We always have a number of things cooking at a given time. You’ll find a list of our current projects below.

LiquidText

LiquidText is a multi-touch document manipulation system that provides a uniquely flexible environment for active
reading — the focused, critical reading we do when we highlight, annotate, flip between pages, compare documents, etc. To provide this more flexible, fluid way to interact with documents, we developed a high degree-of-freedom user interface, where the reader can freely and precisely control both the visual representation and the navigational structures of their content. What this means is that things that used to be hard, like comparing several sections of a long text, creating annotations that refer to many parts of a text at once, or aggregating your annotations together without losing their context, are now easy.

Watch a quick demo here, or learn more at liquidtext.net

Publications:

  1. C. Tashman, W.K. Edwards, “Active Reading and Its Discontents: The Situations, Problems and Ideas of Readers.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI 2011). Vancouver, Canada. May 7-12, 2011

  2. C. Tashman, W.K. Edwards, “LiquidText: A Flexible, Multitouch Environment to Support Active Reading.” In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI 2011). Vancouver, Canada. May 7-12, 2011

Collaborative Network Troubleshooting

Despite rapid adoption of networked computing in the home, home networking setup and maintenance tasks are extremely difficult for many people. Recently, the Human-Computer Interaction research community has had an emerging interest in studying the user experience (e.g. usability problems) associated with networked computing and AV equipment in the home. However, this community has little empirical data about the help-seeking practices of people who are experiencing trouble setting up or fixing their networked equipment. We are collecting data about help-seeking by (1) automatically analyzing the content and context of popular online help forums and (2) conducting a set of focus groups about help-seeking practices. Through this research, we are discovering which aspects of home network setup and maintenance householders find most troubling, as well as how they seek help to resolve these problems.

Publications:

  1. Sarita Yardi and Erika S. Poole, “Please Help! Patterns of Participation in Online Technical Support Discussion Boards.” In Communities&Technologies 2009, State College, PA, USA, June 25–27, 2009.

  2. Erika S. Poole, W. Keith Edwards, and Lawrence Jarvis., “The Home Network as a Sociotechnical System: Understanding the Challenges of Remote Home Network Problem Diagnosis.” In the Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work special issue on CSCW, Technology, and Diagnostic Work

  3. Jeremy Goecks, W. Keith Edwards, and Elizabeth D. Mynatt. “Challenges in Supporting End-User Privacy and Security Management with Social Navigation” In Proceedings of the Fifth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2009). Mountain View, CA. July 15–17, 2009.

  4. Rebecca E. Grinter, W. Keith Edwards, Marshini Chetty, Erika Shehan Poole, Ja-Young Sung, Andy Crabtree, Peter Tolmie, Tom Rodden, Chris Greenhalgh, and Steve Benford., “The Ins and Outs of Home Networking: The Case for Useful and Usable Home Networking,” In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, ACM Press.

  5. Erika S. Poole, M. Chetty, T. Morgan, B. E. Grinter, W. K. Edwards., “Computer Help at Home:Methods and Motivations for Informal Technical Support.” In CHI ‘09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, April 2009.

Technology and the Homeless

Technology is all around us, and while we consider new and novel uses for mobile and ubiquitous computing it is also important to consider how these kinds of technologies affect members of our society who do not have access to them. The aim of this work is to understand how technological innovations might be deployed to the urban homeless and to the institutions that support them.

Publications:

  1. C. A. Le Dantec, R. G. Farrell, J. E. Christensen, M. Bailey, J. B. Ellis, W. A. Kellogg, and W. K. Edwards. “Publics in Practice: Ubiquitous Computing at a Shelter for Homeless Mothers.” To appear in CHI 2011.

  2. C. A. Le Dantec. “What Technology Says.” Ambidextrous, Spring 2010.

  3. C. A. Le Dantec, J. E. Christensen, M. Bailey, R. G. Farrell, J. B. Ellis, C. M. Danis, W. A. Kellogg, and W. K. Edwards. “A tale of two publics: Democratizing design at the margins.” In DIS ’10: Proceedings of the conference on Designing interactive systems, pages 11–20, New York, NY, USA, 2010. ACM.

  4. C. A. Le Dantec and W. K. Edwards. “Across Boundaries of Influence and Accountability: The Multiple Scales of Public Sector Information Systems.” In CHI’10: Proceeding of the twenty-eighth annual SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems. April 10–15 2010. (Nominated for best paper)

  5. C. A. Le Dantec. “Legitimacy at the Outskirts: Categories, Use, and Adoption in Marginal Communities.” In UbiComp ’09: Globicomp workshop, Orlando, FL, September 29–October 3 2009. ACM Press.

  6. Christopher A. Le Dantec, “Feature: Life at the Margins: Assessing the Role of Technology for the Urban Homeless.interactions, 15(5):24–27, 2008.

  7. Christopher A. Le Dantec and W. Keith Edwards. “The View From the Trenches: Organization, Power, and Technology at Two Nonprofit Homeless Outreach Centers.” In ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW08). San Diego, CA. November 8–12, 2008.

  8. Christopher A. Le Dantec and W. Keith Edwards. “Designs on Dignity: Perceptions of Technology Among the Homeless” In, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008).Florence, Italy. April 5–10, 2008. (Awarded best paper)

inSpace

The inSpace project is an interdisciplinary collaboration with Steelcase. The project brings together researchers with experience ranging from human-computer interaction, interaction design, software development, industrial design, furniture and interior design, and architecture. A central goal in this research partnership is to understand how these different layers should be co-designed.

Our current space includes a number of technical artifacts that work together to support collaboration, including a table with integrated sensing and ambient feedback, a shared wall display supporting multiple simultaneous users, and a collection of storage and infrastructure services for communication, wused in the space.

Publications:

  1. Derek Reilly, Anthony Tang, Andy Wu, Andy Echenique, Jonathan Massey, Niels Mathiasen, Ali Mazalek, and W. Keith Edwards. “  href="http:// www.cc.gatech.edu/~keith/pubs/oui2011-­organic.pdf">Organic UIs and Cross-Reality Spaces.” 2nd International Workshop on Organic User Interfaces (OUI 2011), at TEI 2011, Madeira, Portugal. January 23-26, 2011.

  2. D.F. Reilly, H. Rouzati, A. Wu, J.Y. Hwang, J. Brudvik, and W.K. Edwards, “TwinSpace: An Infrastructure for Cross-Reality Team Spaces.” In Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST), New York, NY. October 3-6, 2010.

  3. D. Reilly, S. Voida, M. McKeon, C. A. Le Dantec, P. Verma, C. Forslund, W. K. Edwards, E. D. Mynatt, and A. Mazalek. “Space Matters: Physical-Digital and Physical-Virtual Co-Design in the InSpace Project.IEEE Pervasive Computing, Volume 9, Number 3 (July-September 2010).

  4. Stephen Voida, Elizabeth D. Mynatt, and W. Keith Edwards. “Re-framing the Desktop Interface Around the Activities of Knowledge Work” In Proceedings of the 21st ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST 2008). Monterey, CA. October 19–22, 2008.

  5. Aras Bilgen and W. Keith Edwards. “inSpace Projector: An Accessible Display System for Meeting Environments,” In, Workshop on Usable Ubiquitous Computing in Next Generation Meeting Rooms: Design, Architecture, and Evaluation. Ubicomp Conference, September, 2006.

  6. Matt McKeon. “The inSpace Table: Weaving Social Space Dynamics into the Design of Augmented Conference Rooms,” In, Workshop on Usable Ubiquitous Computing in Next Generation Meeting Rooms: Design, Architecture, and Evaluation. Ubicomp Conference, September, 2006.

Values in Design

Values play an integral role in design: they inform the kinds of trade-offs the make when considering different solutions; they create a basis for assessing a particular artifact or system may fit into their lives; and they are an important part of negotiating common understanding in collaborative design settings. This project focuses on the various ways values become expressed through design of artifacts and systems.

Publications:

  1. C. A. Le Dantec. “Situating design as social creation and cultural cognition.” CoDesign. 6(4):207–224, December 2010.

  2. Christopher A. Le Dantec, “Situated Design: Toward an Understanding of Design Through Social Creation and Cultural Cognition.” In C&C ‘09: Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGCHI Conference on Creativity&Cognition, Berkeley, CA, October 27–30 2009.

  3. Christopher A. Le Dantec, Erika S. Poole, and S. P. Wyche., “Values as Lived Experience: Evolving Value Sensitive Design in Support of Value Discovery.” In CHI ‘09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, April 2009.

  4. Christopher A. Le Dantec and E. Y. Do., “The Mechanisms of Value Transfer in Design Meetings.” In Design Studies, 30(2):119–137, March 2009.

  5. Christopher A. Le Dantec and Erika S. Poole. “The Value of Pictures: Photo Eliciation Techniques for Engaging Users.” In, CHI ‘08: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing systems, Workshop: Values, Value and Worth. 2008.

Window Scape

WindowScape is a task oriented window manager designed to help people access windows as groups, as well as organize and manage individual windows more easily. WindowScape allows windows to be miniaturized down to thumbnail size and organized by the user. This temporally stable layout of miniatures allows people to leverage their spatial memory when searching for a window. To enable people to switch between groups of windows, WindowScape builds a timeline of window configuration states, and provides techniques to rapidly return to those prior configurations. In effect, these history states act as implicit, post-hoc window groups. It is implicit because the user never has to explicitly choose whether a given window belongs in a particular set. These decisions are only indirectly made through the history states the user decides to access. The groupings are post-hoc because the user does not have to make a priori decisions about where a window belongs. They can instead defer the decision until the last moment when they actually need to use access the group. WindowScape also offers interesting techniques for accessing obscured windows while largely maintaining a stable display image, as well as enabling keyboard navigation among arbitrarily arranged objects.

Publications:

  1. G. Oleksik, M. L. Wilson, C. Tashman, E. M. Rodrigues, G. Kazai, G. Smyth, N. Milic-Frayling, R. Jones., “Lightweight Tagging Expands Information and Activity Management Practices.” In CHI ‘09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, April 2009.

  2. Craig Tashman “WindowScape: A Task Oriented Window Manager,” In, Proceedings of the 19th annual ACM symposium on User Interface software and technology. Montreux, Switzerland. October 15 – 18, 2006.

Home Networking

Most research in networking has focused on “traditional” issues, such as bandwidth, scalability, latency, and so forth. What if we were to look at networking instead from a human-centered perspective? What traits would we care about then? Most likely, things like understandability, maintainability, evolvability, and installability.


Our lab is engaged in a number of projects aimed at what we call human-centered networking. Through these projects we are seeking to understand the causes of digital complexity in the home and how householders cope with these difficulties, as well as develop new tools and technologies to improve the experience of home networking.


Our empirical work in this space includes in-home qualitative investigations focused on understanding users’ needs and practices, analyses of householder-generated sketches of their home networks to uncover end-users’ conceptual models of networking, the development of a range of “ground truth” datasets of home network performance and behavior, and a series of studies aimed at understanding the social dynamics of network use in the home.


We are also engaging in technical work aimed at creating a set of tools, infrastructures, and interaction techniques that provide a better match for users’ needs and practices. These projects include the development of visual tools for home network management, the creation of new infrastructure components (routers and access points) for the home network intended to improve the user experience for users, and exploration of new management protocols effective in the home network context.

Publications:

  1. S. Sundaresan, N. Feamster, R. Teixeira, A. Tang, W.K. Edwards, R.E. Grinter, M. Chetty and W. de Donato. Helping Users Shop for ISPs with Internet Nutrition Labels. Proceedings of HomeNets Workshop at SIGCOMM 2011. Toronto, Canada. August 15-19, 2011.

  2. H. Kim, S. Sundaresan, M. Chetty, N. Feamster and W.K. Edwards. Communicating with Caps: Managing Usage Caps in Home Networks. Proceedings of SIGCOMM 2011. Toronto, Canada. August 15-19, 2011.

  3. W. Keith Edwards, Rebecca Grinter, Ratul Mahajan, David Wetherall. “Advancing the State of Home Networking.” Communications of the ACM, June 2011. pp. 62-71.

  4. K.L. Calvert, W.K. Edwards, N. Feamster, R.E. Grinter, Y. Deng, X. Zhou. “Instrumenting Home Networks.” To appear in ACM Computer Communications Review (CCR), 2011.

  5. J. Yang, W.K. Edwards, and D. Haslem, “Eden: Supporting Home Network Management Through Interactive Visual Tools.” In Proceedings of the 23rd ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST), New York, NY. October 3-6, 2010.

  6. J. Yang and W. K, Edwards. “A Study on Network Management Tools of Householders.” First SIGCOMM Workshop on Home Networks (HomeNets), September 3, 2010. New Delhi, India.

  7. K. Calvert, W. K. Edwards, N. Feamster, R. E. Grinter, Y. Deng, and X. Zhou. “Instrumenting Home Networks.” First SIGCOMM Workshop on Home Networks (HomeNets), September 3, 2010. New Delhi, India.

  8. Sarita Yardi and Erika S. Poole, “Please Help! Patterns of Participation in Online Technical Support Discussion Boards.” In Communities&Technologies 2009, State College, PA, USA, June 25–27, 2009.

  9. Erika S. Poole, W. Keith Edwards, and Lawrence Jarvis., “The Home Network as a Sociotechnical System: Understanding the Challenges of Remote Home Network Problem Diagnosis.” In the Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work special issue on CSCW, Technology, and Diagnostic Work

  10. Rebecca E. Grinter, W. Keith Edwards, Marshini Chetty, Erika Shehan Poole, Ja-Young Sung, Andy Crabtree, Peter Tolmie, Tom Rodden, Chris Greenhalgh, and Steve Benford., “The Ins and Outs of Home Networking: The Case for Useful and Usable Home Networking,” In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, ACM Press.

  11. W. Keith Edwards, Mark W. Newman, Jana Z. Sedivy, and Trevor F. Smith. “Experiences with Recombinant Computing: Exploring Ad Hoc Interoperability in Evolving Digital Networks,” In ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, ACM Press.

  12. Erika S. Poole, M. Chetty, T. Morgan, B. E. Grinter, W. K. Edwards., “Computer Help at Home:Methods and Motivations for Informal Technical Support.” In CHI ‘09: Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, April 2009.

  13. Erika Shehan, Marshini Chetty, Rebecca E. Grinter, and W. Keith Edwards. “More Than Meets the Eye: Transforming the User Experience of Home Network Management” In, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS 2008). Cape Town, South Africa. February 25–27, 2008.

  14. Kenneth L. Calvert, W. Keith Edwards, and Rebecca E. Grinter. “Moving Toward the Middle: The Case Against the End-to-End Argument in Home Networking” In Proceedings of the Sixth ACM Conference on Hot Topics in Networks (HotNets-VI). Atlanta, GA. November 14–15, 2007.

  15. Jeonghwa Yang and W. Keith Edwards. Proceedings of Eleventh IFIP Conference on Human-Computer “ICEbox: Toward Easy-to-Use Home Networking.” Interaction (Interact). Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. September 10–14, 2007.

  16. Erika Shehan and W. Keith Edwards. “Home Networking and HCI: What Hath God Wrought?” In, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI’07). San Jose, CA. April 28-May 3, 2007.

  17. Erika Shehan, Shivam Goyal, and W. Keith Edwards. “Pinning the Tail on the Networked Donkey: Why IT@Home Needs Network Visualization” In, Presented at the CHI 2006 Workshop IT@Home: Unraveling Complexities of Networked Devices in the Home, April 23, 2006.

  18. Jeonghwa Yang and W. Keith Edwards. “ICEbox: Bring! Point! Get Configured!” In, ACM SIGCHI’06 IT@Home Workshop, April 2006.

  19. Rebecca E. Grinter, W. Keith Edwards, Mark W. Newman, Nicolas Ducheneaut. “The Work to Make a Home Network Work,” In, Proceedings of the Ninth European Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (ECSCW’05). Paris, France. September 18–22, 2005.

Usable Security

The Pixi Lab is the host of the Tiger Team Student Design Competition for Usable Security. Held 2005-2007, this competition allows two-person student teams (representing both HCI and Security) to compete for funding to develop novel projects that address challenges of usable security. The competition has been supported generously by Symantec, IBM Internet Security Systems, and Google.

Publications:

  1. Bryan D. Payne and W. Keith Edwards. “A Brief Introduction to Usable Security” In, IEEE Internet Computing, IEEE Press. Vol. 12, No. 3, May/June, 2008. pp. 13–21.

  2. Jennifer Stoll, Craig Tashman, W. Keith Edwards, and Kyle Spafford, “Sesame: Informing User Security Decisions with System Visualization” In, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008). Florence, Italy. April 5–10, 2008.

  3. Kandha Sankarpandian, Travis Little, and W. Keith Edwards. “TALC: Using Desktop Graffiti to Fight Software Vulnerability” In, Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2008). Florence, Italy. April 5–10, 2008.

  4. W. Keith Edwards, Erika Shehan, Jennifer Stoll “Security Automation Considered Harmful?.” In, Proceedings of New Security Paradigms Workshop (NSPW). North Conway, New Hampshire, September 18–21, 2007.

  5. Serge Egelman, Jen King , Robert C. Miller, Nick Ragouzis, and Erika Shehan. “Security User Studies: Methodologies and Best Practices.” In, Extended abstracts of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2007). San Jose, California, April 28, 2007.