User Experience & Human Computer Interaction (UX/HCI)

Making technology easier to use and content more accessible

As technology evolves, the goal of UX/HCI is to make it easier for people to use all kinds of digital technologies to accomplish their goals. This includes reducing the barriers to using these tools, whatever the physical ability of the user or the nature of the task; creating a positive user experience including visual and structural elements; ensuring the user can easily navigate the site/device and find what they are looking for; and creating content which is understandable and accessible to the user.
The iSchool is exploring ways to make computers and applications smarter in discerning what the user is trying to accomplish. The ultimate goal is to increase user satisfaction, improve efficiency and make it more likely that the user will solve their information problem.

iSchool research centers on user interface design, increasing software development efficiency and designing mobile applications for health, accessibility, the developing world and dozens of other domains.


The iSchool’s expertise and research in UX/HCI can assist organizations in the following ways:

  • Providing a better user experience in a variety of web-based applications
  • Helping people find what is most important on your website
  • Designing hardware and software products that are more easily used
  • Understanding how people access information through technology tools
  • Using online games to assist in training
  • Creating new techniques to help developers debug code, find problems, and understand user needs
  • Developing mobile applications that are beneficial to customers

Projects and Research

Ability-based Design
Create a smart system that is aware of the abilities of the user and provide an interface better suited to those abilities. This includes such projects as the Angle Mouse and the Pointing Magnifier.

Mobile applications that help the user combine multiple tasks in a single place, including appointments, medication information and progress tracking.

Allows the user find help in a single click on every web page. By adding a crowd-sourced help feature on websites, the user can see what others have asked and select the query most like their own. 

A game can teach programming and debugging skills and still be fun. iSchool research has shown that personifying an interpreter in a puzzle game context significantly increases engagement and learning.

Faculty Experts

Batya Friedman
David Hendry
William Jones
Andy Ko
David McDonald
Wanda Pratt
Jacob Wobbrock