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.
Please visit the Inclusive Design Lab for more detail on current projects.
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, ASSETS'13, CHI'14]. 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.
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].
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].