A blogpost by Elahi Hossain
As a second-year PhD student who began in the midst of a pandemic, attending CHI2022 in-person was THE academic event I was most looking forward to. I had only previously attended CHI virtually and had felt the experience fell short of expectations; with it mainly being a lonely and overloading stream of link surfing between various video recordings and chatrooms. I therefore had high hopes for CHI2022. Arriving at the airport length venue amidst a morning tropical storm to pick up my access card, I was impressed by the scale (although I heard this year was far smaller in capacity) and breadth of research and perspectives, which was not evident through the previous virtual conference. I found the most fruitful interactions actually occurred between paper/journal sessions, and in the main hall during poster sessions, where researchers mingled amongst food and drinks.
Methods for design
Whilst at CHI22 I was exposed to a range of new approaches to design through papers and poster sessions, something which I have not been exposed to as much in the PhD. This included: 1) First-person soma-based design e.g. Focusing method (Höök et al., 2021; Núñez-Pacheco & Loke, 2022; Ståhl et al., 2021);
2) User-oriented co-design methods/frameworks e.g. participatory-design (Dahl & Sharma, 2022; Kornfield et al., 2022, 2022), Stanfords d.school five-stage model (Aagaard et al., 2022), heuristics e.g. for person-centred digital coaching interventions (Ryan et al., 2022), and research through design – how to balance top-down theory with bottom-up user data (Gaver, 2012);
3) Speculative design methods e.g. pre-visualizations (Ivanov et al., 2022);
4) Repertoires (actions to increase nonhuman participation in the design process) (Oogjes & Wakkary, 2022); and
5) Niche design maxims e.g. Gricean Maxims for chatbot conversational behaviour (Setlur & Tory, 2022).
These new methods of design have left me utterly inspired. I am now rethinking how I can go about designing a new digital tool as part of my PhD – opting to more seriously consider a ‘bottom-up’ approach to the design that prioritises the user’s expertise, rather than taking a solely ‘top-down’ theoretical approach. I envision this occurring through multiple design workshops with users to both ideate and evaluate potential design solutions (Steen et al., 2008).
Digital emotion regulation / self-regulation
Because my PhD has a focus on emotion regulation, I also looked for other research on the same topic. I was exposed to a range of interventions that integrated an emotion regulation/self-regulation lens which ranged from tangible devices (Bou Ghanem & Yoon, 2022; Daudén Roquet et al., 2022) to digital tools for emotion-regulation (Chen et al., 2022; Howe et al., 2022) and self-regulation of digital technology in general (Xu et al., 2022).
Sense of agency and Mindfulness
These concepts came up a lot across CHI22 and seem to be heavily linked with my findings that the automaticity/autonomy of digital behaviour is strongly linked to wellbeing.
A sense of agency/control may be an important aspect of user experience (Bergström et al., 2022). I saw digital interventions increase users’ sense of agency during social media use (Zhang et al., 2022), investigations on how mindfulness practices are best incorporated into digital technologies (Li & Leshed, 2022), and the features that detract from these concepts e.g. dark patterns (Aagaard et al., 2022; Monge Roffarello & De Russis, 2022); often these concepts were situated in digital distraction:
Moving from a PhD into industry
I’m still on the fence as to the direction I want to head after the PhD: academia or industry. Whilst at CHI22 I attended a talk by Google about moving from a PhD into an industry role. The talk was given by two recent PhD students now working as UX researchers at Google. It covered definitions: what is a UX researcher? What life is like within industry versus academia, and what skills acquired from a PhD are desired in industry.
These are the bullet points I noted down on my phone whilst listening:
|– context is key|
– iterative product design
– translate research experiences: technical skills communication skills: v important to be open to different audiences, time and project management
– Cross functional collaboration empathy is key:
– articulate research design rationale: strength and limitations
– cv: make clear research design, impact, stakeholders
Aagaard, J., Knudsen, M. E. C., Bækgaard, P., & Doherty, K. (2022). A Game of Dark Patterns: Designing Healthy, Highly-Engaging Mobile Games. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491101.3519837
Bergström, J., Knibbe, J., Pohl, H., & Hornbæk, K. (2022). Sense of Agency and User Experience: Is There a Link? ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 29(4), 28:1-28:22. https://doi.org/10.1145/3490493
Bou Ghanem, M., & Yoon, J. (2022). Variapsody: Creating Three Interactive Music Listening Experiences that Use Diversified Positive Emotion Regulation Strategies to Promote Subjective Well-being. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491101.3519743
Chen, S.-C., Chang, Y.-H., Huang, J.-H., Hsu, C.-W., Lin, C.-H., & Kuo, P.-Y. (Patricia). (2022). Exploring the Effect of Emotion Awareness Intervention on Reducing FoMO. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491101.3519839
Dahl, Y., & Sharma, K. (2022). Six Facets of Facilitation: Participatory Design Facilitators’ Perspectives on Their Role and Its Realization. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3502013
Daudén Roquet, C., Theofanopoulou, N., Freeman, J. L., Schleider, J., Gross, J. J., Davis, K., Townsend, E., & Slovak, P. (2022). Exploring Situated & Embodied Support for Youth’s Mental Health: Design Opportunities for Interactive Tangible Device. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3502135
Gaver, W. (2012). What should we expect from research through design? Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 937–946. https://doi.org/10.1145/2207676.2208538
Höök, K., Benford, S., Tennent, P., Tsaknaki, V., Alfaras, M., Avila, J. M., Li, C., Marshall, J., Roquet, C. D., Sanches, P., Ståhl, A., Umair, M., Windlin, C., & Zhou, F. (2021). Unpacking Non-Dualistic Design: The Soma Design Case. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 28(6), 40:1-40:36. https://doi.org/10.1145/3462448
Howe, E., Suh, J., Bin Morshed, M., McDuff, D., Rowan, K., Hernandez, J., Abdin, M. I., Ramos, G., Tran, T., & Czerwinski, M. P. (2022). Design of Digital Workplace Stress-Reduction Intervention Systems: Effects of Intervention Type and Timing. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3502027
Ivanov, A., Au Yeung, T., Blair, K., Danyluk, K., Freeman, G., Friedel, M., Hull, C., Hung, M. Y.-S., Pratte, S., & Willett, W. (2022). One Week in the Future: Previs Design Futuring for HCI Research. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3517584
Kornfield, R., Meyerhoff, J., Studd, H., Bhattacharjee, A., Williams, J. J., Reddy, M., & Mohr, D. C. (2022). Meeting Users Where They Are: User-centered Design of an Automated Text Messaging Tool to Support the Mental Health of Young Adults. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3502046
Li, J., & Leshed, G. (2022). Beyond Meditation: Everyday Mindfulness and Technology Use. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts, 1–6. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491101.3519820
Monge Roffarello, A., & De Russis, L. (2022). Towards Understanding the Dark Patterns That Steal Our Attention. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491101.3519829
Núñez-Pacheco, C., & Loke, L. (2022). Focusing for Interaction Design: An Introspective Somatic Method. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3501978
Oogjes, D., & Wakkary, R. (2022). Weaving Stories: Toward Repertoires for Designing Things. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3501901
Ryan, K., Dockray, S., & Linehan, C. (2022). Understanding How eHealth Coaches Tailor Support For Weight Loss: Towards the Design of Person-Centered Coaching Systems. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3501864
Setlur, V., & Tory, M. (2022). How do you Converse with an Analytical Chatbot? Revisiting Gricean Maxims for Designing Analytical Conversational Behavior. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3501972
Ståhl, A., Tsaknaki, V., & Balaam, M. (2021). Validity and Rigour in Soma Design-Sketching with the Soma. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 28(6), 38:1-38:36. https://doi.org/10.1145/3470132
Steen, M., de Boer, J., Kuiper-Hoyng, L., & Visser, F. S. (2008). Co-design: Practices, challenges and lessons learned. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on Human Computer Interaction with Mobile Devices and Services – MobileHCI ’08, 561. https://doi.org/10.1145/1409240.1409350
Xu, X., Zou, T., Xiao, H., Li, Y., Wang, R., Yuan, T., Wang, Y., Shi, Y., Mankoff, J., & Dey, A. K. (2022). TypeOut: Leveraging Just-in-Time Self-Affirmation for Smartphone Overuse Reduction. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3517476
Zhang, M. R., Lukoff, K., Rao, R., Baughan, A., & Hiniker, A. (2022). Monitoring Screen Time or Redesigning It? Two Approaches to Supporting Intentional Social Media Use. CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3517722