Research

My research in human-computer interaction (HCI) aims to give people greater control over the time they spend with digital technology. I build upon work in mobile and ubiquitous computing on attention management systems informed by cognitive science. However, where prior research has focused narrowly on work productivity as its outcome, I consider wellbeing more broadly. I pursue this via three lines of inquiry: 

  1. Understanding people’s values for technology use, probing beyond surface-level desires such as ‘reducing screen time’;
  2. Identifying design patterns, common configurations of user interface mechanisms, that support or undermine attentional goals;
  3. Building and field testing technological systems that support greater control.

Collectively, my research provides recommendations for how users, technologists, and policymakers can create digital environments that better align time spent on technology with their values for use.

My mixed-methods approach is grounded in human-centered design and computing that prioritizes human values over technological capabilities. In my projects, I typically begin with user research, then design and build technologies of progressively higher fidelity, and finally evaluate them in the field using methods such as experiments and log data analysis. In contrast to a singular focus on any one phase, this beginning-to-end approach iteratively connects people’s values to a technological intervention. My work has been covered by news media such as The Wall Street JournalKing5 News, and El País, funded by a Google grant ($76k), and resulted in 9 publications at top-tier venues in HCI such as CHI, CSCW, UbiComp, and DIS.