A list of my peer-reviewed papers published in scientific venues, and musings on Design and UX.

September 2020
Translation in Conversation
ACM Interactions
Lucas Colusso, Melissa Densmore
This article started from an invite by the editors to share reflections on translations and, in particular, how academic scholarship gets re-articulated across a variety of audiences. The editors asked us to experiment with new formats for conversation such as passing thoughts back and forth, eliciting responses and explorations. The following text comes from one such experiment in form: an asynchronous exchange that spanned many months and 10 time zones.

June 2019
Design and Diversity? Speculations on What Could Go Wrong
DIS Designing Interactive Systems 2019
Lucas Colusso, Cynthia Bennet, Pari Gabriel, Daniela Rosner.
This pictorial engages with the concept of ‘diversity’ as it has been taken up in the current tech industry. We created a parodical design fiction of a social media corporation to explore possible consequences of diversity efforts—both within industrial workplace settings and the platforms they produce. By outwardly foregrounding diversity through explicitly absurd presentations, our investigation uses humor and farce to draw attention to how such efforts further entrench the very forms of institutional racism, ableism, and sexism they are meant to disrupt. We offer these visual explorations not to promote or discourage diversity efforts, but to imagine what such efforts become when labor and unintended consequences go unaccounted.

April 2019
A Translational Science Model for HCI
CHI Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
Lucas Colusso, Ridley Jones, Sean A. Munson, Gary Hsieh
* Best Paper Award for top 1% publications
Scientific discoveries rarely directly inform the work of professional designers. I studied the many parties engaged (or not) in translating scientific knowledge, and proposed a knowledge dissemination and translation model. The model can be used by researchers and practitioners to visualize and describe the progression of Design and Human-Computer Interaction knowledge through a sequence of translations. Particularly, the model facilitates a precise identification of communication barriers, which allows devising more effective strategies to increase the use of scientific findings in design practice.

April 2019
r/science: Challenges and Opportunities for Online Science Communication
CHI Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
Ridley Jones, Lucas Colusso, Katharina Reinecke, Gary Hsieh
Online discussion websites, such as Reddit’s r/science forum, can foster science communication between researchers and the general public. However, little is known about who participates, what is discussed, and whether such websites are successful in achieving meaningful science discussions. Our study show that r/science that the infamous comments section actually drives engagement with scientific research. However, this community-sourced science communication comes largel from a knowledgeable public. We offer recommendations for a number of critical problems that we uncovered: addressing the problem of topic newsworthiness and balancing broader participation and scientific rigor.

April 2019
IxDA published an article about the workshop that I gave at their yearly conference, Interaction’19.

June 2018
Behavior Change Design Sprints
DIS Designing Interactive Systems 2018
Lucas Colusso, Tien Do, Gary Hsieh
While numerous design methods used in industry help designers rapidly brainstorm design ideas, few help them to use theory in the design process.  I present the Behavior Change Design Sprint (BCDS), a design process for applying behavior change theories to the design process and for prototyping behavior change technologies. BCDS facilitates the application of theories into the design process through a series of exercises that help designers identify intervention placement and project behavioral outcomes, conduct more focused ideation, and advocate for their design rationale.

June 2017
Translational Resources: Reducing the Gap Between Academic Research and HCI Practice
DIS Designing Interactive Systems 2017
Lucas Colusso, Cindy Bennett, Gary Hsieh, Sean Munson.
* Honorable mention for top 5% publications
Past work shows that scientific findings are rarely used in industry. I interviewed 22 design practitioners to identify why they do not use academic research and why and how they use other resources at work. I contribute recommendations for the design of translational resources to bridge the gap between theory and practice in HCI.

June 2016
Designers often use social comparisons as persuasive nudges. I investigated how to use subtle text and visual cues to make comparisons more effective.

May 2016
The growth of Design Thinking has been — somewhat intentionally— misaligned with the historical evolution of Design and Design Theory. In this post I recover and piece together specific historical pieces to shine light on this disconnect.

April 2016
Designing Closeness to Increase Gamers' Performance
CHI Human Factors in Computing Systems 2016
Lucas Colusso, Gary Hsieh, Sean Munson
Designers often make use of social comparisons to motivate people to perform better. I present the concept of closeness to comparison to improve the efficacy of social comparison feedback. Specifically, I tested two design strategies related to closeness: (1) comparing users to a target described as a similarly experienced player and (2) adjusting the visual representation of performance so player scores appear closer to the comparison target. In a controlled experiment with 425 participants, both feedback techniques improved game performance, but only for experienced players.

February 2016
PlanSourcing: Generating Behavior Change Plans with Friends and Crowds
Elena Agapie, Lucas Colusso, Sean A. Munson, Gary Hsieh
CSCW Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2016
Specific, achievable plans can increase people’s commitment to behavior change and increase their likelihood of success. However, many people struggle to create such plans, and available plans often do not fit their individual constraints. In our study, we found that both friends and strangers can help create behavior change plans that are actionable and help improve behavior. Participants perceive plans more positively when they were personalized to their goals, routines and preferences, or when they could foresee executing the plans with friends – often the friend who created the plan. Interestingly, people often felt more comfortable sharing information with strangers and they received more diverse recommendations from strangers than friends.

© 2020 Lucas Colusso.