screening research participants

tl;dr know which participants you need to conduct research that generates value and design screeners to ensure that you get them. We recently finished a round of interviews designed to put ourselves in a position to explain how experienced middle school teachers select literary texts to use in their ELA curricula. We recruited people through […]

reflection improves communication

tl;dr If you’re not reflecting on your product practices, then you’re going to have a hard time improving them. Today I reflect some more on communication. When you’re the communicator, you have the power to establish a clear frame of reference for your audience in order to minimize the possibility of misunderstanding, accurately convey research […]

Interactivity Profiler

Last year, along with Omar Sosa-Tzec and John M. Carroll, I published a paper at SIGDOC introducing the concept of visual references. Visual references combine bibliographic information with photographic images, textual annotations, and diagrammatic annotations, in order to communicate what we called design-related intellectual influence. The following diagram distinguishes visual references from traditional, text-based references […]

new publication

Great news! We have a new publication out today summarizing some of the work we’ve been doing in an online debate community ( In particular, we discuss how conflict can serve as well as undermine the work that moderators do, and we highlight ways that UI design could be a scalable way to facilitate conflict […]

New Human-Centered Design Syllabus

We’re closing in on the end of the spring semester here at Penn State University, and, unlike in year’s past, I’ve already finished my syllabus revisions. Download the new version here. The speediness of these revisions is due to a stellar graduate student who is also the instructional assistant who helped me teach the class […]

Scenario-based Design Courses

I’m looking for syllabi or links to online courses focused on scenario-based design. Instructive case studies, methods, tools, techniques, and assignments. All of it. If there aren’t lots of resources out there, then I’m also curious to know whether there is an interest for such a course.  

Academic Job Interview Questions

I went on the academic job market last fall, and, with help and support from friends, colleagues, and people I’ve never met, I managed to succeed in finding a position at a primarily undergrad institution in Milwaukee, WI. Hooray! More about that soon. Navigating the interviews before arriving at an offer was challenging. I prepared […]


We are making great progress with the Dive mobile app. Adi and Adam have created some stellar mock-ups and a clickable prototype, we’re close to finishing the manuscript for our first paper, and app development is underway. In short, people should be able to read about our work and download Dive on the app store […]

the first design problem

There’s a great line in a recent exploration of near-future UX issues. It goes: Design is about solving problems. And deciding how to solve a problem is the first design problem to be solved. I like this report, but I want to offer a different perspective here. Deciding how to solve a problem could in […]