Monthly Archives: December 2012

CHI 2013 paper accepted on touchscreen use by people with physical impairments!

I’m pleased to announce that I have recently had a paper accepted to the upcoming CHI 2013 conference in Paris in May! This paper, entitled “Analyzing User-Generated YouTube Videos to Understand Touchscreen Use by People with Motor Impairments,” was written in collaboration with Leah Findlater, a professor of HCI at the University of Maryland (UMD), and Yoojin Kim, a Master’s student at UMD. We examined YouTube videos depicting people with physical impairments, including children, using touchscreen devices in order to understand the limitations and challenges these users are encountering.

Here’s the abstract:

Most work on the usability of touchscreen interaction for people with motor impairments has focused on lab studies with relatively few participants and small cross-sections of the population. To develop a richer characterization of use, we turned to a previously untapped source of data: YouTube videos. We collected and analyzed 187 non-commercial videos uploaded to YouTube that depicted a person with a physical disability interacting with a mainstream mobile touchscreen device. We coded the videos along a range of dimensions to characterize the interaction, the challenges encountered, and the adaptations being adopted in daily use. To complement the video data, we also invited the video uploaders to complete a survey on their ongoing use of touchscreen technology. Our findings show that, while many people with motor impairments find these devices empowering, accessibility issues still exist. In addition to providing implications for more accessible touchscreen design, we reflect on the application of user-generated content to study user interface design.

Here is the camera-ready version of this paper. See you in Paris!

***Note: we have learned that this paper will receive a CHI ‘Best Paper Award’! This award is an honor only the top 1% of submissions receive, and we are very honored our work was selected to be among such great company.

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Advice for senior grad students and post-docs (slides).

I recently presented a seminar at UMBC relaying some lessons learned and tips from my experience as a post-doc at UMBC for improving your CV after grad school by increasing the scope and reach of your research endeavors. The seminar was entitled “Cultivating Collaborations for Research Success: Colleagues and Publications” and was sponsored by the UMBC Office of Post Doctoral Affairs. For those who choose (or are required by their field) to spend some time as a post-doc before going out on the tenure-track market, this time period is a critical growth stage during which you should be maturing your research agenda and broadening it beyond your dissertation. A good way to achieve this is to launch collaborations, beyond simply those with your post-doc mentor, which you can continue after leaving your post-doc for a more permanent position.

Much of the advice in the talk was geared to my own field of human-computer interaction research within computer science, but many of the take-away points also apply more generally, or I point to places in the talk where folks in other fields should seek specific advice from their mentors. Sometimes just knowing the right questions to ask can make a difference in learning about requirements, norms, or standards for research success in your field.

For those who may find the slides helpful, I’ve uploaded them here. If you are a student or post-doc and have any questions, or if you have any advice you think I left out, feel free to leave a comment!

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