UW News

Alexis Hiniker


September 13, 2021

Do Alexa and Siri make kids bossier? New research suggests you might not need to worry

A simple drawing of a robot with a smiley face against a blue background

A team led by UW studied whether hanging out with conversational agents, such as Alexa or Siri, could affect the way children communicate with their fellow humans.


April 19, 2021

Arguing on the internet: UW researchers studying how to make online arguments productive

A person looking shocked at what they are seeing on their phone

UW researchers worked with almost 260 people to understand online disagreements and to develop potential design interventions that could make these discussions more productive and centered around relationship-building.


April 14, 2020

How families can use technology to juggle childcare and remote life

A child in front of a laptop.

UW researchers are beginning a national study to help families discover technology that helps them both successfully navigate home-based learning and combat social isolation.


April 13, 2020

‘I saw you were online’: How online status indicators shape our behavior

A closeup of a hand holding a phone

After surveying smartphone users, UW researchers found that many people misunderstand online status indicators but still carefully shape their behavior to control how they are displayed to others.


May 16, 2019

Children describe technology that gives them a sense of ambiguity as ‘creepy’

a small girl touches a robot's hand

University of Washington researchers have defined for the first time what children mean when they say technology is “creepy.”


April 29, 2019

Patterns of compulsive smartphone use suggest how to kick the habit

A group of people looking at their phones

UW researchers conducted in-depth interviews to learn why we compulsively check our phones.


August 6, 2018

Alexa, be my friend: Children talk to technology, but how does it respond?

When young children talk to voice-activated technologies, the devices don’t always respond in a helpful way. A new University of Washington study suggests that these interfaces could be designed to be more responsive – repeating or prompting the user, for example – and be more useful to more people.


May 21, 2018

Designed for evil: How to make bad technologies better

Through Alexis Hiniker’s Designing for Evil course, which is unique to the UW, students have identified “emerging evil” technologies and redesigned them so that they are more likely to enhance — not detract from — users’ lives.


May 1, 2018

Apps for children should emphasize parent and child choice, researchers say

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Parents don’t need to fear their children playing with iPads and other devices, researchers say. Mindful play with an adult, combined with thoughtful design features, can prove beneficial to young developing minds. New research shows that thoughtfully designed content that intentionally supports parent-child interactions facilitated the same kind of play and development as analog toys.