Notes from the CHI 2011 Workshop on Personal Informatics and HCI

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.

The notes that Yevgeniy Medynskiy took during the workshop are at


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