background ambience circles
Current Research
IoT devices and Older adults
Research on Family and Home Technology Use
In this study, we are exploring the role of always-on home-based Internet of Things (IoT) devices, such as smart cameras, digital assistants, and other smart home devices in the life of older adults. We are focusing on how these devices are used by older adults and their friends and family to stay connected and to care for each other. In particular, we are examining the family dynamics of giving and receiving support, how older adults and friends and family members perceive passive and active data collection and sharing, and how the introduction of these devices in the home can affect perceptions of autonomy and control.
Role of Technology in Older Adults’ Changing Social Support Networks
Understanding the Role of Technology in Older Adults’ Changing Social Support Networks
In this qualitative interview study, we are exploring how older adults' social network compositions and their technology use shifted during a challenging life event, the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we are aiming to understand how older adults give and receive support as a member of their social support network and how communications technology plays a role in this process. Our paper from this work has been submitted and accepted at the 27th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW 2024).
2021 Texas Power Crisis
Disaster Impacts and Adaptations in the 2021 Texas Power Crisis
This project is qualitative research study on social media data on how people were impacted by and adapted to the 2021 Texas Power Crisis. Through the short-form internet videos, such as TikToks and Instagram Stories, we explore how people shared their experiences on social media. We analyzed various aspects of the videos, including how people adapted to address their need for essentials and power. We also explored how people coped with the crisis through entertainment and humor. Our goal in this research is to better understand how the social media videos, including the main subjects of a video and what appears in the background, can be utilized to understand how people adapt to disaster events.
Design, Usability, & Development
Canvas Usability Project
Canvas Usability Study
Canvas is a Learning Management System used at most universities in the US, including the University of Washington. Inspired by some anecdotal evidences that Canvas for instructors’ platform might pose some challenges to users, we conducted a usability study to understand more about the user experience with the platform. Each session includes a series of prompted tasks mimicking what first-time instructors go through when creating a new class site.
BorderNav Project
BorderNav is a prototype web app that helps couples confidently navigate their application for a K1 U.S. Visa, which permits foreign partners to immigrate, then marry and live with their partners in the United States. The application process is lengthy, complicated, and expensive. Existing tools like visa processing services or immigration lawyers add significant additional cost. Our process include interviews & affinity diagramming, creating personas, ideation and sketching, defining the user flow, creating the information architecture, and creating an interactive prototype.
Oasis Project
Oasis is part of the UCSD Earth2 Project, built as a knowledge sharing platform based on researchers sharing pieces of their work in the form of micro-publications. Users are able to ask questions and get evidence-based answers from researchers who are the experts in their fields.
OneWalk Project
OneWalk is an Android fitness app employing gamification to motivate users to walk more. It offers customizable avatars using in-game currency earned by walking and completing daily quests, providing immediate rewards. Daily quests offer concrete goals, varying in difficulty to suit different users, while a global leaderboard adds a competitive edge for highly active users. OneWalk is designed to make exercise enjoyable by offering incentives and recognition, transforming daily activity into a fun and engaging experience.
myTaCoS Project
myTaCoS (my Terms and Conditions of Service) is a web app addressing the complexity of Terms of Service (ToS) agreements. With 70% of ToS documents burdened by lengthy sentences, myTaCoS aims to simplify and enhance consumer readability. Leveraging the "Digital Health Decision-Making Framework and Checklist Designed for Researchers," it synthesizes key sections of ToS documents through AI text analysis. Users can discover apps, track changes in ToS, and manage notifications. The platform offers detailed insights into terms and conditions, allowing users to suggest changes and crowdsource relevance. Empowering users with clarity and control, myTaCoS aims to enhance the understanding and management of digital service agreements.
CORE Redesign Project
Redesign of the CORE Platform
The CORE platform facilitates global digital health research ethics by fostering collaboration among researchers, developers, participants, and institutions. With over 700 members worldwide, it connects users, hosts discussions, and offers a resource library. Our aim is to enrich the CORE Resource Library and promote community interaction through the Q&A Forum. In our platform redesign, we streamlined the interface to prioritize its three core features, improving readability and user experience. By enhancing accessibility and functionality, the CORE platform can better support stakeholders to advance digital health research seamlessly and effectively. The current version of the CORE Platform can be found at
StayFresh Project
StayFresh is an app aimed at reducing food waste while inspiring users to create flavorful and nutritious meals. Following interviews and paper protoyping, we developed StayFresh to empower individuals to track their food inventory and discover inventive recipes, promoting both sustainability and culinary creativity. With StayFresh, users can cook to their preferences while being mindful of their budget, fostering a healthier lifestyle and a more sustainable approach to food consumption.
Aequilibrium Typeface
Aequilibrium is a contemporary typeface designed to offer readers an exceptional reading experience through its consistent design, refined kerning, and visually appealing form. It eliminates unnecessary elements, allowing geometric shapes to bring a sense of harmony to the text it displays. Its minimalist and modern style makes it adaptable for a future where diverse media will be used to convey ideas. The name Aequilibrium reflects its purpose of bridging the gap across different media, enabling text to manifest in various formats with equal grace.