The DVC Lab conducts research in the interdisciplinary field of human-computer interaction, focusing primarily at the intersection of design, cognition, and visualization. We combine multiple human-centered methods and approaches to investigate the nature of professional practice in sociotechnical settings and to design artifacts and experiences to improve such practice. Our approaches are highly interdisciplinary, blending theories and methods from cognitive psychology, human-centered design, human factors, and user experience design.

The lab is actively researching 3 main topics at this time: (1) design practice and design cognition relating to data visualization and user experience; (2) macrocognition in complex sociotechnical settings, especially relating to data-driven decision making; and (3) user experience for scientific cyberinfrastructure. We also engage in other areas of research including design education, ux pedagogy, and learning technologies. See publications for a full list of research topics that are covered.

Design Practice and Design Cognition

We investigate the design of visualizations, especially from the perspective of professional practitice. Some of our work in this area investigates design cognition, where we are interested in the cognitive processes and conceptual tools that designers use while engaged in design activities. Other aspects of our work are aimed at understanding the design processes that practitioners use and the kinds of knowledge that are valuable to them. [READ MORE]

Macrocognition in Complex Sociotechnical Settings

We investigate how people make sense of uncertain information and situations, and how people think and reason with data and visual information in complex environments. Some of our work in this area examines the cognitive processes that people use to make decisions and operate in situations characterized by uncertainty and other situational pressures. [READ MORE]

User Experience for Scientific Cyberinfrastructure

We investigate the role of usability and user experience for science gateways and other cyberinfrastructure projects. Through our work with the Science Gateways Community Institute (SGCI), we provide short-term consulting services for scientific cyberinfrastructure platforms, with the goal of improving their user experience. We also study perceptions of value and the complexities of considering user experience for scientific cyberinfrastruture platforms. [READ MORE


Our research is funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and Purdue University. See here for more details.