Presented Paper on Diabetes in India at CHI

The CHI conference took place in Denver this year, attracting thousands of people from around the globe to discuss, debate, and share around the latest and greatest in the field of HCI.

CHI2017 banner

At the conference, I collaborated with my colleague Samyukta Sherugar to present our paper Rice Today, Roti Tomorrow: Diets and Diabetes in Urban India. The paper was written in collaboration with colleagues at Georgia Tech, the University of Michigan, and the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabed. Neha Kumar of the TanDEm Lab at Georgia Tech advised us throughout the project. 

A culmination of a year and a half of research and design work, our exploratory project analyzed how diabetes patients in urban Indian households interact with their families and greater care networks to establish and maintain dietary practices based on their individual needs and constraints. 

For the presentation, we discussed insights gleaned from the project and ways forward for scholars and practitioners working in the domain. We concluded by sharing our Learning, Being, Doing framework, generated based on data collected through interviews, contextual inquiry observations, surveys, and evaluations of prototypes. 

We hope that this work provides a clear path forward for scholars interested in chronic disease management in this context.


Moderated AR/VR Panel at World Information Architecture Day

On February 18, we brought together some of Atlanta's brightest design and research minds to discuss all things Information Architecture (IA) for World Information Architecture Day 2017 (WIAD). This global one-day conference, hosted in 58 locations across 5 continents, served as a chance for the IA community to hear from countless thought leaders in the field at the local, national, and international level. 

As part of the day, I coordinated and moderated a panel comprised of Georgia Tech students who spoke about AR and VR. We explored how various fields and domains are well-suited for the space, ways we might leverage methods currently used in traditional design and research approaches, and how to ensure teams are building technology that accounts for and is representative of a range of diverse audiences. 

Panelists included:

Overall, we hosted our greatest WIAD ATL yet!

Hosted Design Debate with Georgia Tech IxDA

This month for our IxDA Atlanta Meetup, we aimed to interact with a greater number of students and experiment with a more engaging event structure. Since we had just rang in the new year, we partnered with IxDA Georgia Tech to host a debate about the future of design in 2017. 

We struggled at first to determine an appropriate structure for the event that would engage all people present—including students AND industry professionals—but also allow us to maintain a dynamic structure since we didn't know ahead of time who would show up.

After much contemplation and intense internet searching, we settled on an approach borrowed from the education world called the "four corner debate" in which participants take a stand on each debate topic by standing in one of four corners: strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree. The structure worked wonderfully, and our three debate topics were all split right down the middle, making for excellent discussion among the group. 

Considering the high levels of engagement and suitability for groups of different sizes and makeups, we're considering making this debate an annual event. As for now, I think it's safe to say we're all excited to see how the trends and topics we discussed play out in 2017. 


Two Papers Accepted to CHI 2017

Two papers that I co-authored with my colleagues at the Georgia Tech TanDEm lab were accepted to the 2017 CHI conference, taking place in Denver. 


Diets and Diabetes in India

The first, Rice Today, Roti Tomorrow: Diets and Diabetes in Urban Indian Households, examines diet management in middle-income diabetes-affected households in urban India. Taking the household as our unit of analysis, we conducted semi-structured interviews and employed a design probe. We sought to understand how diets in these settings are monitored, tailored, and balanced, highlighting how cultural and contextual nuances shape beliefs. 

The paper came after receiving two awards for the project at Georgia Tech's Ideas to Serve competition in Spring 2016. 


Emoji Use on WeChat in China 

Goodbye Text, Hello Emoji: Mobile Communication on WeChat in China examines mobile communication via WeChat in Southern China. Our qualitative study investigated how rural, small town, and urban Chinese adults balance the use of emoji, stickers, and text in their mobile communication practices. 

I look forward to joining my collaborators Neha Kumar, Rui Zhou, Samyukta Sherugar, and many others in our field in Denver in May. 

Moderated Panel at ICTD 2016 Conference

The eighth International Conference on Information & Communication Technologies and Development took place at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on June 3-6. For the conference, I collaborated with my colleagues Meghana Marathe, Vaishnav Kameswaran, and Purva Kulkarni to present a panel entitled: Connecting the Dots: Applying ICTD Skills in the Professional World. 

I moderated the discussion with our group of five panelists: 

Tsuyoshi Kano, former JICA Representative in Bangladesh

Nithya Sambasivan, UX Researcher at Google

Kevin Smith, Product Analyst at Dimagi

Benjamin Akinmoyeje, ICTD & IT Manager at the Management Sciences for Health, Nigeria

Claudia Flores Saviaga, IT Advisor at the Government of the State of Veracruz, Mexico

With this collection of panelists we were able to stimulate excellent discussion around which skills are critical for ICTD professionals, how people with varying skill sets journey into ICTD work, how job titles correspond to responsibilities in practice, and strategies people use to network and pursue mentorship opportunities in the field. 

It was a wonderful experience returning to my alma mater, and always a pleasure interacting with the friendly and energetic ICTD crowd. I'm looking forward to meeting them all again for ICTD '17 in Lahore, Pakistan in November.