The growing online gig economy provides ways for women to participate in a flexible, remote workforce and close the offline gender pay and participation gap. While women in online labor marketplaces earn about as much overall as men, women set lower bill rates suggesting gender differences in pricing strategies. In this study, we surveyed 392 freelancers in the United States (US) on the popular marketplace platform, Upwork, to understand strategies used to set hourly bill rates. We did not find gender differences in pricing strategies that were significantly related to bill rate. Instead, we found that other factors, such as full-time freelancer status and level of self-esteem, may help explain gender differences in bill rates. To better support equity and fairness in the growing gig economy, CHI researchers must identify, assess, and address the complex interaction between societal conditions in online labor markets.
Maintaining an awareness of one's well-being and making work-related decisions to achieve work-life balance is critical for flexible long-hour workers. In this study, we propose that social sensing could address bottlenecks in worker's awareness, interpretation of the informatics, and subsequent behavioral change. We conducted a four-week technology probe study by recruiting flexible long-hour professional drivers (Taxi and Uber drivers) and their significant others to use a social sensing prototype which collects data from the drivers and shares it with their partners as well as incorporates partners' observations. We interviewed them before and after the probe study and found that while technological sensing was able to increase drivers' awareness of their well-being status and intention to modify behaviors. The ``social sensing'' design was able to further shape such awareness or intention into action, highlighting the potential of using the sociotechnical approach in promoting work-life balance among long-hour workers.
Live streaming has become increasingly popular, with most streamers presenting their real-life appearance. However, Virtual YouTubers (VTubers), virtual 2D or 3D avatars that are voiced by humans, are emerging as live streamers and attracting a growing viewership in East Asia. Although prior research has found that many viewers seek real-life interpersonal interactions with real-person streamers, it is currently unknown what makes VTuber live streams engaging or how they are perceived differently than real-person streamers. We conducted an interview study to understand how viewers engage with VTubers and perceive the identities of the voice actors behind the avatars (i.e., Nakanohito). The data revealed that Virtual avatars bring unique performative opportunities which result in different viewer expectations and interpretations of VTuber behavior. Viewers intentionally upheld the disembodiment of VTuber avatars from their voice actors. We uncover the nuances in viewer perceptions and attitudes and further discuss the implications of VTuber practices to the understanding of live streaming in general.
Emerging research suggests that people trust algorithmic decisions less than human decisions. However, different populations, particularly in marginalized communities, may have different levels of trust in human decision-makers. Do people who mistrust human decision-makers perceive human decisions to be more trustworthy and fairer than algorithmic decisions? Or do they trust algorithmic decisions as much as or more than human decisions? We examine the role of mistrust in human systems in people’s perceptions of algorithmic decisions. We focus on healthcare Artificial Intelligence (AI), group-based medical mistrust, and Black people in the United States. We conducted a between-subjects online experiment to examine people’s perceptions of skin cancer screening decisions made by an AI versus a human physician depending on their medical mistrust, and we conducted interviews to understand how to cultivate trust in healthcare AI. Our findings highlight that research around human experiences of AI should consider critical differences in social groups.
Crowdsourcing is a new value creation business model. Annual revenue of the Chinese market alone is hundreds of millions of dollars, yet few studies have focused on the practices of the Chinese crowdsourcing workforce, and those that do mainly focus on solo crowdworkers. We have extended our study of solo crowdworker practices to include crowdfarms, a relatively new entry to the gig economy: small companies that carry out crowdwork as a key part of their business. We report here on interviews of people who work in 53 crowdfarms. We describe how crowdfarms procure jobs, carry out macrotasks and microtasks, manage their reputation, and employ different management practices to motivate crowdworkers and customers.
Online video games support the development of social relationships through gameplay. However, gamers often cannot cultivate and maintain relationships based on social factors such as personality when using in-game matchmaking services. To address this, teammate matching sites external to games have emerged and enable gamers to offer to play games with others in exchange for payment. The affordances of these services are different from other existing gamer social sites, e.g., live streaming. Interviews were conducted with 16 dedicated users on Bixin, one of China’s largest paid teammate matching sites, to examine user motivations, practices, and perceptions. The interviews found that gamers selected paid teammates on Bixin using different criteria compared to in-game matchmaking services and emphasized the importance of real-life characteristics such as voice. To maintain connections, paid teammates often also extended communication to external communication services such as WeChat. Although most gamers expected to communicate with paid teammates as if they were friends, very few reported building real friendships with their matched counterparts.
The user study is a fundamental method used in HCI. In designing user studies, we often use compensation strategies to incentivize recruitment. However, compensation can also lead to ethical issues, such as coercion. The CHI community has yet to establish best practices for participant compensation. Through a systematic review of manuscripts at CHI and other associated publication venues, we found high levels of variation in the compensation strategies used within the community and how we report on this aspect of the study methods. A qualitative analysis of justifications offered for compensation sheds light into how some researchers are currently contextualizing this practice. This paper provides a description of current compensation strategies and information that can inform the design of compensation strategies in future studies. The findings may be helpful to generate productive discourse in the HCI community towards the development of best practices for participant compensation in user studies.
A jury of one's peers is a prominent way to adjudicate disputes and is increasingly used in participatory governance online. The fairness of this approach rests on the assumption that juries are consistent: that the same jury would hand down similar judgments to similar cases. However, prior literature suggests that social influence would instead cause early interactions to cascade into different judgments for similar cases. In this paper, we report an online experiment that changes participants' pseudonyms as they appear to collaborators, temporarily masking a jury's awareness that they have deliberated together before. This technique allows us to measure consistency by reconvening the same jury on similar cases. Counter to expectation, juries are equally consistent as individuals, a result that is “good for democracy.” But this consistency arises in part due to group polarization, as consensus develops by hardening initial majority opinions. Furthermore, we find that aggregating groups' perspectives without deliberation erodes consistency.
Computer technology is often designed in technology hubs in Western countries, invariably making it "WEIRD", because it is based on the intuition, knowledge, and values of people who are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. Developing technology that is universally useful and engaging requires knowledge about members of WEIRD and non-WEIRD societies alike. In other words, it requires us, the CHI community, to generate this knowledge by studying representative participant samples. To find out to what extent CHI participant samples are from Western societies, we analyzed papers published in the CHI proceedings between 2016-2020. Our findings show that 73% of CHI study findings are based on Western participant samples, representing less than 12% of the world's population. Furthermore, we show that most participant samples at CHI tend to come from industrialized, rich, and democratic countries with generally highly educated populations. Encouragingly, recent years have seen a slight increase in non-Western samples and those that include several countries. We discuss suggestions for further broadening the international representation of CHI participant samples.
It is widely acknowledged in HCI that culture is embodied in many aspects of an individual’s identity and interaction with technology. Whilst existing cultural models have been criticized for providing a deterministic view of culture, alternative methods for incorporating culture in design remain scarce. We introduce the use of Qualitative Secondary Analysis (QSA) as a bottom-up approach to construct a richer and more dynamic understanding of culture to inform our best practices in Cross-Cultural Design. We demonstrate the use of QSA within a culturally specific context, namely Saudi transnationals. We draw upon two case studies (with 55 participants) to investigate the cultural factors underpinning our participants views. We conclude with a reflection on key affordances and challenges of QSA, illustrating how QSA can be leveraged to unravel otherwise overlooked knowledge present in many qualitative HCI studies.
Leaving the field when conducting research in situated contexts, and finding ways to sustain project outcomes beyond academia, is an ongoing struggle in HCI. In our research project, we co-designed technologies with children in classroom contexts for three years. Nearing the projects' end, we focused on creating resources that enable teachers to continue our work with their pupils. In collaboration with teachers, we developed socio-material tools that support them in empowering neurodiverse children to engage with technology in creative ways and create their own technologies. While the majority of technology design toolkits are stand-alone artefacts, part of our toolkit is an infrastructure to keep guiding and supporting teachers beyond the project's end. In this paper, we discuss the teachers expectations and requirements for a toolkit and argue that an infrastructure must be part of a toolkit. We present a set of guidelines for researchers planning for a project’s end.
Search and rescue (SAR), a disaster response activity performed to locate and save victims, primarily involves collective sensemaking and planning. SAR responders learn to search and navigate the environment, process information about buildings, and collaboratively plan with maps. We synthesize data from five sources, including field observations and interviews, to understand the informational components of SAR and how information is recorded and communicated. We apply activity theory, uncovering unforeseen factors that are relevant to the design of collaboration systems and training solutions. Through our analysis, we derive design implications to support collaborative information technology and training systems: mixing physical and digital mapping; mixing individual and collective mapping; building for different levels and sources of information; and building for different rules, roles, and activities.
Hackathons are increasingly embraced across diverse sectors as a way of democratizing the design of technology. Several attempts have been made to redefine the format and desired end goal of hackathons in recent years thereby warranting closer methodological scrutiny. In this paper, we apply program theory to analyze the processes and effects of 16 hackathon case studies through published research literature. Building upon existing research on hackathons, our work offers a critical perspective examining the methodological validity of hackathons and exemplifies how specific processes for organizing hackathons are modified for different purposes. Our main contribution is a program theory analysis of hackathon formats that provides an exploration and juxtaposition of 16 case studies in terms of causal relations between the input, process and the effects of hackathons. Our cataloguing of examples can serve as an inspirational planning resource for future organizers of hackathons.
Tabs have become integral to browsing the Web yet have changed little since their introduction nearly 20 years ago. In contrast, the internet has gone through dramatic changes, with users increasingly moving from navigating to websites to exploring information across many sources to support online sensemaking. This paper investigates how tabs today are overloaded with a diverse set of functionalities and issues users face when managing them. We interviewed ten information workers asking about their tab management strategies and walk through each open tab on their work computers four times over two weeks. We uncovered competing pressures pushing for keeping tabs open (ranging from interaction to emotional costs) versus pushing for closing them (such as limited attention and resources). We then surveyed 103 participants to estimate the frequencies of these pressures at scale. Finally, we developed design implications for future browser interfaces that can better support managing these pressures.
Hundreds of millions of speakers of bidirectional (BiDi) languages rely on writing systems that mix the native right-to-left script with left-to-right strings. The global reach of interactive digital technologies requires special attention to these people, whose perception of interfaces is affected by this script mixture. However, empirical research on this topic is scarce. Although leading software vendors provide guidelines for BiDi design, bidirectional interfaces demonstrate inconsistent and incorrect directionality of UI elements, which may cause user confusion and errors. Through a websites' review, we identified problematic UI items and considered reasons for their existence. In an online survey with 234 BiDi speakers, we observed that in many cases, users' direction preferences were inconsistent with the guidelines. The findings provide potential insights for design rules and empirical evidence for the problem's complexity, suggesting the need for further empirical research and greater attention by the HCI community to the BiDi design problem.