Apr 25, 2013

I School Faculty & Students Head to Paris for CHI 2013

Eight faculty and students from the School of Information will be presenting their research at the upcoming CHI Conference in Paris, France.

The ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems is the premier international conference on human-computer interaction. The I School contingent will be joining over two thousand other conference attendees from over 40 countries to focus on the design, user experience, and engineering of all types of computer-based systems. The conference runs from April 27 to May 2, 2013.

Visualizing Ambivalence: Showing What Mixed Feelings Look Like

Galen Panger, Bryan Rea, and Steven Weber

Measures of ambivalence in public opinion have grown in prominence in recent years within a variety of fields because of evidence that they may better represent how people hold opinions than traditional Likert-type scales. Rather than assume people hold only positive or negative feelings toward a person or issue, these measures assume positive and negative feelings may co-occur as mixed feelings. Using information visualization and interactive storytelling techniques, we aim to show a broad audience how ambivalence data might be interpreted and demonstrate the utility of measuring ambivalence. Our resulting visualization,, shows data from a survey of undergraduates on 14 topics of public interest and uses design elements like small multiples and animation as well as brief narratives to illustrate core concepts.

Galen Panger is a Ph.D. student, Bryan Rea is a MIMS student, and Steven Weber is a professor in the School of Information. The paper “Visualizing Ambivalence: Showing What Mixed Feelings Look Like” will be presented in the Emotions session of the Works in Progress track. More information can be found at

Increasing Youth and Community Agency in GIS

Sarah Van Wart and Tapan Parikh

While new technologies have expanded users’ ability to submit and view geographic data, most users are still excluded from GIS design and decision-making. Local Ground addresses this gap by combining the accessibility of volunteered geographic information (VGI) tools, with the process-oriented, inclusive emphasis of Participatory and Qualitative GIS. Users start by capturing tacit observations of their environment through drawings, pictures, and audio interviews. Once submitted, this qualitative data can be inductively coded, allowing users to discover emergent categories. Users can design their own data collection instruments, collect data, visualize results, and combine visualizations with qualitative data and narrative elements to communicate with diverse stakeholders. We believe that involving users at each stage of the bottom-up, iterative inquiry process can increase their sense of ownership and control, while creating new learning opportunities. We are testing these hypotheses by working with youth community data initiatives in Oakland and Richmond, California.

Sarah Van Wart is a Ph.D. student and Tapan Parikh is an assistant professor in the School of Information. The paper “Increasing Youth and Community Agency in GIS” will be presented in the GeoHCI Workshop, which spans the boundary between geography and human-computer interaction. 

AnyType: Provoking Reflection and Exploration with Aesthetic Interaction

Laura Devendorf and Kimiko Ryokai

AnyType is a mobile application that generates unique typefaces from photographs of shapes that people find in their environment. In keeping with the principles of aesthetic interaction, the design of AnyType supports opportunities for surprise, storytelling, and expression. Our paper discussing AnyType presents data collected from two observational studies. In both studies, we found that people appropriated the application to create highly personalized messages. They found inspiration in unexpected locations, created memories from nuanced details in their lives, and creatively explored the design space provided by the system. Drawing from our observations, we discuss possible roles mobile devices could play in people’s personal meaning making, creative process, and discovery, in interaction with elements of their physical environment.

Laura Devendorf is a Ph.D. student and Kimiko Ryokai is an assistant professor in the School of Information. The paper “AnyType: Provoking Reflection and Exploration with Aesthetic Interaction” will be presented in the Reflecting on Phones session. The paper has been awarded a conference Best Paper Honorable Mention award

Mobiles, Music, and Materiality

Neha Kumar and Tapan S. Parikh

Building on recent HCI contributions that assert the materiality of digital information, we examine the material nature of digital media and information technology in the context of mobile music production, reproduction, and reception in rural and semi-urban India. We use ethnographic methods to study the recent adoption and use of mobile technology and discuss our findings in relation to the evolving materiality of music. We also investigate the sociotechnical configurations that emerge as a consequence of this materiality. Thus we contribute to HCI research by showing how the material representations of digital media affect the interactions of humans with technology.

Neha Kumar is a Ph.D. student and Tapan Parikh is an assistant professor in the School of Information. The paper “Mobiles, Music, and Materiality” will be presented in the Narrative and Materiality session

The Mobile Media Actor-Network in Urban India

Neha Kumar and Nimmi Rangaswamy

Building on a growing body of human-computer interaction (HCI) literature on information and communication technology (ICT) use in the developing world, this paper describes the vast, growing mobile media consumption culture in India, which relies on the ubiquity of informal socioeconomic practices for reproducing, sharing, and distributing pirated digital media. Using an Actor-Network Theory (ANT) based approach, we show how the practice of piracy not only fuels media consumption, but also drives further technology adoption and promotes digital literacy. To do this, we first uncover the role of piracy as a legitimate actor that brings ICT capability to underserved communities and reveal the heterogeneous character of the pirated mobile media distribution and consumption infrastructure in India. We then emphasize the benefits of an ANT-based theory-driven analysis to HCI’s efforts in this arena. In particular, ANT enables us to one, draw attention to the ties in the pirate media network that facilitate the increased decentralization of piracy in India; two, highlight the progressive transition from the outsourcing to the self-sourcing of users’ media needs as this network evolves; and three, recognize the agency of human and non-human entities in this inherently sociotechnical ecosystem.

Neha Kumar is a Ph.D. student in the School of Information. The paper “The Mobile Media Actor-Network in Urban India” will be presented in the Developing the World session.


In addition, professor Marti Hearst is organizing the CHI 2013 Doctoral Consortium, which provides an opportunity for doctoral students to explore and develop their research interests in an interdisciplinary workshop, under the guidance of a panel of distinguished researchers.


More information:




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Last updated:

October 4, 2016