design thinking + research + practice
I design, teach, and conduct research as a feminist, a committed mentor, and community builder. My work in human-computer interaction is reciprocally informed by my passion for creating safer, more inclusive and compelling spaces, both digital and analog. My design and research work is interdisciplinary and collaborative, marked by a passion to work in the service of others.
Over the past 15 years I’ve worked on over a dozen projects designing human-computer interfaces with researchers working within the digital humanities, primarily exploring interface design for decision support; visualization for large text collections; online support environments for breast cancer survivors; and wildlife tracking systems for provincial parks.
I have had the great privilege to work on large, medium, and small, national and international research teams, including several with budgets of over a million dollars. My work has been iterative and experimental – meant to challenge existing interface design conventions and explore unique alternatives to complex visualization problems. It comes out of the belief that design can and should aim to make a difference to individuals, communities, and society at large.
I have an Masters in Design (MDes) in Visual Communication and a PhD in Comparative Literature and Humanities Computing from the University of Alberta. I’ve co-authored more than 50 publications on data visualization, aesthetics, interaction design, interaction theory, and design for large text collections. I am the co-author of the book Visual Interface Design for Digital Cultural Heritage: A Guide to Rich-Prospect Browsing.
Keywords: Critical Design, Information Design, Data Visualization, Feminist HCI, Rich-Prospect Browsing, Human-Computer Interaction, Decision Support Systems, User Engagement, Design Strategy
- Visualization for decision support in multi-modal industry
- Materialization of Text Analytical Experiences
- Implementing New Knowledge Environments (INKE), which includes:
- workflows as structured surfaces
- the dynamic table of contexts
- the paper drill
- Graphical Representation of Collection Items
- TAPoR: Text Analysis Portal for Research
- Digital Humanities + Interaction Design Repository
- Introducing Significant Design Change in Digital Humanities
- Extending Rich-Prospect Browsing Theory
- Critical Theory Approach to Visibility and Pluralism in Design
I am currently looking for graduate students to work with me on projects that deal with the theorization, design, prototyping, and testing of experimental information artifacts, interactive tools, and data visualizations.
The main focus of my research activities is in the design and development of interactive systems that enhance human access to information using visual and information design processes and techniques. My efforts are driven by a user-centred approach and the belief that machines should help meet human needs, whether to entertain, educate, collaborate, make decisions, or complete tasks. The subject matter of these projects can potentially cover a wide range, and I welcome students who want to investigate a subject emergent out of their own interests and passions.
Many of the interfaces I have designed are experimental in nature. Experimental interface design typically proceeds iteratively, through a research life cycle that includes three phases: conceptual and theoretical work supported by sketches; prototyping informed by user study; and production and implementation, with further information provided by analysis of logs. The objective of this research is not primarily to implement current best practices, but rather to help invent the next generation of best practices.
I am particularly interested in design as theory reification, in critical design, and in feminist HCI.