Designing for Tracking & Managing PCOS
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition that causes hormonal imbalance and infertility in women and people with female reproductive organs. PCOS causes different symptoms for different people, with no singular or universal cure. Being a stigmatized and enigmatic condition, it is challenging to discover, diagnose, and manage PCOS. Our work aims to inform the design of inclusive health technologies through an understanding of people’s lived experiences and challenges with PCOS. We conducted interviews with people diagnosed with PCOS and qualitatively analyzed a PCOS-specific subreddit forum. We reported people’s support-seeking, sense-making, and self-experimentation practices, and found uncertainty and stigma to be key in shaping their experiences with PCOS. We identified potential avenues for designing technology to support their diverse needs, such as personalized and contextual tracking, accelerated self-discovery, and co-management.
Design Methods for Dementia
User-centered design is typically framed around meeting the preferences and needs of populations involved in the design process. However, when designing technology for people with disabilities, in particular dementia, there is also a moral imperative to ensure their human rights are consciously integrated into the process and included in the product. Our work introduced a human rights-based user-centered design process informed by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). We conducted design workshops with undergraduate students and dementia advocates to design technology for people with dementia. This case study demonstrates our novel approach to user-centered design that centers human rights through different stages of the workshop and actively involves people with dementia in the design process.
Designing to Support Co-management of Stigmatized Chronic Health Conditions
People living with chronic health conditions often have to take care of multiple medical, logistical, and everyday tasks. Unlike shorter illnesses, chronic health conditions are lifelong, often requiring constant monitoring and management. People also experience stigma around their self-image and abilities, further making acceptance of and life with the condition challenging. I looked into how people living with chronic health conditions informally share the responsibility of managing their health and daily life activities with people in their close circle. I interviewed people living with chronic health conditions who collaboratively manage (or co-manage) their health and reported on their (a) current co-management practices, including their use of technology, and (b) experiences with stigma and its impacts on disclosure, support-seeking & communication around their health in different environments. I identified avenues for designing technology to support people’s diverse co-management needs.
Menstrual (Im)mobilities & Safe Spaces
Daily management of menstrual hygiene becomes challenging in cultural contexts where menstruation is stigma. Our research aims to identify & examine such challenges faced during menstruation in the urban environs of Delhi, India. We used participatory design activities, interviews, and a survey to investigate how participants deal with their periods on the go. We also examined participants’ conceptualizations of "safe spaces" where they were able to deal with their period on their own terms. We discuss how menstrual mobilities are being or can be supported through technology-based interventions.
Understanding & Designing for Menstrual Health Education in India
Menstruation is a conversational taboo in India, restricting the effective delivery of Menstrual Health Education. Menstrupedia, a digital platform designed for an Indian audience, aims to bridge this information gap via its website and comic. We use qualitative research methods and engage with a Feminist HCI lens to analyze Menstrupedia’s affordances & shortcomings. We make provide recommendations for designing culturally-responsive technology for educating about sensitive health topics such as menstruation.
Interface Re-design for Better Access to Health Information by Low Literacy Users
Usability testing and redesign of the healthfinder.gov mobile website to make health information more accessible to populations with low health literacy skills in the U.S. Work done in collaboration with Communicate Health - a health education & communication firm that strives to bring clear and simple health information to low health literate users.