Daniel Epstein

Understanding people's current self-tracking practices

There has been a steady increase in the number of people who have tracked an aspect of themselves with technology. However, not everyone finds the experience positive. These projects seek to understand people's concerns, frustrations, and reservations about self-tracking.

To understand people's habits, I survey and interview people around why they began self-tracking, and when applicable, why they forewent tracking. This then motivates the design of self-tracking technology that better aligns with people's motivations and avoids points of difficulty.

These projects have explored people's self-tracking practices in a variety of domains, specifically physical activity, finances, location, and food consumption.

Related publications

Examining Self-Tracking by People with Migraine: Goals, Needs, and Opportunities in a Chronic Health Condition
Jessica Schroeder, Chia-Fang Chung, Daniel A. Epstein, Ravi Karkar, Adele Parsons, Natalia Murinova, James Fogarty, Sean A. Munson
Honorable Mention (Top 5%)
Examining Menstrual Tracking to Inform the Design of Personal Informatics Tools
Daniel A. Epstein, Nicole B. Lee, Jennifer H. Kang, Elena Agapie, Jessica Schroeder, Laura R. Pina, James Fogarty, Julie A. Kientz, Sean A. Munson
CHI 2017 PDFDOIBibTeXstudy materialsblog post (part 1)blog post (part 2)
Best Paper (Top 1%)
Beyond Abandonment to Next Steps: Understanding and Designing for Life After Personal Informatics Tool Use
Daniel A. Epstein, Monica Caraway, Chuck Johnston, An Ping, James Fogarty, Sean A. Munson
CHI 2016 PDFDOIBibTeXsurvey materials
A Lived Informatics Model of Personal Informatics
Daniel A. Epstein, An Ping, James Fogarty, Sean A. Munson
UbiComp 2015 PDFDOIBibTeXhi-res model & survey materials
Barriers and Negative Nudges: Exploring Challenges in Food Journaling
Felicia Cordeiro, Daniel A. Epstein, Edison Thomaz, Elizabeth Bales, Arvind K. Jagannathan, Gregory D. Abowd, James Fogarty
Honorable Mention (Top 5%)

Designing self-tracking experiences which align with people's goals

With an understanding of people's current self-tracking practices in mind, I design and implement self-tracking experiences to promote awareness and mindfulness of current habits.

One core challenge across these projects is making sense of collected data. Sensing technology and journaling tools have excelled at helping people create rich datasets about themselves, but designs often struggle to provide interpretable representations and promote self-understanding.

These projects explore designs in a variety of self-tracking domains, including the quantified workplace, food consumption, physical activity, and location.

Related publications

TummyTrials: A Feasibility Study of Using Self-Experimentation to Detect Individualized Food Triggers
Ravi Karkar, Jessica Schroeder, Daniel A. Epstein, Laura R. Pina, Jeffrey Scofield, James Fogarty, Julie A. Kientz, Sean A. Munson, Roger Vilardaga, Jasmine Zia
Honorable Mention (Top 5%)
Reconsidering the Device in the Drawer: Lapses As a Design Opportunity in Personal Informatics
Daniel A. Epstein, Jennifer H. Kang, Laura R. Pina, James Fogarty, Sean A. Munson
UbiComp 2016 PDFDOIBibTeX
Taking 5: Work-Breaks, Productivity, and Opportunities for Personal Informatics for Knowledge Workers
Daniel A. Epstein, Daniel Avrahami, Jacob T. Biehl
CHI 2016 PDFDOIBibTeXstudy materials
Crumbs: Lightweight Daily Food Challenges to Promote Engagement and Mindfulness
Daniel A. Epstein, Felicia Cordeiro, James Fogarty, Gary Hsieh, Sean A. Munson
CHI 2016 PDFDOIBibTeXstudy materials
Taming Data Complexity in Lifelogs: Exploring Visual Cuts of Personal Informatics Data
Daniel A. Epstein, Felicia Cordeiro, Elizabeth Bales, James Fogarty, Sean A. Munson

Developing positive personal data sharing experiences on social networks

People often share their self-tracked data or findings from self-tracking with others for encouragement, support, and awareness. Unfortunately, when people share this data online, they are often disappointed with the responses and engagement they receive (or lack thereof).

These projects explore how to design more engaging, encouraging personal data sharing experiences on social networks. These projects consider what else is necessary to share besides the data itself. Audiences on social networks appreciate understanding why the data shared is noteworthy, and respond more favorably when pictures or other supplemental content are included.

Related publications

Friends Don’t Need Receipts: The Curious Case of Social Awareness Streams in the Mobile Payment App Venmo
Monica Caraway, Daniel A. Epstein, Sean A. Munson
PACM on Human-Computer Interaction 1, CSCWPDFDOIBibTeXblog post
Crumbs: Lightweight Daily Food Challenges to Promote Engagement and Mindfulness
Daniel A. Epstein, Felicia Cordeiro, James Fogarty, Gary Hsieh, Sean A. Munson
CHI 2016 PDFDOIBibTeXstudy materials
From "Nobody Cares" to "Way to Go!": A Design Framework for Social Sharing in Personal Informatics
Daniel A. Epstein, Bradley H. Jacobson, Elizabeth Bales, David W. McDonald, Sean A. Munson
Fine-Grained Sharing of Sensed Physical Activity: A Value Sensitive Approach
Daniel A. Epstein, Alan Borning, James Fogarty
UbiComp 2013 PDFDOIBibTeX

Job Materials

I was on the academic job market during the 2017-2018 school year. If you would like to read my statements: research | teaching | diversity