Hafa Adai! I'm Yee Chieh (it's pronounced "Yee-Chay"). I’m currently a User Experience Researcher working in the User Experience Research and Design Group in Kaiser Permanente. I received my PhD degree from Georgia Tech in Human-Centered Computing where I studied assistive technology. I'm excited about UX work and pride myself on my resourcefulness, enthusiasm, and ability to learn quickly.
Other activities I enjoy include: indoor rock climbing, letterpress, calligraphy, and playing euro-style boardgames.
Check out my resume as a PDF file.
IBM Silicon Valley Labs
IBM Silicon Valley Labs
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Georgia Institute of Technology
Graduate Research Assistant
Georgia Institute of Technology
Research Project Coordinator
Doctor of Philosophy
Georgia Institute of Technology
Graduate Teaching Assistant
Georgia Institute of Technology
Bachelor of Arts
University of California, Berkeley
I believe the process of usability research should be flexible, not fixed. Thus, I allow the requirements and constraints of the project to drive my methods. You may notice that there aren't any arrows between each of the circles in my diagram below. Depending on project, product, or problem, I might spend more time in one area than another. However, this is the path that I generally take when I approach a new study.
The first step of my UX research process is getting started with an idea and understanding the requirements for a particular problem.
During this step of the cycle, I will do background research to collect data and inform my study design.
Deciding on and designing a study involves careful consideration of the problem requirements and resources available. I take care to ensure that any study I plan is based on research and will give insight into the relevant problem.
I love working with users! From students, to children, to medically complicated adults, I've worked with many different types of populations. I will conduct studies in the lab (or remotely) or out in the field.
This stage is where I collect data from experiments and see if there are any conclusions that can be drawn.
It's about progress, not perfection right? My UX process doesn't just end with a document. Depending on the project, I might also: present results to a wider group, go back to the drawing board, or run a follow-up study.
"Hey Yee Chieh! We have an idea/problem. We added this new [function/feature/object] to our [app/webpage/product] and want to know if users [love/hate/understand] it. Help!"
Okay. Take a deep breath. I'm here for you. When I come across an idea or problem, the first thing I'll do is explicitly define the problem and break it up into smaller components. I'll examine what is said between the lines and what you're really asking. Maybe instead of "Do users understand our new function?" what you really want to know is "Can users use our new function without any external help?" or "What are the major issues users come across when trying out the new function?"
By developing a deep understanding of the problem, I can begin to gather data on how to solve it.
Now that I have an understanding of what's needed, the next step is to do some background research. In academia, this is otherwise known as a literature review, but for practical reasons, I'll do an abridged version when working on a time-sensitive project. I am looking for information on whether this particular issue has been investigated before (no use reinventing the wheel) and what conclusions others have made. This data will help inform my study design in a meaningful way.
"How do we test this?"
This is the question that I try to answer when coming up with a study design. I step back and look at the problem, requirements, resources available, and background research to inform my design. For example, if a product is close to release, conducting a month-long diary study is probably not ideal. However, if we're trying to understand behavior that can't be captured in a lab setting and we want to use results to inform future designs, then those diary studies may be appropriate.
My goal here is to make sure that my study will answer the defined research question(s) and provide useful insight.
I've conducted user testing for almost a decade. My experiences range from small one-on-one lab sessions to rowdy classrooms full of energetic students to months-long protocols with patients in a hospital. I love working with people! For many, this may be their first time participating in a study, so I will try to make sure that they understand what we are trying to learn, what they can expect during the study, and answer any questions they may have.
Analyzing data can be time-consuming, especially when dealing with large amounts of information. Luckily, I will already have a plan for analysis built into my study design. I do different types of analysis, depending on the type of data and what I'm looking for. Some tools I use are Dedoose and Excel (for interview coding) and SPSS (for survey data). Occasionally I will use good old post-its and whiteboard markers as well.
I don't always produce a 100+ page document write-up of my research efforts. If I did, every study would take two-years and a three-hour public presentation. Instead, I will take my results and convert them into an appropriate format depending on my audience. This can take on the form of a bulleted list of outstanding issues and recommendations for fixing them or a single presentation slide. Sometimes the results will suggest a need to conduct follow-up studies, in which case I go back into design and testing mode.
I have a diverse background of work. Below are just a few examples of projects I worked on - from field work to enterprise tools and classwork. Due to NDA, I cannot show my current work.
Auditory Graphs (GNIE)
This is a software developed in the Sonification Lab. It adds sound to graphs, making it accessible for students who have vision impairment. I designed a two-year study as part of my dissertation to assess the impact of this tool when introduced to a middle school mathematics classroom. The main challenges in this study were figuring out what to assess, what methods to use, and how to do it without disrupting the classroom.
Methods: ethnography, video observation, interviews, focus groups, task analysis, think aloud protocol, surveys
* generated a model for future research into auditory graphs for education
* understanding of the requirements for classroom technology adoption
* comparing how auditory graphing tools compare to traditional tools
* produced recommendations for iteration
Part of my dissertation work involved working through and coding large amounts of qualitative data from interviews and focus groups. I often start with inductive coding and, if there are additional sessions, will follow-up with deductive coding.
Methods: qualitative data, inductive coding, deductive coding, thematic analysis, inter-rater reliability
* emergent themes from the teacher about software was used to drive implementation of new features
* feedback from students to inform design decisions for new version of software
* data showed where we should concentrate our efforts when improving the system
Brain-Computer Interfaces (MusEEGk)
This project integrates a brain-computer interface (BCI) - a tool that translates neural signals into a digital output - with a music step sequencer composition program. I conceived, designed and tested this software with 20 subjects. MusEEGk allows users to control the interface and make music with their brain!
Methods: study design, lab testing, EEG, surveys, timed study
* data demonstrated users achieved reliable and consistent control of the interface
* survey questions revealed enjoyment of creative process of musical note selection
* study suggests this interface can be used to achieve creative expression
As a User-Experience Co-op at IBM, I was put on various products, including the Administration Console for z/OS. I helped plan and test features, as well as designed mockups such as the one pictured.
Methods: usability testing, prototyping, high-fidelity mock-ups, remote testing, surveys, think aloud protocol
* remote testing revealed problem areas for users in workflow and led to recommendations on how to make new features more apparent and intuitive
* mockups helped visualize function and content distribution on the interface
At IBM, I strove to involve all members of the team in the UX process. I also wanted to provide options for a particular interface design and interaction. Depending on where the product was in the cycle, this could mean paper prototypes (shown here) or a high-fidelity functioning prototype.
Methods: design activity, paper prototyping, participatory design
* design activity helped non-UX team members understand the UX process
* paper mockups allowed entire team to provide input on workflow and UI elements for interface
* design activity brought to light some of the technical restrictions behind the product
Information Visualization (Tweetsters)
Tweetsters started with the idea that Twitter feeds can be a visual and interactive experience. It is a multi-view interface with features that include: a trendline, text clouds, geovisualization, tweets, and a method for comparing two keywords. I planned the layout, functionality, and the interaction design specifications for this project.
Methods: interaction design, layout design
* designed functionality allowed users to visualize changes in search term popularity over time
* text snippets enabled sampling of chatter in Twitter related to search term
* heat map helped with visualizing locales with most tweets
Study Design (Pre-Diabetes Intervention)
This project aimed to identify the mechanisms involved in initiating and maintaining lifestyle change in people with pre-diabetes. The goal of the project was to create a digital intervention targeted at people with pre-diabetes who have limited time and/or resources.
Methods: interviews, study design
* model of behavior change helped target stages of intervention for pre-diabetes
This project examines the question "Why and how do people personalize their technology?" Done as part of a class about empirical methods in HCI, I helped conduct and analyze 18 interviews about technology personalization.
Methods: interviews, transcription, qualitative data, inductive coding, deductive coding, thematic analysis, inter-rater reliability
* interview analysis revealed categories of personalization preference among those interviewed
* data suggest that users approach technology personalization systematically
* analysis can be used to help researchers design technology so that users achieve a more personalized experience
Tomlinson, BJ.., Batterman, J., Chew, Y.C., Henry, A., Walker, B., Exploring Auditory Graphing Software in the Classroom: The Effect of Auditory Graphs on the Classroom Environment. ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing (TACCESS) 9, 1 (2016).
Yarosh, S., Chew, Y.C., and Abowd, G.D. Supporting Parent–Child Communication in Divorced Families. International Journal of Human Computer Studies 67, 2 (2009), 192-203. [pdf]
Refereed Non-Archival Publications
Chew, Y.C. and Caspary, Eric. MusEEGk: A Brain Computer Musical Interface. Ext. Abst. of CHI, (2011). [pdf]
Posters and Workshops
Chew, Y.C. and Walker, B., What did you say? Visually impaired students using bonephones in math class. Proceedings of the 15th ACM SIGACCESS International Conference on Computers and Accessibility (2013). Bellevue, WA, USA. [poster]
Chew, Y.C., Mappus, R., Jackson, M., BCI and Creativity. Workshop on Brain Body and Bytes: Psychophysiological User Interaction, ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2010. [pdf]
Conference Presentations without Proceedings
Chew, Y.C., Davison, B., and Walker, B, From Design to Deployment: An Auditory Graphing Software for Math Education. Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, Center on Disabilities at California State University, Northridge (2014). San Diego, CA, USA.
Chew, Y.C., Assessing the Use of Auditory Graphs for Middle School Students with Vision Impairment. Southeast Women in Computing Conference (2013). Guntersville, AL, USA.
Tomlinson, B., Chew, Y.C., and Bruce, C., Sonification Lab: Who, What, Why, and How. Southeast Women in Computing Conference (2013). Guntersville, AL, USA.
Chew, Yee Chieh, Brianna J. Tomlinson, and Bruce N. Walker. "Graph and Number Line Input and Exploration (GNIE) Tool Technical Report." (2014). [pdf]
User Experience Researcher, Kaiser Permanente (July 2015 - present)
Researcher in the Usability Center of Excellence at Kaiser Permenente. Work on both enterprise and consumer-facing software products, including mobile and innovation work.
Studio associate, Twig & Fig Paperie and Letterpress Studio (January 2015 - April 2015)
Calculated, organized, planned, and assembled project materials for custom print jobs. Also served as main technical support for paperie.
User Experience Co-op, IBM (June – November 2011, May - August 2012)
Prototyped mobile applications, designed and conducted usability sessions, and performed heuristic reviews of a wide range of information management products including: IBM Data Studio, Optim Performance Manager, Optim Configuration Manager, and IMS Tools
Usability Intern, Jackson Healthcare (June – July 2010)
Designed and prototyped a mobile webpage for Portal, a physician timesheet management service
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Georgia Institute of Technology (August - December 2009, August – December 2012)
Teaching assistant for CS 3750 and 6750 Human-Computer Interaction (undergraduate and graduate)
Research Project Coordinator, Emory University (August 2006 - May 2008)
Assisted patients, doctors, and technicians with running clinical research studies investigating the links between the immune system and depression as part of the Psychiatry Department’s Mind-Body Program
Student Assistant, University of California, Berkeley (January - December 2005)
Helped conduct literature reviews and prepare presentations for UC Berkeley professors
Coordinator, Women@CC (January 2009 - December 2014)
Coordinator for Grad Women@CC, a campus organization that supports and develops the community of Masters and PhD women in the Computer Sciences.
Lifetime Member, Alpha Phi Omega (January 2004 - present)
Alphi Phi Omega is national co-ed community service fraternity.
• Georgia Tech College of Computing Grace Hopper Conference Travel Scholarship Recipient (2012, 2013)
• Georgia Tech College of Computing Southeast Women in Computing Travel Scholarship Recipient (2013)
• Computer Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research (CRA-W) Grad Cohort Scholarship Recipient (2009, 2010)