Human-Computer Interaction

Human-Computer Interaction

Developing advanced user-focused interfaces and design methods that are shaping the future of technology.

Research Projects

Advancing Personal Informatics through Semi-Automated Tracking

Self-monitoring for older adults and surgical patients can be difficult but beneficial–increased awareness, reduced negative behaviors, goal setting. This research looks at whether combining manual and automatic tracking (semi-automated tracking) can promote user engagement while reducing user burden for the best data collection.

NatureNet - Community-Driven Environmental Projects (C-DEP)

The Community-Driven Environmental Projects (C-DEP) model is a multi-university research endeavor funded by the NSF AISL program with an objective to engage members of diverse communities in local nature and environmental conservation projects of their choosing.

Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure - Automated Personalization Computing Project

A Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) was made to change any devices’ interfaces for people who cannot use technologies due to barriers caused by their level of disability, literacy, and/or digital literacy.

RERC on Universal Interface and Information Technology Access

The Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) will be tested in libraries with a focus on serving users with disabilities. Also, a tool will be developed to help people find and use assistive technologies and access features in everyday technologies.

CAREER: Ubilytics: Harnessing Existing Device Ecosystems for Anywhere Sensemaking

This project seeks to learn how we can use the existing ecosystem of networked devices in our surroundings to make sense of and exploit massive, heterogeneous, and multi-scale data anywhere and at any time.

Internships to Increase Public Access to Archival Resources in National Capital Region Parks

The National Park Service and the iSchool have collaborated to create an internship program in which students learn about existing archival resources as well as assist in developing and implementing a strategy to locate, identify, and survey archival records throughout National Capital Region parks.

Collaborative Research: EAGER: Systems for Assisting in Emotion Regulation in the Wild

Emotion regulation (ER) is an essential skill in the workplace and everyday life. Failure to manage the type, intensity, and duration of emotions can result in not just misunderstandings, but also damage to people, relationships, and organizations.

Inclusive ICT RERC

This RERC addresses access to inclusive information and communication technologies (ICT) for people with disabilities. ICTs are an integral part of life, impacting education, employment, health, transportation, and social communication; however, as ICTs continue to evolve (e.g., digital technologies) access for individuals with disabilities may become prohibitive.

The Essential and Advanced Lactation Simulation Model ("LSM") and the Breast Health Training Tool ("BHTT")

Outreach and Promotion for The Tessera

The Tessera ( is an educational Alternate Reality Game for teens aimed at advancing computational thinking and computer history awareness.

Performing Play: Cultural Production on

Every day, millions of people log on to the website and watch others play games, a practice known as streaming. Briefly, a stream features live gameplay overlaid with a camera to capture the performer’s reactions, and a chat channel for the audience, facilitating social interaction relating to the stream’s content.

Studying User Perceptions and Experiences with Algorithms ICWSM Half-Day Workshop Proposal

From Facebook’s News Feed algorithm that shapes the posts and updates we see, to Spotify’s recommendation service that introduces us to new music that we might love, to dating site algorithms that attempt to match us with potential romantic partners, algorithms play an increasingly important role in shaping many aspects of our daily lives.

Participant Perspectives on their Membership in an Intergenerational Participatory Design Team

Participatory Design (PD) gives users a voice in the design of technologies they are meant to use by including users in the technology design process.

"There's a creepy guy on the other end at Google!": Engaging middle school students in a drawing activity to elicit their mental models of Google

Although youth are increasingly going online to fulfill their needs for information, many youth struggle with information and digital literacy skills, such as the abilities to conduct a search and assess the credibility of online information. In order to investigate youths’ conceptions of the Google search engine, a drawing activity was conducted with 26 HackHealth after-school program participants to elicit their mental models of Google.

Exploring the Use of Intelligent Personal Assistants by Older Adults

Voice-controlled intelligent personal assistants (IPAs), such as Amazon Echo and Google Home, have introduced a new interaction paradigm into the mainstream.

Designing and Evaluating a Conversational Agent for Mental Health Support

Many people with mental health issues face significant challenges getting the help they need.  Psychological counseling or psychiatry services could be a luxury expense for people under financial stress. 5.1 million American adults, including 2.8 million with severe mental illness, did not receive services because they could not afford the cost of care (Lipari, 2018). Beyond structural barriers, fear of being stigmatized also prevents people from seeking help for mental health concerns (Lannin et al., 2013). 

Comparing Speech and Text Modalities in Capturing Everyday Food Decisions

The decision-making circuitry of people’s food choices can be complicated, which involves both conscious and unconscious thoughts; what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and when to stop eating. Rather than being deliberate, food decisions are usually “automatic,” because they are the result of the interplay between one’s physiological cues such as feelings of hunger and external cues such as food labels, package size, and social context. Therefore, people often fail to effectively regulate their food decisions even if they have the goal of maintaining a healthy diet.



Human-Computer Interaction News

Gregg Vanderheiden delivers Keynote at International Human Computer Interface Conference

  • Gregg Vanderheiden proposes an alternate approach to accessibility and extended usability for next-next generation UI/UX.

Universities at Shady Grove Blog: How Technology is Helping People with Traumatic Brain Injuries

  • Amazon's Alexa can help people with brain injuries regain independence and feel supported in their own home.

Medium: What to Expect When Non-Experts Train AI

  • Research on machine teaching in which non-experts teach a model through a teachable interface.

Medium: Engaging the Commons in Participatory Sensing

  • Research on participatory sensing, the practice of using human participants to gather data on their mobile devices from their environment that can be shared.

Medium: HCIL 2019-2020 News Roundup

  • UMD Human-Computer Interaction Lab’s (HCIL) 2019-2020 accomplishments

Medium: Devices All The Way Down

  • Professor and Director of the HCIL, Niklas Elmqvist, reflects on his NSF Career Project.

Medium: Approaches Matter

  • Researching how technology can be used for active engagement to help people with dementia.

Medium: What If Blind People Wear a Camera That Can Detect You in Public Spaces? (by Kyungjun Lee)

  • A research team from the UMD HCIL lab examine the social acceptance of wearable cameras.

Getting Personal: How People Who are Blind Can Leverage AI to Access the Visual World

  • The Teachable Object Recognizer mobile application uses AI and machine learning to help access the visual world.

Student-Athletes’ Use of Their Performance Data; Evaluating Tech to Regulate Anxiety – UMD iSchool Papers Awarded at CHI 2020

  • The ACM annual Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) is considered the most prestigious in the field of human–computer interaction.