Research

Our research aims to engage social justice informatics, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and STEM education in pursuit of equity through collaboration with traditionally excluded communities.

To review our specific projects, please refer below!

Accessibility

A woman sitting at her desk, hands on her keyboard while staring at her computer screen that reads E learning
Accessible e-Learning

Accessible e-Learning Technologies

Lead: Dr. Earl Huff, Jr.

Summary: This project explores the design of e-learning technologies and how persons with disabilities use them. We seek to learn more about the challenges encountered, the workarounds used, and how we can design more usable and accessible tools to support the learning experience of persons with different disabilities.

Community-Engaged Research

Destigmatizing houselessness through critical consciousness and transformation games

Lead: Dr. Angela D. R. Smith

Summary: In partnership with the city of Austin’s Equity office, this project seeks to engage Freire’s theory of critical consciousness in a participatory design approach to destigmatize houselessness. This work will result in a transformation game to explore storytelling and its effects to transform mindsets.

Cultural Computing

A Black woman viewing a graphic through a lens

Black-Centered Design

Lead: Dr. Angela D. R. Smith

Summary: In efforts to provide design practitioners with tangible design implications and guidelines, this project leverages speculative design and inclusive design frameworks to elicit cultural imaginaries from Black communities to understand how Black individuals perceive specific contextual affordances within the technology and design space.

A cartoonish graphic of the Sims 4 game with eight sims characters on a white background

Black Simmers

Lead: Dr. Angela D. R. Smith

Summary: This project explores how Black video game players use modding to represent Black identities and culture in the social simulation game, The Sims. This project centers Black video gamers to design better interactive technologies to center Black joy and inclusive gaming.

Engaging the Margins to Improve Technological Equity

Lead: Dr. Angela D. R. Smith

Summary: This research explores barriers to engagement in technological spaces for marginalized groups and considerations for meaningfully engaging these populations when designing and developing technology.

User Experience

A little girl wearing a yellow shirt sitting at a desk, writing in a notebook while look at laptop screen

K12 User Experience Education

Lead: Dr. Earl Huff

Summary: This project aims to research, design, and deploy interventions to increase the awareness of career opportunities in user experience (UX) design for K 12 students. Interventions include UX workshops, after-school activities, and UX course curriculum development.