Tag Archives: Human Computer Interaction

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 http://personalinformatics.org/chi2011/notes.


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Stanford Students Design for Lifelogging

Next Monday, Stanford students will show off their designs around lifelogging and mobile sensing. Here is the announcement from Jeff Heer, Stanford professor and Quantified Self advisory board member:

We’re having an action-packed year in the Stanford HCI program — in addition to celebrating the program’s 20th anniversary, we’re presenting a number of exciting new research projects at CHI 2011 and HCI courses are hitting record enrollments. Check out http://hci.stanford.edu for the latest.

Continuing the tradition, on Monday 3/14, 15 student teams in CS247 HCI Design Studio will be presenting their design explorations around the theme of “Lifelogging: mobile and online sensing for public or private good”. Come experience a variety of applications seeking to enhance our everyday lives – and meet top graduating students passionate about interaction design.

We will begin with food and socializing at 6pm at the d.school; short student presentations will commence promptly at 6:30pm, followed by a demo & poster session.

For more information and directions, visit:

Hope to see you there!
Jeff & the CS247 Staff

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Personal Informatics Survey for Ian Li’s PhD

Ian Li, a PhD student studying personal informatics at Carnegie Mellon University, wrote in to ask some questions for his research project. Here is his story, with a link to the survey he created:


Like most people who read The Quantified Self, I have
tracked various aspects of my life. I ianli.jpghave logged my gas
mileage, kept my bank statements, wrote down how much I worked and slept, and many more, planning some day to sit down and graph the data to better understand my own behavior.

When I entered the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, I started studying how computers can help people understand their own selves. For the first few years, I did some projects related to personal informatics (http://www.ianli.com/research), but focused primarily on physical activity, creating a system that monitors and graphs when, where, and with whom people take the most steps.

Currently, I am looking beyond physical activity to understand general challenges with personal informatics: What information are people interested in recording about their lives? What problems are they experiencing in monitoring their behavior? How can exploring one’s data be improved?

I created a survey (http://www.ianli.com/pi/survey/qs) to start this exploration. If you have questions or comments about the survey, email me at ianli@cmu.edu. Thanks for participating!

Ian Li

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