Human-Computer Interaction Lab BBL Speaker Series

Event Start Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 12:30 pm

Event End Date: Thursday, October 15, 2020 - 1:30 pm

Join us each Thursday during the semester as we present interesting speakers on topics ranging from current areas of interest in the HCI field, software demos/reviews, study design, proposed research topics and more.

The BBL is the one hour a week where we all come together and provide HCIL members the opportunity to build collaborations, increase awareness of each other’s activities and generally just have a bit of fun together. There is no RSVP; simply show up!

Details to join us:
When: Every Thurs during the semester from 12:30p – 1:30p ET
Where: Via Zoom at this same link each week —


Karen Holtzblatt is CEO of InContext Design, a thought leader, industry speaker, and author. As a recognized leader in requirements and design, Karen has developed transformative design approaches throughout her career. Contextual Design, co-developed with Hugh Beyer, is the industry standard for understanding the customer and organizing that data to drive innovative product and service concepts. Her newest book Contextual Design 2nd Edition Design for Life is used by companies and universities worldwide. In recognition of her impact on the field, Karen was awarded the first Lifetime Award for Practice by ACM SIGCHI. In 2018 she founded the non-profit WITops to focus on the challenges of retaining women in high tech companies.

The Valuing and Jerk Project.
For the last 40 years we’ve been encouraging women to choose technology careers. But today the quit rate for women in tech is 41% compared to 17% for men. The number of WIT has fallen from 31% in 1990 to 25% in 2014. Research points to cultural dimensions of tech companies that create a work environment of bias, hostility and devalue. Overall women and people of color report a significantly more negative workplace experience. These interpersonal dynamics create more stress and work against feelings of belonging and value. It is not surprising that our research finds that women “thinking of leaving their job” score lower on key factors necessary for women to thrive.
In this talk Karen shares the research and some of the interventions to identify the explicit behaviors which create or undermine the experience of connection and value in the workplace. Field research identified 15 key valuing and 15 key jerk behaviors. A subsequent survey helped to determine the relative value of each behavior for men and women. We share our data and unveil our interventions including fun awareness posters, a self-assessment checklist, and workshop ideas. All work was done by world-wide professional and student volunteers, including many from UMD.

Research Talks/Events