I am on sabbatical from May 2022 to August 2023 and have some plans! My high level goals are to re-energize my research, increase engagement and dissemination efforts so that the work of my lab continues to drive positive societal and industry change, and better understand the impact and opportunities for improvement in our UX Design program at Purdue.
With a sabbatical comes travel, and I am thrilled to work with partners in multiple parts of the world across the next year. If I will be close to you and would like to grab a drink or meal, collaborate on a project, or give a talk at your institution or company, please get in touch!
Newcastle, Bilbao, Lafayette, and back to the UK
- I assisted in a study abroad program in the United Kingdom with my colleagues Paul and (husband) Austin. We got to meet our amazing friends at Newcastle University (Open Lab) and Northumbria University (NORTH Lab) for the first time since the pandemic and I set up some projects for the fall semester.
- I presented a draft paper with amazing collaborators Cristiana Santos and Nataliia Bielova at the Privacy Law Scholars Conference, entitled: Usable EU-Compliant Cookie Consent Banners: Is it possible?. We got some amazing feedback that will improve this draft prior to submission at a venue to be named soon.
- I contributed to feedback to the European Data Protection Board in response to the draft guidelines on Dark patterns in social media platform interfaces: How to recognise and avoid them with lots of smart people from the University of Luxembourg and the DECEPTICON project.
- I was elected to a six year term on the International Advisory Council for the Design Research Society, with the goal of advocating for inclusive and equitable design research approaches and pedagogies.
- I provided feedback on and endorsed the DETOUR bill proposed by Senator Mark Warner, which I expect, if passed would “curtail the ability of [technology] companies to use deceptive and manipulative design practices, such as ‘dark patterns,’ which have been shown to produce substantial harms to users.”
- I presented a paper at the Design Research Society bi-annual conference in Bilbao, Spain, entitled: Critical Pedagogy and the Pluriversal Design Studio. This paper builds on my decade-long interest in studio education, setting a foundation for more inclusive studio practices. In addition, I got to meet collaborators from the Studio Matters group—a collective that was formed during the pandemic to discuss studio education. Many of these collaborators I got to meet for the first time in person, after two years of Zoom writing groups! Shout outs to amazing human beings Derek Jones, James Corazzo, James Benedict Brown, and Nicole Lotz (and also Elizabeth Boling, who couldn’t join us in Spain). We also hosted a track at DRS on Studio Matters, including contributions from several people in our writing group. As a bonus, I also assisted in running a conversation on Designing Transformative Futures with the amazing Ann Light, Lara Houston, Dan Location, Chris Speed, Laura Forlano, and Kristina Lindström. Oh, and Iberia lost my bag for a month.
- My lab (UXP2) submitted a paper to CSCW and arXiv that documents our longstanding interest in the #darkpatterns discourse on Twitter. This was doctoral student Ike Obi’s inaugural first authored paper! Check out Let’s Talk About Socio-Technical Angst: Tracing the History and Evolution of Dark Patterns on Twitter from 2010-2021 for more details and loads of interesting charts that document the evolution of discussions around dark patterns over the last decade.
- Members of my lab (UXP2) continued work on our Everyday Ethics project, redesigning co-creation materials originally launched on Miro for in person workshops, doing a soft launch of our Ethics-Focused Method collection in partnership with Shruthi Chivukula, running an evaluation study on this methods collection to better describe practice resonant patterns of engagement with design methods, and of course, writing up lots of fun papers for CHI 2023. Thanks to Ike Obi, Brookley Rigsbee, Matt Will, Thomas Carlock, Ambika Menon, Aayushi Bharadwaj, Aditya Jain, and Ja-Nae Duane for a great summer and for some great conversations on our weekly reading group calls!
- Austin and I taught a 32-hour module on Tangible Embodied Interaction (TEI) virtually to students at Beijing Normal University for the fifth time (our third time virtually). We taught the module across four weekends in four hour blocks to manage the 12 hour difference in time zones. While it’s always great to interact with BNUX students, we are ready to make our way back to Beijing in person when it’s safe to do so. We miss the amazing food!
- I continued work on a legal case relating to my expertise in dark patterns and deceptive design. I’ll share more information when I am able!
- I was a signatory on a public comment to the Federal Trade Commission call with lots of smart people, with a focus on digital advertising and dark patterns.
Newcastle, Berlin, Chicago, Lafayette, and Utrecht
- I will be in Newcastle upon Tyne from August 11th to October 7th with my home base at Open Lab, Newcastle University.
- I led a virtual conversation with doctoral students from Australian National University on August 25, discussing my paper When World(view)s Collide: Contested Epistemologies and Ontologies in Transdisciplinary Education and all things dark patterns and deceptive design.
- I submitted a paper with one of my former Transdisciplinary Studies in Technology colleagues, Marisa Exter, to International Journal of Designs for Learning based on our experience doing a program-level design sprint. The article, entitled A Design Sprint Towards a Four-Year Curriculum in Transdisciplinary Studies was submitted to a special issue on Design Failure.
- I wrapped up CHI writing season with four submissions from members of my lab (UXP2)—early for the first time! We submitted four manuscripts, covering the gamut from theory to design/evaluation to survey to empirical.
- An arXiV preprint is available for our survey paper that documents a collection and taxonomy for 63 ethics-focused methods, entitled Surveying the Landscape of Ethics-Focused Design Methods (led by the fantastic Sai Shruthi Chivukula).
- An arXiv preprint is forthcoming for a theory-focused paper that documents a new set of intermediate-level knowledge that we built through the design of two digital co-design experiences, entitled What Do I Need to Design for Co-Design? Supporting Co-design as a Designerly Practice (also led by the fantastic Sai Shruthi Chivukula).
- We leveraged an iterative design and evaluation of our ethics-focused method site to better understand how to support designers’ selection of methods to have the potential for ethical impact (led by me with lots of support from UXP2 members). The paper is entitled Scaffolding Ethics-Focused Methods for Practice Resonance.
- Finally, we built upon data we had collected through co-design sessions run with technology and design practitioners in Fall 2021 and Spring 2022 and analyzed the trajectories that participants took as they built custom action plans. The paper is entitled Practitioner Trajectories of Engagement with Ethics-Focused Method Creation.
- I worked with UXP2 lab members Anne Pivonka and Laura Makary to expand our EduCHI paper on organizing metaphors that students use for design methods for submission to International Journal of Technology and Design Education. The expanded manuscript is entitled Students’ Organizing Metaphors for Design Methods in Computing Education.
- I am starting some new projects while at Open Lab. If you are interested in collaborating on any of these, get in touch!
- I am continuing work with Ahmed Kharrufa on threshold concepts (building on our 2020 EduCHI paper), and extending our analysis to address pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in HCI education. Lots of great student reflection data to consider as we build out more knowledge on HCI educational practices!
- I am starting up some new analysis of dark patterns literature, including a systematic review of empirical studies that reference dark patterns, a mapping of dark patterns and dark patterns types/categories/strategies over time, and initial components of a comprehensive methodology for detecting and characterizing dark patterns in digital systems.
- I have had the opportunity to participate in several workshops and other engagements that extend my work on design and technology ethics:
- I am an invited participant in a series of sessions for the NSF Convergence Accelerator Workshop: Ethical Design of AIs (EDAIs). The outcomes of this workshop could lead to a new Convergence Accelerator track in 2023.
- I was an invited participant in a workshop entitled Towards Trusted Design, The Way Forward sponsored by the World Wide Web Foundation Tech Policy Design Lab on September 27th. I also interacted with some of the leads at the Tech Policy Design Lab earlier in the summer, and was able to share some insights from our multiple years of studies on dark patterns, deceptive design, and the realities of ethics in technology practice.
- I was in Berlin from September 22nd to 26th to cheer Austin on as he successfully ran the Berlin marathon! He finished in 5 hours, 40 minutes, and I hope he has some energy left in his tank to run in Chicago in two weeks! We also got to meet up with good friends and collaborators Konstantin Aal and Sarah Rüller.
- I gave a talk at the School of Applied Psychology in University College Cork, Ireland on October 3rd, entitled Confronting Dark Patterns through Everyday Ethical Practices.
- I gave a talk at Open Lab, Newcastle University on October 6th, entitled Deceptive Design and the Growing Threat of “Dark Patterns” in Technology Practices. It was a great way to cap off a wonderful two months in Newcastle!
- I was in Chicago from October 7th to 10th to cheer Austin on as he also runs the Chicago marathon (for the second time)! He’s an overachiever like that. He finished in 5 hours, 49 minutes—especially impressive given that he had some knee pain leading up to the race. We were joined by Austin’s mom and brother for the race, and I spent most of the race walking around the city with them to catch as many glimpses of Austin as possible!
- I was in the Netherlands from October 13th until 29th with my home base at Utrecht University, hosted by the amazing Cristiana Santos.
- I gave a keynote on October 18th at the Workshop on Future Proof Methods for Measuring and Detecting Dark Patterns, located at Utrecht University, entitled Mapping the Methodological Landscape of Dark Patterns Detection. Such a great group of people that Cristiana Santos assembled in Utrecht and online, including an all-star panel of scholars from law, philosophy, HCI, and computer science, plus one regulator!: Gunes Acar (Radboud University Nijmegen), Arianna Rossi (University of Luxembourg), Christof Nimwegen (Utrecht University), Marijn Sax (University of Amsterdam), and Dries Cuijpers (Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets).
- I got to meet amazing co-authors Cristiana Santos and Nataliia Bielova in person after almost three years of collaborative work! And we cooked up some new projects as well.
- We are continuing work on the evolution of dark patterns knowledge and types with a plan to publish a preprint of our work in mid-December. Our goal is to bring together different levels of dark patterns knowledge and contribute to a more accessible and shared ontology for regulators, scholars, and practitioners alike to use to identify and characterize dark patterns.
- We are also continuing work on a systematic review of dark patterns scholarship, seeking to identify patterns of common research methods (and gaps) along with opportunities for better alignment among regulators (and the knowledge they need to effectively identify and enforce dark patterns violations) and scholars.
- I was able to take day trips to see friends in Delft and Eindhoven! In Delft, I was able to reconnect with Peter Lloyd and also connect for the first time with Senthil Chandrasegaran, who overlapped during my time at Purdue. Lots of great conversations about methodology, large datasets to support design inquiry, and the potential to expand the design research (and design education) community. At Eindhoven, I gave a research talk entitled How Can Design Methods Support Everyday Ethics in Design Practice? that brought together themes from my work over the last eight years at the intersection of design theory, methods, ethical awareness, and practice resonance. Thanks to Carine Lallemand for her kind invitation and organizing of the event!
- I was originally heading to Arizona in October to testify on a court case, State of Arizona v Google LLC. You can find more details and documents, including my expert reports and some write-ups of the case. This case settled out of court for $85 million in October, 2022—one of the largest settlements of its type per capita.
- I gave a talk at Weber State University in Ogden, Utah on November 2nd, entitled Dark Patterns and the Potential for “Everyday Ethics.” I followed up time in Utah with a great reconnection with doctoral student colleague Omar Sosa-Tzec, who is doing amazing work at San Francisco State and continuing his work on rhetoric and design. Finally, I was privileged to attend my ex-wife’s wedding in beautiful Sonora, CA to wrap up my visit out west.
- Back to Europe one last time this semester! I headed to Lucerne, Switzerland with fantastic colleagues from Purdue’s Office of Globalization (Elizabeth Barajas) and CILMAR (Andrea Thomas) to speak at a Polytechnic symposium on COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning). I co-presented a talk with Elizabeth Barajas entitled: “Supporting COIL as an Administrator: Where Enthusiasm Meets Reality“. I participated in a dialogue on how to broker COIL partnerships between administrators, international collaborators, and faculty, building on my work with partners in the UK and China.
- After Lucerne, I headed to University of Luxembourg to spend some time with Arianna Rossi, Kerstin Bongard-Blanchy, Lorena Sanchez Chamorro, and other members of the DECEPTICON team! I gave a talk on my current empirical work entitled “Mapping and Synthesizing a (Preliminary) Ontology of Dark Patterns” on November 14th and then participated in a workshop on November 15th with legal and HCI scholars entitled “Gaps and Design Interventions on Dark Patterns in Legal Instruments” to discuss our role in the light of many recent regulatory reports (e.g., OECD, CMA, EDPB, FTC) addressing the threats of dark patterns.
- Finally, I headed home for the holidays on November 16th and retire to some baking, entertaining, and CHI revisions. As a lab, we submitted three papers as R&Rs to CHI 2023 and now cross our fingers as the reviewers to do their important labor.
- The 5th iteration of the EduCHI symposium has been accepted at CHI 2023 and will take place in hybrid format on April 28th, 2023 in Hamburg and online. I am working with Craig MacDonald as general chair for the symposium this year, and we welcome your submissions in multiple categories due on February 10th, 2023!
- I also worked with colleagues from Europe and the United States to submit proposals for a SIG and panel at CHI 2023 on dark patterns. Hoping for a successful result so we can continue building community and support for scholarship around the world on this important topic!
United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Belgium
- I am in the process of finishing up CHI writing season with two submissions to the Late-Breaking Work track. I will keep you posted here once we have preprints to share, building on work I did with the amazing Cristiana Santos and Nataliia Bielova last year.
- I will be in England from January 23rd until around February 3rd.
- I will start my visit at Loughborough University on January 24th, where I will be participating as an external examiner on a viva (my first in the UK system!). I will also give a talk at Loughborough entitled Dark Patterns and Engaging Designers in “Everyday Ethics”.
- I will also visit Swansea University from February 1-2 and will give a talk, title TBD on the 1st.
- I am open to visiting friends and collaborators in other parts of the UK during my visit. My schedule is somewhat open-ended and I will post other talks and movement around the UK here as they are confirmed.
- Some longer-term writing projects for this semester:
- I am continuing work with the Studio Matters team (Derek Jones, James Corazzo, Elizabeth Boling, James Benedict Brown, Nicole Lotz, and Lorraine Marshalsey) on a book manuscript that will hopefully become a foundational text for studio pedagogy. Currently waiting on a positive sign from a publisher as we continue our weekly writing sessions!
- I am beginning work with Cristiana Santos and Nataliia Bielova to outline a framework for describing types of evidence and their efficacy to support regulation of dark patterns and deceptive design practices.
- With my lab, we are wrapping up data collection on our multi-year project on everyday ethics . Currently, we are in the process of analyzing dozens of action plans built by practitioners and design students across multiple online and in-person co-creation sessions to identify how these participants sought to build resonance between the ethical building blocks and their own lived ethical design complexity.
- I am also working with members of my lab to finalize writing on a paper where we analyzed media articles from China and India, with the goal of describing how different frames are used to describe technology manipulation in these particular cultural contexts.
- I am also considering starting a proposal for a book on dark patterns aimed at a general audience which I have been outlining for the last year. More to come…
- I will plan to attend CHI in Hamburg from April 23-28 and then will stay in Europe through the end of May.
- I am currently finalizing plans to work with Nataliia Bielova at Inria and then attend the CPDP conference in Brussels from May 24-26.