Two weeks ago, several researchers and I organized a workshop at CHI 2011 on the intersection of human-computer interaction (HCI) and personal informatics. HCI is a field that studies the interaction between people and computers and develops tools and applications to improve that interaction. Self-tracking and reflecting on one’s personal data can be time-consuming and difficult. Using HCI methods, we can better design personal informatics tools that are easy to use and understand to help more people gain self-knowledge and awareness.
There were 18 papers presented during the whole day workshop. Topics ranged between mental health, social well-being, persuasive technologies, behavioral theories, and privacy issues.
We spent the rest of the day in two breakout sessions with groups of 4-5 authors. In the first session , groups talked about the design of personal informatics tools, how to make sense of personal data, applying theory to the studies and development, and the social implications of self-tracking. In the second session , groups discussed future directions for research and development in personal informatics and HCI. One group discussed how to resolve barriers that prevent people from doing self-tracking, such as helping people find the right tools and gamification to motivate data collection. Another group discussed the implications of using personal data for narrative and storytelling.