Designing to Help People Find Insights & Experiences in Personal Data

  • 20 Oct 2016
  • 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (PDT)
  • Google Seattle, 601 North 34th Street Seattle, WA 98103

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About the talk

Fitness tracking devices, smartphone apps, and other tools that help people automatically track data about every facet of their lives are becoming increasingly prevalent. There are now more than 5,000 health tracking applications in the iOS app store alone, and many others for tracking personal data such as location, mood, productivity, and finances.

This rapid growth in applications and sensors help people collect more digital traces of their lives, has not been accompanied by a similar growth in tools to help them make sense of this data. Consequently, people are often overwhelmed by the data they collect, do not know what conclusions to draw, and become frustrated or discontinue use of the tool.

Sean Munson will discuss his research on this topic and offer insights to us as UX professionals for improving our work related to the design of personal data tracking tools. Ultimately we want our users to be able to make sense of their data and act on it in ways that provide them value from self-tracking. Some techniques to be discussed include new ways to visualize and explore data, strategies for sharing data, and ways for users to collaboratively review data. 


6:30 pm: Doors open
6:30-7:00 pm: Food, drink and networking
7:00-8:00 pm: Presentation with Q&A
8:00-8:30 pm: More food, drink and conversation!

About the presenter

Sean A. Munson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE). Munson received his PhD in 2012 at the University of Michigan's School of Information, where he studied the use of software to support positive behavior changes. Munson's work primarily focuses on the domains of political news and opinion access, and health and wellness. He was an Intel PhD fellow.

Munson completed his BS in Engineering with a concentration in Systems Design at Olin College in 2006. At Olin, he was one of 30 students who spent a year developing the new college’s curriculum and student life programs before becoming part of the first-ever class. He has been a political blogger and, while working at Boeing, designed concepts for future passenger airplane interiors.

You can learn more about his work at:

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