Let’s say we have a survey that asks questions about coffee and tea. How should we order the question sets? Although the answer is likely it depends, there are practices around ordering that can help reduce confounding variables. Counterbalancing is one [1]. In this example, it means:

  • 50% respondents answer coffee questions first, tea questions second
  • The other 50% answer tea questions first, coffee questions second
Counterbalancing: splitting participants equally into different ordered groups

Why should we care about splitting participants equally into different ordered groups? It’s to reduce order effects [2]. Let’s say we always show the coffee questions first. Potential consequences could include:

  • Carryover effect. Maybe…


I was unfamiliar with the inner workings of virtual workshops until recently, when work calendar had a sudden spike in the number of online workshop invitations. In June, my team and I participated in 12 hours worth of workshops and facilitated another 4. I’ve enjoyed the planning aspect; here are six things we’ve observed and documented. It’s not exhaustive, of course, neither is it linear — things can happen in parallel or non-sequentially. If you’re looking to lead a workshop, hopefully this helps unveil the planning process a little bit.

  1. Align on goals and evaluate expected outcomes
  2. Create an agenda…


As researchers, we need to communicate data in a way that makes sense to the audience. Naturally, the process and artifacts differ depending on the type of data. Sometimes, we play an audio clip from a user interview; other times, we create graphs for visual storytelling.

Recently, I partnered with a senior researcher (Priya Noel 👋) on a project where we visualized a good amount of data. To be purposely vague, we collaborated with Offering Managers to run a survey in order to better understand our customer profiles. The survey included 21 questions and we collected a total of 47…


My friend is very adamant about using non-public wifi for personal activities. In his words: “I’ll never use public wifi to make transactions.” Indeed, with an unencrypted, public wifi where it’s relatively easier to access and monitor another person’s activity on their digital devices, it is safer to avoid tasks that might expose sensitive information. Specifically, Norton outlines five risks that render public wifi vulnerable: man-in-the-middle attacks, unencrypted networks, malware distribution, snooping and sniffling, and malicious hotspots. So just use a private network, problem solved. But what if people don’t have access to it?

What if people don’t have access?

Not everyone has access to private…


Ransomware attacks. Catfish incidents. Fraudulent credit card charges. One quick search on “data breach” returns a long, long list of results; its prevalence is hard to dismiss. Information is beautiful, a website with interactive visualizations, helps us put it in perspective: every year, millions of accounts are compromised.

Screenshot visualization of World’s Biggest Data Breaches & Hacks by Information is beautiful. Check it out here: https://informationisbeautiful.net/visualizations/worlds-biggest-data-breaches-hacks/

Naturally, these incidents got media coverage. For example, the Marriott hack was reported by multiple agencies including the New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, and Vox. The scale and frequency of these hacks made me wonder how they influence our behavior. How much does the general public pay attention to these…


There are a few phone calls I can vividly remember. This is one of them:

“There’s an issue with your online order. If you could provide me with your full name, credit card number, and billing address, we’ll sort this out for you right away,” the lady said in a friendly and professional tone.

I was 14 years-old then, and my only financial assets were the dollar bills my parents gave me each week to buy lunch at school.

“I don’t have a credit card,” I replied with confusion. The lady sighed with annoyance and disconnected the call.

Her orchestrated…


Psychology is one of the disciplines HCI touches on. In practice, psychologists and engineers can work together to unpack creative ways to design socio-technical systems, which arguably results in systems that better serve the way we think, feel, play, etc. There are many schools offering similar, interdisciplinary programs, including Oregon State, UW, Yale, and more.

Of the Psychology courses I have taken at Georgia Tech, I’ve enjoyed the Engineering Psychology series. In this article, I briefly describe Engineering Psychology and discuss how we can think about design through the lens of this discipline (specifically, workload and situation awareness). …


The MS-HCI program at Georgia Tech strongly encourages students to complete an internship between their first and second year. My friends and I have been learning a lot, and we’re here to share our experiences thus far.

Overview:

  1. Ishaani Mittal | UX Design Intern at LiveLike in New York
  2. Lindsay Kelly | UX Research Intern at LinkedIn in San Francisco
  3. Nikhila Nyapathy | UX Design Intern at ADP in Atlanta
  4. Rachel Chen | UX Design Intern at IBM Design in Austin

Designing an experience for mobile and VR platforms easily adaptable for various sports

By Ishaani, UX Design Intern


This past summer, I’ve had the honor to participate as a mentor for the Oppia Foundation in the Google Summer of Code program. With this opportunity came the responsibility to review student proposals. I’ve rarely been on the reviewer side of application processes (I’m usually the applicant!), and after reading a few online submissions, I noticed some trends among the remarkable proposals.

For some background information, GSoC is a coding-intensive program for students. Students apply through GSoC to work with an open source organization on a 3-month long programming project. …

Rachel

UX researcher @ IBM. Mama to two happy doggos. SF Bay Area.

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