Human-Computer Interaction for the Social Good
Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) inherently engages people, technology, and the interactive exchange of information — between people and technology, and among people through technology. What makes the UW iSchool perspective on HCI distinctive is not only our plurality of methods — we engage computing, design, social science, and ethics in our research and teaching — but also our humanistic motives. Our faculty view research as a means to social good and societal impact.
Our work tends to be socio-technical in nature, covering but certainly not limited to accessible computing; child-computer interaction; computing in education, health and wellness; information for marginalized and vulnerable people; information/data visualization for individuals and society; personal information management; sustainability and design; and value-sensitive design. We study these phenomena, and design and build tools, techniques, and systems to positively affect them. We are already known nationally and internationally for developing new HCI approaches, techniques, methods, and systems.
With our strategic focus on “HCI for the Social Good,” we intend to increase our level of excellence, enhance our international reputation, and achieve new levels of distinction and societal impact. Our HCI faculty will take their research and teaching to the next level in areas of exciting and urgent need in the HCI field, including access, development, education, ethics, and health.
iSchool groups focusing on HCI for the Social Good include:
Digital Youth Lab
Multiple iSchool faculty
Researchers in the Digital Youth Lab explore the transformative potential of new and future technologies in young people’s lives. Drawing on a variety of methods and disciplinary perspectives, its work encompasses topics such as co-designing new technologies, youth well-being, computing education, developing literacies, and learning across settings. Spanning global contexts, its research addresses the role of digital media and information technologies in relation to access and equity for youth and their communities. Visit website.
DUB Group (design:use:build)
Multiple UW departments
DUB is an alliance of faculty and students across the University of Washington exploring Human-Computer Interaction and Design. Primary DUB departments include Computer Science & Engineering, Technical Communication, the Information School, and the Design Division in the School of Art. Other departments and industry partners, such as Microsoft Research and Intel Research, are also part of DUB. DUB facilitates research and teaching collaboration, student internships, and funding initiatives in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). DUB also hosts a weekly seminar series, bringing top-quality research in HCI to the University of Washington. Visit website.
Mobile + Accessible Design (MAD) Lab
Faculty: Jacob Wobbrock, director
The MAD Lab is a group of human-computer interaction (HCI) researchers interested in mobile and accessible design. The lab comprises students from both information science and computer science. The lab's objective is to create effective and useful interactive technologies that improve people's access to and interaction with computers and information, particularly for constrained users or users in constraining situations. Lab members study the human use of interactive systems, and invent and build new interactive systems. The lab is part of the larger DUB Group, the multi-departmental HCI and Design group on the UW campus. Visit website.