Richmond Y. Wong

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Research Areas and Projects

I study "ethics work"—on the ground practices that technology workers, users, and other stakeholders use to surface and address values and ethical concerns related to technology—across different modes and sites of action. I utilize perspectives from human-computer interaction (HCI), computer supported cooperative work (CSCW), design and science & technology studies (STS). I use design as a method of inquiry by creating speculative design artifacts, conducting co-design activities, and using design to critically reflect on ethical issues. I also utilize qualitative methods including interviews, participant observation, and discourse analysis.

I am currently recruiting PhD students to join the Georgia Tech Digital Media Program (applications due December 2022, for a start in Fall 2023) to do research in one or more of the following research areas.

Understanding Technology Practitioners' Ethics Work

This project studies how technology professionals--such as user experience (UX) professionals, product managers, or privacy professionals--attend to values and ethical issues as a part of their professional work. Some sample research questions here include:

  • How do technology practitioners engage in ethics in practice?
  • How is this work shaped by broader systems such as organizational context, professional identities, law, etc?
  • What role can design tools take on in these contexts?
  • What are the gaps between how doing the work of ethics is imagined and how it is actually done?
  • How do new data protection and data privacy laws (e.g., GDPR, CCPA, CPRA) affect this work?

Selected publications:

Honorable Mention Award
Tactics of Soft Resistance in User Experience Professionals’ Values Work
Richmond Y. Wong. (2021)
Proceedings of the ACM Human-Computer Interaction, 5 (CSCW2)

Using Design Fiction Memos to Analyze UX Professionals' Values Work Practices: A Case Study Bridging Ethnographic and Design Futuring Methods
Richmond Y. Wong. (2021)
In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI’21)

Best Paper Award
Eliciting Values Reflections by Engaging Privacy Futures Using Design Workbooks
Richmond Y. Wong, Deirdre K. Mulligan, Ellen Van Wyk, James Pierce and John Chuang. (2017)
Proceedings of the ACM Human Computer Interaction (CSCW Online First). 1, CSCW, Article 111 (November 2017)

Design Research Approaches for Values and Ethics in Design

Addressing social values and ethics in the design of technical systems requires approaches beyond checklists. This project seeks to help build design tools and methods to support practitioners' ethics work. This project also seek to improve the capacity of design futuring methods to investigate the complexity of ethical issues by creating methods that connect speculative futures to current and historical realities. Furthermore, how can design futuring methods be used more inclusively, in ways to reckon with politics?

Selected publications:

Timelines: A World-Building Activity for Values Advocacy
Richmond Y. Wong and Tonya Nguyen. (2021)
In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI’21)

Using Design Fiction Memos to Analyze UX Professionals' Values Work Practices: A Case Study Bridging Ethnographic and Design Futuring Methods
Richmond Y. Wong. (2021)
In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI’21)

Infrastructural Speculations: Tactics for Designing and Interrogating Lifeworlds
Richmond Y. Wong, Vera Khovanskaya, Sarah E. Fox, Nick Merrill and Phoebe Sengers. (2020)
In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI’20)

Expanding Modes of Reflection in Design Futuring
Sandjar Kozubaev, Chris Elsden, Noura Howell, Marie Louise Juul Søndergaard, Nick Merrill, Britta Schulte, and Richmond Y. Wong. (2020)
In Proceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (CHI’20)

Addressing Values in Design Beyond Design

How can we enact change in technology values and ethics in ways that go beyond making changes in technical design? Here we might consider the possibilites of law and policy, media campaigns, community organizing work, activist financial investing, changes to physical work environments, and so on.

Community and User Engagements with Values

How do users and community members experience values related to technologies, such as privacy, fairness, or accountability. How are these values entangled with everyday practice. What kinds of imagined futures do people have for themselves and their communities?


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