By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

The School of Information Studies (iSchool) along with College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) Department of Art, Design, and Transmedia are sponsoring a talk given by Susan P. Wyche,  entitled “Exploring Technology Use & Design for Marginalized Users.”

The talk will be held at at Noon on Tuesday, January 17, in Hinds Hall’s Katzer Room (347).

Wyche, a Computing Innovation Fellow from Virginia Tech’s Center for Human Computer Interaction focuses her research on human-computer interaction, design and cultural studies of technology. 

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has the potential to benefit a wide variety of the population, yet technology research typically focuses on a limited range of users and practices. For example, designers consider people with high-speed Internet access during the design process. But what about people with inconsistent Internet access and ICT practices unrelated to productivity?

Wyche’s research focuses on these marginalized users and uses of technology. In this talk, she will  present a project from her dissertation examining American Muslims to demonstrate how studying marginalized ICT practices results in innovative design. She will also discuss her current research investigating how African migrants in the U.S. use technology to communicate with family members in their countries of origin. Findings from this work reveal how studying people who are not typically considered during the design process highlights new factors to acknowledge when developing computer systems. 

Prior to her work at Virginia Tech, Wyche received her PhD in Human-Centered Computing from the Georgia Institute of Technology, her master’s degree from Cornell University and her undergraduate degree in Industrial Design from Carnegie Mellon University. In addition to her academic pursuits, Wyche has professional design experience, most notably working at Libbey Inc. designing glassware and as a design researcher for S.C. Johnson Inc. She has also worked as a research intern at Microsoft Research, Cambridge (U.K.) and Intel Labs (Berkeley).