Research

My goal is to better support professional development in non-traditional contexts by producing and implementing design theory, principles, and interventions in informal workplace communities. I take a mixed-methods approach including interviews, participatory observation, community-based participatory research, surveys, and experiments.


Micro-entrepreneurship in Lean Economies

Even though a plethora of Internet technologies have been created to support more equitable access to professional growth, people still face social, economic, psychological, and skill-based barriers to developing and sustaining their careers. I am currently studying how micro-entrepreneurs in Detroit leverage socio-technical systems to develop professional skills in limited resource environments. I am using a mix of qualitative methods, including community-based participatory research (CBPR), interviews, and observations to understand how people leverage both online and offline systems to build business skills and acquire resources. Currently, I am working on a project in partnership with the Eastside Community Network, for which I coordinate the Detroit Tours Collective, an initiative where locals develop tour businesses to raise funds for community projects and earn side income.

Collaborators: Tawanna Dillahunt, Kentaro Toyama, Joyojeet Pal

Hui, J., Toyama, K., Pal, J., Dillahunt, T. Making a Living My Way: Necessity-Driven Entrepreneurship in Resource Constrained Communities. Conditionally accepted to the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) 2018.


Skill and Self-efficacy Development in Informal Workplaces

Understanding how socio-technical systems can support professional development has become a global research goal as jobs are more likely to require lifelong training with limited dedicated guidance. Over the past seven years, I have studied skill and self-efficacy development in a variety of informal professional communities, including crowdfunding communities, makerspaces, and co-working spaces. My work uncovers how professionals in these communities leverage social technologies to coordinate and combine distributed support for developing new products and services.

Collaborators: Elizabeth Gerber, Darren Gergle, Matthew Easterday, Emily Harburg, Michael Greenberg

Hui, J., Easterday, M., Gerber, E. Distributed Apprenticeship in Online Communities. Human-Computer Interaction. In press.

Hui, J., Gergle, D., Gerber, E. IntroAssist: A Tool to Support Writing Introductory Help Requests. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) 2018.

Hui, J., Gerber, E. Makerspaces as Sites of Entrepreneurship . ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) 2017.

Harburg, E., Hui, J., Greenberg, M., Gerber, E. The Effects of Crowdfunding on Entrepreneurial Self-Efficacy. ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) 2015.

Hui, J., Gerber, E., Gergle, D. Understanding and Leveraging Social Networks for Crowdfunding: Opportunities and Challenges. ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2014.

Hui, J., Greenberg, M., Gerber, E. Understanding the Role of Community in Crowdfunding Work. ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW) 2014, 62-74. (Best Paper Honorable Mention)

Gerber, E., Hui, J. Crowdfunding: Motivations and Deterrents for Participation. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interactions (TOCHI) 2013.


Equity and Inclusion in Innovation Communities

In order to develop a workforce that can develop technological solutions to complex global problems, we need to attract and retain a diverse population of engineers, innovators, and designers. I have interviewed and observed how underrepresented members of co-working spaces and makerspaces developed a sense of inclusion through interactions with peers and physical tools. Our work uncovered design principles for better developing inclusive community structures in informal workplace environments.

Collaborators: Elizabeth Gerber, Wendy Roldan

Roldan, W., Hui, J., Gerber, E. University Makerspaces: Opportunities to Support Equitable Participation for Women in Engineering. International Journal of Engineering Education. In Press.

Hui, J., Farnham, S. Designing for Inclusion: Supporting Gender Diversity in Independent Innovation Teams. ACM Conference on Supporting Groupwork (GROUP) 2016.


Crowd-based Design Education

Social technologies are not only changing who gets to innovate, but also for whom we can innovate. Over three years, I led research efforts in an NSF-sponsored project by developing and testing a series of activities that support online user research, and performed a field experiment to validate whether these activities have measurable impact.

Collaborators: Elizabeth Gerber, Steven Dow

Hui, J., Glenn, A., Jue, R., Gerber, E., Dow, S. Using Anonymity and Communal Efforts to Improve Quality of Crowdsourced Feedback. AAAI Conference on Human Computation and Crowdsourcing (HCOMP) 2015.

Hui, J., Gerber, E., Dow, S. Crowd-Based Design Activities: Helping Students Connect with Users Online. ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2014.