I’m an Associate Professor in the Dept of Human Centered Design & Engineering. My academic history includes a background in rhetoric, cultural studies, and online communities.
I began researching the Internet in the days of newsgroups and Lynx, and at that point focused on how people used the medium to communicate and interact. In 2000, I co-edited Race in Cyberspace which was the result of several years’ research into how issues of race and gender affected technology usage patterns. I then took those research questions to an international context, spending half a year on a Fulbright in Uzbekistan in 2000.
I have been tracking the emergence of information and communication technologies in Central Asia since then, and I have had the opportunity to compare that area to various other countries that fall into the category of ‘developing regions.’ I have done fieldwork several places, including in Cambodia, Kenya, Philippines, Thailand, and Tunisia. DDI is an outgrowth of studying users in context, looking at information-seeking and communication patterns generally, and examining the ecology of ICTs within users’ lives. Some of the most imaginative uses of mobiles and computers are happening in resource-constrained environments, and DDI is an opportunity to engage with these developments.
As a doctoral student in the Department of Technical Communication, I am interested in how previously under-represented groups can meaningfully participate in the design of information and communication technologies.
In addition, I'm also interested in developing usability and user-centered design research methodology: specifically focusing on how ethnographic studies and field work data can contribute to guidelines for designers of technology.
I teach various user-centered design classes at the University of Washington in the Department of Technical Communication. I am also a Senior Associate at Anthro-tech, Inc. a consulting firm that specializes in helping government, non-profit and industry clients create meaningful experiences for their users.