Projects

I enjoy working with designers and developers end-to-end to improve the user experience of a consumer product. For me this includes projects in the health domain such as smart home sensors, electronic medical records, and health interfaces, all with the goal of making health technology more accessible to the everyday consumer. I also enjoy working on data visualization projects where I get to transform dense data sets into exploratory visual interfaces that surprise, delight, and engage the user.

Health Visualization

Health Visualizations

First Impression Testing

First Impression Testing

AWS Usability

TED Talk Visualizations

AWS Usability

AWS Usability Studies

Clinical IT Adoption

Clinical Health IT Adoption

Tree Testing

Tree Testing of Health Interface

Health Information Survey

Health Information Survey

Health Visualization

Retail Taxonomy Studies

Graphical Perception

Older Adult Graphical Perception

Health Visualization

Classification of Biomedical Literature

Smart Homes

Smart Homes

Health Visualizations

Turning Smart Home Data into Information

Health Visualization

Overview: I am the lead researcher on the development of health visualizations for older adults. I apply a user-centered approach to iterate on visualization designs of smart home data. This first involves taking data from home based monitoring technologies and aggregating them into measures of wellness. The information is then presented as visualizations for the older adult stakeholder. Using focus groups, user interviews, and usability studies, I refine the designs from early mockups to interactive prototypes. I play the role of designer, developer, and user researcher in this project.

Methods: User-Centered Design, Focus Groups, User Interviews, Usability Testing

Impact: Most of the work in smart home visualizations focuses on presenting information back to health care providers or researchers. This is the first time that there has been an older adult focus, representing a distinct information need from that of other stakeholder groups. The visualizations are an important resource to empower older adults in managing their health and wellness while coming full circle in demonstrating the utility of a smart home environment.

Publications:

Le T, Reeder B, Yoo D, Aziz R, Thompson H, Demiris G. An Evaluation of Wellness Assessment Visualizations for Older Adults. Telemedicine and e-Health. 2015;21(1):9-15. [Link]

Le T, Reeder B, Thompson H, Demiris G. Health Providers' Perceptions of Novel Approaches to Visualizing Integrated Health Information. Methods of Informaiton in Medicine. 2013; 52(3):250-258. [Link]

Le T, Wilamowska K, Demiris G, Thompson H. Integrated Data Visualisation: An Approach to Capture Older Adults' Wellness. International Journal of Electronic Healthcare. 2012; 7(2):89-104. [Link]

Older Adult Graphical Perception

Comparing Graphical Perception of Older Adults with the General Population

Graphical Perception

Overview: To inform the design of health visualizations, I led a study to examine how older adults' graphical perceptual needs differed from those of the general population. I modeled the study after a classic psychophysics experiment by Simkin and Hastie (1986). I developed the tasks as an online survey using HTML, JavaScript, and PHP and sampled over 200 participants to compare performance across age groups. Participants were asked to make proportional and comparison judgments on segments of graphs representing different basic graphical elements.

Methods: Survey Design, Web Programming, Survey Analysis

Impact: Though cognitive graphical perception studies abound, they were conducted primarily within a university setting. Therefore participants represented a skewed population. This was the first time where we examined graphical perception with older adults. In comparing with the general population, we found older adults took longer but were on par in accuracy of graphical perception. We also found moderate differences in performance across graphical elements.

Publications:

Le T, Aragon C, Thompson HJ, Demiris G. Elementary Graphical Perception for Older Adults: A Comparison with the General Population. Perception. 2014;43(11):1249-60. [Link]

Tree Testing of Health Interface

Evaluating Navigation of a Multifunctional Wellness Tool

Interacting with Health Interface

Overview: I led a project to evaluate navigation within a multifunctional wellness tool for older adults. The tool was an interface that consisted of various applications nested in a hierarchical structure. However it was unclear how intuitive it would be to navigate within the hierarchy. To test this, I developed an online tree test that tracked the navigation within an abstract menu representation of the wellness tool. This was compared with traditional in-person usability studies.

Methods: Usability Testing, Online Tree Testing, Web Programming

Impact: We demonstrated that tree testing provided a flexible way to evaluate navigation of health systems comparable to usability studies. This approach had not been applied for health systems previously. The findings led to a reorganization of the information architecture for the wellness tool.

Publications:

Le T, Chaudhuri S, Chung J, Thompson H, Demiris G. Tree Testing of Hierarchical Menu Structures for Health Applications. Journal of Biomedical Informatics. 2014;49:198-205. [Link]

Chung J, Chaudhuri S, Le T, Chi N, Thompson HJ, Demiris G. The Use of Think-Aloud to Evaluate a Navigation Structure for a Multimedia Health and Wellness Application for Older Adults and Their Caregivers. Educational Gerontology (In Press).

Smart Home Systems

Integrating Microsoft's Lab of Things into Smart Homes

Smart Homes

Overview: I was co-lead investigator responsible for integrating Microsoft's Lab of Things platform into an applied smart home environment. The platform provides a central hub to manage deployment of sensor systems across homes. As a use case, we deployed sensors across three different home environments and used the data to create a real-time visualization application.

Methods: User-Centered Design, Programming

Impact: The pilot study consisted of a two month deployment across three settings. We have extended the pilot study and are now implementing smart home sensors over a six month period in older adult homes.

Publications:

Le T, Reeder B, Chung J, Thompson H, Demiris G. Design of Smart Home Sensor Visualizations for Older Adults. Technology and Health Care. 2014;22(4):657-66. [Link]

First Impression Testing

Combining Mechanical Turk with Qualtrics to Compare Designs

Heatmap

Overview: I conducted first impression testing to compare 5 different variants of a web page design. It was unclear which of the designs would promote the most engagement with consumers. I approached this from both an empirical and qualitative standpoint. In Qualtrics, I developed a survey that tracked first click on a static page. I complemented this performance data with an aesthetics questionnaire. This allowed me to measure how effectively participants engaged with the designs and their perceived appeal of the designs. For recruitment, I used Mechanical Turk to collect data based on a pre-screening qualification.

Methods: Survey Design, Qualtrics, Mechanical Turk, Statistical Analysis

Impact: From a budget of $500, I was able to get high volume response (n=823) for a short turn around time (1 week). The results helped identify which designs performed better and were perceived of as more appealing. This was also the first time anyone had pioneered the use of Mechanical Turk as a resource for research within AWS.

Health Information Survey

Surveying the Health Information Needs of Older Adults

Survey

Overview: To better understand where older adults go to when searching for health information and the differing levels of trust that older adults place in each resource, I co-led a survey with Shomir Chaudhuri. We designed and implemented a paper survey distributed to 1,500 older adults in retirement communities throughout the Seattle area.

Methods: Survey Design, Statistical Analysis

Impact: We found that though older adults have access to various forms of health information they prefer in person communication the most. Even within older adults we found age group differences with a sharp distrust of Internet, television, and radio resources.

Publications:

Le T, Chaudhuri S, White C, Thompson H, Demiris G. Trust in Health Information Sources Differs between Young/Middle and Oldest Old. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2014;28(4):239-41. [Link]

Chaudhuri S, Le T, White C, Thompson H, Demiris G. Examining Health Information Seeking Behaviors of Older Adults. Computers, Informatics, Nursing. 2013; 31(11):547-53. [Link]

Clinical Health IT Adoption

Examining How Health Care Providers Interact with Technology

Health Care Provider

Overview: As a research intern at Arcadia Solutions I designed a research project to better understand health care providers' adoption of Meaningful Use (MU) objectives for electronic health records. Working with three other interns, we applied a mixed methods approach of interviews and quantitative analysis to understand: 1) impact of training and support on MU adoption 2) differences in adoption between primary care providers and specialists 3) stakeholder perceptions on MU adoption challenges.

Methods: Interviews, Qualitative Coding, Statistical Analysis

Impact: Presented findings at an executive level to identify areas of improvement in the workflow process and to identify upcoming steps to support MU adoption. These results were incorporated into the process flow for coaching health care providers with electronic health record use.

Retail Taxonomy Studies

Evaluating the Information Architecture for Amazon.com

Card Sort

Overview: As an intern on Amazon.com's Universal Shopping Experience team, I conducted studies to evaluate the information architecturing of clothing categories on the retail website. This included conducting card sorts to define the taxonomy and tree tests to evaluate the revised taxonomy. I used online tools such as OptimalSort and Treejack to gather data, however as the project progressed we found that the existing online tools did not fit our needs. As a result, I developed a custom in-house tree testing tool to fit the specific needs of the project.

Methods: Card Sorting, Tree Testing, Qualtrics, Statistical Analysis

Impact: Findings contributed to the organization of categories within clothing and jewelry for the online shopping experience on Amazon.com.

Classification of Biomedical Literature

Developing Automated Approaches Towards Classification and Visualization

Card Sort

Overview: I interned at the National Library of Medicine, a part of the National Institutes of Health. Here I developed classification techniques and visualizations for source vocabularies in the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) based on semantic content. To help search across biomedical vocabularies in the UMLS, I first mapped content within the vocabularies into standardized concepts. I then applied hierarchical clustering to group vocabularies based on similarity. This was visualized as a network diagram that provided an automated approach towards identifying biomedical literature based on content.

Methods: Network Analysis, Programming

Impact: Created an automated tool implemented by the National Library of Medicine to group UMLS source vocabularies.

Publications:

Le T, Rance B, Bodenreider O. Network Visualizations of UMLS Source Vocabularies using Semantic Groups. AMIA Annu Symp Proc. 2013. [Link]

AWS Usability Studies

Improving the User Experience on Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Card Sort

Overview: I interned on the AWS Marketing Design Team as the first dedicated user researcher. I was responsible for conducting a range of usability studies to improve customer experience on the AWS website. Working across stakeholder groups, I designed, conducted, and reported on findings to help iterate on web page designs. The usability studies complemented usage metrics gathered from web page browsing to provide a holistic view of the user experience.

Methods: Usability Studies, Surveys

Impact: Over the course of 6 months, I completed 8 different studies ranging in methodology. Marketing pages were updated based on issues identified through the usability studies. Formative results also helped guide the design of interactive elements. As the first user researcher on the team, I became an evangelist for incorporating user studies within the design process.

TED Talk Visualizations

Visualizing the Collection of TED Talks

Card Sort

Overview: Working with three other students in the visualization class HCDE 511, we developed visualizations of TED Talks. The visualizations helped users select from a collection of 1,100 TED Talks published between 2006 to 2012 based on thematic content, speaker, and tags. I was involved throughout the project including data preprocessing, user interviews, rapid prototyping, and usability testing. I was also responsible for creating a D3 visualization that allows users to navigate within a talk based on occurrences of transcript keywords.

Methods: Rapid Prototype, User Interviews, Usability Testing, Tableau/D3 Visualizations

Impact: A live version of the page is available here. This was just a fun project :).