b]. More recently, I have collaborated on evaluating an automatic reminder system for community health workers in Tanzania [ICTD2012] and on MultiLearn, a multiple input educational computer game for classrooms in low resource environments [ICTD2010].