Street harassment is a widespread problem that can constrain people's freedom to enjoy public spaces safely, along with many other negative psychological impacts. However, very little research has looked at how immersive technology can help in addressing it. We conducted three studies to investigate the design decisions, ethical issues and efficacy of an immersive simulation of street harassment: an online design study (n=20), an interview study with experts working in the area (n=9), and a comparative lab study investigating design, ethics and efficacy (n=44). Our results deepen understanding of the design decisions that contribute to a realistic psychological experience, such as the effects of screen-based video vs. passive VR vs. interactive VR. They also highlight important ethical issues such as traumatisation and potential for victim blaming, and how they can be approached in an ethical manner. Finally, they provide insights into efficacy in terms of perceived usefulness, competence and empathy.
The contemporary understanding of gender continues to highlight the complexity and variety of gender identities beyond a binary dichotomy regarding one’s biological sex assigned at birth. The emergence and popularity of various online social spaces also makes the digital presentation of gender even more sophisticated. In this paper, we use non-cisgender as an umbrella term to describe diverse gender identities that do not match people’s sex assigned at birth, including Transgender, Genderfluid, and Non-binary. We especially explore non-cisgender individuals’ identity practices and their challenges in novel social Virtual Reality (VR) spaces where they can present, express, and experiment their identity in ways that traditional online social spaces cannot provide. We provide one of the first empirical evidence of how social VR platforms may introduce new and novel phenomena and practices of approaching diverse gender identities online. We also contribute to re-conceptualizing technology-supported identity practices by highlighting the role of(re)discovering the physical body online and informing the design of the emerging metaverse for supporting diverse gender identities in the future.
Smartphone addiction refers to the problematic use of smartphones, which can negatively impact one’s quality of life and even health. We conducted a two-week technology probe study to explore the use of technologies aimed at improving smartphone addiction among seven dyads of adolescents and their parents. Interviews conducted during and after the probe study revealed that manually reporting lifestyle and well-being data could provide motivation to improve one’s lifestyle and well-being by moderating phone use. Sharing smartphone use data with parents was also shown to head off negative communication loops and foster opportunities to overcome the smartphone addiction.
Caseworkers are trained to write detailed narratives about families in Child-Welfare (CW) which informs collaborative high-stakes decision-making. Unlike other administrative data, these narratives offer a more credible source of information with respect to workers’ interactions with families as well as underscore the role of systemic factors in decision-making. SIGCHI researchers have emphasized the need to understand human discretion at the street-level to be able to design human-centered algorithms for the public sector. In this study, we conducted computational text analysis of casenotes at a child-welfare agency in the midwestern United States and highlight patterns of invisible street-level discretionary work and latent power structures that have direct implications for algorithm design. Casenotes offer a unique lens for policymakers and CW leadership towards understanding the experiences of on-the-ground caseworkers. As a result of this study, we highlight how street-level discretionary work needs to be supported by sociotechnical systems developed through worker-centered design. This study offers the first computational inspection of casenotes and introduces them to the SIGCHI community as a critical data source for studying sociotechnical systems.