Stuttering is a speech disorder influencing over 70 million people worldwide, including 13 million in China. It causes low self-esteem among other detrimental effects on people who stutter (PwS). Although prior work has explored approaches to assist PwS, they primarily focused on western contexts. In our formative study, we found unique practices and challenges among Chinese PwS. We then iteratively designed an online tool, CoPracTter, to support Chinese PwS practicing speaking fluency with 1) targeted stress-inducing practice scenarios, 2) real-time speech indicators, and 3) personalized timely feedback from the community. We further conducted a seven-day deployment study (N=11) to understand how participants utilized these key features. To our knowledge, it is the first time such a prototype was designed and tested for a long time with multiple PwS participants online simultaneously. Results indicate that personalized practice with targeted scenarios and timely feedback from a supportive community assisted PwS in speaking fluently, staying positive, and facing similar real-life circumstances.
Expanding one’s social network has been associated with greater access to resources and social support. However, little is known about how under-resourced populations decide to make new connections online and under what circumstances. We interviewed 36 under-resourced individuals in the U.S. to understand these decisions and found that people make new connections in order to seek advice and exchange support, particularly around coping with challenges more prevalent in under-resourced settings. However, participants were sometimes dissuaded from making new connections online due to fear of being scammed and hesitance around the social norms of reaching out to people outside their network. We discuss how people in under-resourced contexts grapple with `high risk yet high reward' social networking and outline implications for supporting safe and purposeful network development among under-resourced SNS users.
The Human-computer Interaction (HCI) community has the opportunity to foster the integration of research practices across the Global South and North to begin overcoming colonial relationships. In this paper, we focus on the case of Latin America (LATAM), where initiatives to increase the representation of HCI practitioners lack a consolidated understanding of the practices they employ, the factors that influence them, and the challenges that practitioners face. To address this knowledge gap, we employ a mixed-methods approach, comprising a survey (66 respondents) and in-depth interviews (19 interviewees). Our analyses characterize a set of research perspectives on how HCI is practiced in/about LATAM; a set of driving forces and tensions with a heavy reliance on diasporic dynamics; and a set of professional demands and associated structural limitations. We also offer a roadmap towards building connections across HCI communities, in an attempt to rebuild HCI as a pluriverse.
Supporting disabled populations and their unpaid carers through designing sustainable healthcare interventions and infrastructures, is an important, yet challenging, area in HCI research. We report on a collaboration with 23 disabled citizens, unpaid carers, and a care organisation, wishing to co-develop digital responses to challenges they face in the management of self-directed care budgets. We describe how leveraging participatory methods, including asynchronous and remote engagements, enabled the co-creation of a sustainable digital common-pool resource, used by over 5,000 people worldwide. This study contributes novel configurations of methods and tools for co-design with ‘seldom heard’ populations. Demonstrating how these enabled the collective articulation of what constitutes trust, governance, and responsibility, in the design of a digital commons, ``MyCareBudget”, offering peer-produced care documents for use by disabled citizens and their unpaid carers. We discuss implications for HCI interested in co-designing sustainable socio-technical interventions with underserved and marginalised populations, in healthcare settings.
Information asymmetries create extractive, often harmful relationships between platform workers (e.g., Uber or Deliveroo drivers) and their algorithmic managers. Recent HCI studies have put forward more equitable platform designs but leave open questions about the social and technical infrastructures required to support them without the cooperation of platforms. We conducted a participatory design study in which platform workers deconstructed and re-imagined Uber's schema for driver data. We analyzed the data structures and social institutions participants proposed, focusing on the stakeholders, roles, and strategies for mitigating conflicting interests of privacy, personal agency, and utility. Using critical theory, we reflected on the capability of participatory design to generate bottom-up collective data infrastructures. Based on the plurality of alternative institutions participants produced and their aptitude to navigate data stewardship decisions, we propose user-configurable tools for lightweight data institution building, as an alternative to redesigning existing platforms or delegating control to centralized trusts.
Wearables are a potentially vital mechanism for individuals to monitor their health, track behaviors, and stay connected. Unfortunately, both price and a lack of consideration of the needs of low-SES communities have made these devices inaccessible and unusable for communities that would most substantially benefit from their affordances. To address this gap and better understand how members of low-SES communities perceive the potential benefits and barriers to using wearable devices, we conducted 19 semi-structured interviews with people from minority, high crime rate, low-SES communities. Participants emphasized a critical need for safety-related wearable devices in their communities. Still, existing tools do not yet address the specific needs of this community and are out of reach due to several barriers. We distill themes on perceived useful features and ongoing obstacles to guide a much-needed research agenda we term 'Equityware': building wearable devices based on low-SES communities' needs, comfortability, and limitations.