All posts by Joe Sniezek

Uncertainty Visualization as a Moral Imperative

The next BostonCHI meeting is Uncertainty Visualization as a Moral Imperative on Tue, Mar 9 at 6:45 PM.

Register here

BostonCHI March 2021, featuring Matthew Kay


Uncertain predictions permeate our daily lives (“will it rain today?”, “how long until my bus shows up?”, “who is most likely to win the next election?”). Fully understanding the uncertainty in such predictions would allow people to make better decisions, yet predictive systems usually communicate uncertainty poorly—or not at all. I will discuss ways to combine knowledge of visualization perception, uncertainty cognition, and task requirements to design visualizations that more effectively communicate uncertainty. I will also discuss ongoing work in systematically characterizing the space of uncertainty visualization designs and in developing ways to communicate (difficult- or impossible-to-quantify) uncertainty in the data analysis process itself. As we push more predictive systems into people’s everyday lives, we must consider carefully how to communicate uncertainty in ways that people can actually use to make informed decisions.


Matthew Kay is an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Communications Studies at Northwestern University working in human-computer interaction and information visualization. His research areas include uncertainty visualization, personal health informatics, and the design of human-centered tools for data analysis. He is intrigued by domains where complex information, like uncertainty, must be communicated to broad audiences, as in health risks, transit prediction, or weather forecasting. He co-directs the Midwest Uncertainty Collective ( and is the author of the tidybayes ( and ggdist ( R packages for visualizing Bayesian model output and uncertainty.

Schedule – EST (UTC-5)

6:45 – 7:00: Networking (via Miro)

7:00 – 8:00: Presentation by Matthew Kay

8:00 – 8:30: Q & A

Interfaces that Help Us Refine and Communicate Our Intent to Computers

BostonCHI’s next meeting will be on Tue, Feb 9 at 6:15 PM EST, featuring Elena Glassman.

Register here


It can be tough to communicate what we want a computer to do on our behalf, regardless of the method: examples, demonstrations, code, etc. It can be especially tough when, half-way through specifying what we think we want, we realize that we were wrong and now we know what we want the computer to do… Many existing methods for translating human intent into executable computer programs do not sufficiently support humans in refining their own intent and communicating it to the computer, or reflecting the computer’s interpretation of that intent back to the human. In this talk, I will describe new interfaces for a particular technology, program synthesis, specifically designed to improve these critical components of the human-machine interaction loop so that humans can more quickly reach their goal: a program that behaves the way they want it to.


Elena Glassman is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the Harvard Paulson School of Engineering & Applied Sciences and the Stanley A. Marks & William H. Marks Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, specializing in human-computer interaction. At MIT, she earned a PhD and MEng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and a BS in Electrical Science and Engineering. Before joining Harvard, she was a postdoctoral scholar in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received the Berkeley Institute for Data Science Moore/Sloan Data Science Fellowship.


Schedule – EST (UTC-5)

6:15 – 6:30: Networking (via Miro)

6:30 – 7:30: Presentation by Elena Glassman

7:30 – 8:00: Q & A



The UX Leaders’ Secret Guide to Innovative, UX-Driven Product Roadmaps

The next BostonCHI meeting is The UX Leaders’ Secret Guide to Innovative, UX-Driven Product Roadmaps on Thu, Jan 21 at 6:30 PM.

Register here

In this presentation, Jared will share the secrets that successful UX leaders have employed to take control of their product roadmap.

This is a joint event of GBC/ACM, IEEE/CS and BostonCHI

Most UX professionals feel that they’re at the mercy of their organization’s product roadmaps. They’re on the receiving end of decisions about what the team is building and when they’re building it. These decisions are often not informed by their products’ users’ true needs. Instead, the decisions are driven by the stakeholders’ beliefs that they must match competitive offerings.

The result is that UX teams are constrained to researching and designing in far too short a time period, where the problem isn’t identified and the nature of the solution isn’t well understood. They subsequently struggle to deliver what they believe to be the best possible product or service, feeling like they’ve busted their butts to only achieve mediocre results.

In this presentation, Jared will share the secrets that successful UX leaders have employed to take control of their product roadmap. You’ll see what it takes to escape the misery of reactive UX practices by integrating key user research and design efforts directly into the roadmap planning process. You’ll discover how UX leaders can work closely with their partners in product management to increase their organization’s delivery of innovative products and services.

Jared M. Spool is a Maker of Awesomeness at Center Centre – UIE. If you’ve ever seen Jared speak about user experience (UX) design, you know that he’s probably the most effective and knowledgeable communicator on the subject today. He started working in the field of usability and user experience in 1978, before the terms “usability” and “UX” were ever associated with computers.

While he led UIE, the industry research firm he started in 1988, the field of UX design emerged and Jared helped define what makes UX designers successful all over the world. UIE’s world-class research organization produces conferences and workshops all over the world and for companies in every industry.

In 2016, with Dr. Leslie Jensen-Inman, he opened Center Centre, a new school in Chattanooga, TN to create the next generation of industry-ready UX Designers. They created a revolutionary approach to vocational training, infusing Jared’s decades of UX experience with Leslie’s mastery of experience-based learning methodologies. UIE joined forces with Center Centre and now delivers the best professional development workshops, masterclasses, and conference in the UX Design industry.

For 23 years, he was the conference chair and keynote speaker at the now retired annual UI Conferences and UX Immersion Conferences, and he manages to squeeze in a fair amount of writing time. He is a co-author of Web Usability: A Designer’s Guide and Web Anatomy: Interaction Design Frameworks that Work.

You’ll find his writing at You can also follow his adventures on the Twitters at @jmspool, where he tweets daily about UX design, design strategy, design education, and the wondrous customer service habits of the airline industry.

Schedule – EST (UTC-5)

6:30 – 6:45: Networking (via

6:45 – 7:00: Opening remarks

7:00 – 8:00: Jared speaks

8:00 – 8:30: Q & A