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“You’re on mute!” Pandemic Lessons for Technology Design and Use – with Elizabeth Churchill

November 2, 2022 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Elizabeth Churchill

“You’re on mute!” How many times have you heard someone say this sentence in the last few years (almost 3!)? Any apps on your personal devices that you downloaded during the pandemic to keep sane, exercise, start a new hobby, keep in touch? Did you use telehealth solutions for the first time during the pandemic? Will you stick with the new apps and with remote doctor visits? What was a useful experiment you tried and have not stuck with? What are your expectations around technology use that have changed permanently?

The COVID-19 pandemic saw small and large pivots in how we use everyday technologies in our personal lives and for work–applications, devices, platforms, and services came into being, expanded their features and their offerings, or were abandoned, even if temporarily. As technology users, we have explored, enjoyed and endured the expansion of distributed work and education, become experts at remote socializing, and learned more about services for online ordering and home delivery than we could ever have imagined. Some key areas that saw the greatest innovations have been healthcare, education, retail/shopping, payments, and entertainment.

In this talk I will share some personal observations and reflect on what we have learned about ourselves and our interactions with and through technology as a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. I will also reflect on the varied experiences across different demographics, from those with high “tech readiness” to those with fewer resources and less ready access. I will ask: What can we as HCI scholars and practitioners learn from this time? From pixels to programs to policies – what have we learned and what, if anything, should change in our focus and in our practice.

About Dr. Elizabeth Churchill
UX Director, Google

Elizabeth Churchill is a Director of UX at Google. With a background in psychology, Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science, she draws on social, computer, engineering, and data sciences to create innovative end-user applications and services. She has built research teams at Google, eBay, Yahoo, PARC and FujiXerox. Her current focus is on the design of effective designer and developer tooling for a new operating system, Fuchsia.

Elizabeth holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge and honorary doctorates from the University of Sussex and the University of Stockholm. She is a member of the Association for Computer Machinery’s (ACM) CHI Academy, is an ACM Fellow, and an ACM Distinguished Speaker. She served as the ACM’s Vice President for 2 years, from 2018-2020. In 2016 she received a Citris-Banatao Institute Award Athena Award for Women in Technology for her Executive Leadership. She has been named one of the top women leaders in UX over the last several years.


November 2, 2022
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm PDT
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