Gorrell coauthors paper on designing trans technology

Dykee Gorrell

As a Research Experience for Master's Students (REMS) Fellow at the University of Michigan School of Information last summer, MS/LIS student Dykee Gorrell worked with Oliver Haimson, assistant professor at Michigan, on a research project about trans technology design. One of the papers that resulted from their research, "Designing Trans Technology: Defining Challenges and Envisioning Community-Centered Solutions," has been accepted for the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2020). Additional coauthors and research team members include Michigan graduate students Denny Starks and Zu Weinger.

For the project, the researchers conducted participatory design sessions with transgender people and non-binary people from the LGBTQ community in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

"The purpose of these design sessions was to understand the challenges that transgender people and non-binary people face in the community," Gorrell said. "After those challenges were identified, we asked the participants to brainstorm technologies that they thought could address some of these issues by participating in a series of collective drawing activities. After the activities, participants shared what they drew and why."

In their paper, the researchers discuss how the solutions envisioned by participants fell into four categories: technologies for changing bodies, technologies for changing appearances/gender expressions, technologies for safety, and technologies for finding resources. According to Gorrell, it was surprising how the participants' geographic locations influenced the issues they raised in the design sessions.

"Participants in Philadelphia talked a lot about systemic violence as it pertained to the murders of black transgender women, police brutality, poverty, housing insecurity, and food deserts," Gorrell said. "In Ann Arbor, many of the participants suggested a TransYelp, which would include anything from reviews on different healthcare providers offering LGBTQ services to safe spaces for trans folk to exist in every day."

The researchers found that integrating trans people in the design process enabled inclusive technology design that focused on sharing community resources and prioritizing connection between community members.

Gorrell is currently applying for PhD programs in the field of information science, looking to conduct methodological research in machine learning, data visualization, and technology design to address social and environmental issues. Some of the issues she would like to address are safety and resource access for Black transgender women as well as the effects of food insecurity and climate change on Black communities globally. She earned her bachelor's degree in history from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Updated on
Backto the news archive

Related News

Worthey joins HathiTrust Research Center

Glen Worthey is the new associate director for research support services in the HathiTrust Research Center (HTRC), a collaboration between the University of Illinois, Indiana University, and the HathiTrust to enable advanced computational access to text found in the HathiTrust Digital Library. He will be based at the iSchool at Illinois.

Glen Worthey

Get to know Laura Fruhauff, MS student and scholarship recipient

Leep student Laura Fruhauff was on the verge of emailing her advisor to rescind her fall 2019 registration when she received notification from the iSchool that she would be receiving the Helen T. Stewart and Mildred Stewart Scholarship. During her undergraduate studies at Roosevelt University in Chicago, she sometimes worked 80 hours a week to stay in school. According to Fruhauff, “This time around, in graduate school, I cannot do that. In addition to my full-time job, I have caretaker responsibilities to my parents and to my partner that occupy those other hours and funds I had originally designated to school. I cannot impress enough how crucial receiving a scholarship was and is for me and how grateful I am.”
 

Laura Fruhauff

Stodden to present reproducibility research at AAAS Annual Meeting

Associate Professor Victoria Stodden will present her reproducibility research at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, which is billed as the world's largest general scientific gathering. The 2020 meeting, with the theme "Envisioning Tomorrow’s Earth," will take place on February 13-16 in Seattle, Washington.

Victoria Stodden

He research group to present at artificial intelligence conference

Members of Associate Professor Jingrui He's research group, the iSAIL Lab, will present a paper and tutorial at the thirty-fourth Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference, which will take place on February 7-12 in New York. The AAAI meeting is one of the world's leading conferences in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). The event promotes research in artificial intelligence and scientific exchange among researchers, practitioners, scientists, and engineers in affiliated disciplines.

Jingrui He

Internship Spotlight: Airbnb

PhD student Natã Barbosa worked as an intern at Airbnb in summer 2019. The internship provided the basis for his paper, "Designing for Trust: A Behavioral Framework for Sharing Economy Platforms," which was selected for The Web Conference 2020. Barbosa was recently named a 2020 Facebook Fellowship finalist.

Nata Barbosa