Current Research Topics

I have helped to establish design research as a legitimate form of research in HCI that is different from, but equally as important as, scientific and human science research. I have advocated for design research in all forms, mentoring peers, colleagues, and students in its structure and execution, and today it is an important part of the HCI community. My design research has made contributions to social problems including eldercare, accessibility, human assistance, and overall wellbeing.

AI as a design material

AI is present in everything from apps to enterprise software, yet designers struggle to understand and innovate with it. This work seeks to make AI a tangible design material for designers.

Future of work and AI

This work uses methods from service design to understand a future of work with autonomous technologies ranging from robotic process automation to robotic bartenders, and to empower workers with training and education to succeed in this inevitable future.

Human-AI interaction

Algorithms are used to enhance the quality of decision making, but many algorithms suffer from bias in code and execution. This work seeks to close the communication gap between users of AI systems and the potential harms and biases these systems can introduce in human experience.

Human-robot interaction

We now live in a world where we routinely interact with robots, agents, and conversational UIs. This work seeks to design form and interaction for robots agents that collaborate with people across a number of domains.

Product service ecologies

Our world is facing many dire societal problems. These problems are not simple problems—they are systems of problems, or what Herb Simon called “wicked problems” and Russell Ackoff simply dubbed “messes”. To respond to these demands, the discipline of design needs to adopt a larger, more holistic view of problems and the solutions that might be developed to address them. My work on product-service ecologies helps to embrace systems thinking to better design for the world in which we live.

Service design

I am interested in all aspects of service design, from how it is best taught to extending the rudimentary research in the field. I have done studies on service recovery, adaptive service design, and how to personalize service delivery to help people meet their goals in using a service.