Category Archives: Publications

Honorable Mention at CHI 2017!

I am honored to announce that my paper that I co-authored with Adriana Alvarado Garcia and Jessica Despard titled, “Low-Wage Precarious Workers’ Sociotechnical Practices Working Towards Addressing Wage Theft” has received an Honorable Mention Award at CHI 2017! I am really excited about this paper and I hope others in our community enjoy it as well!

Citation: Lynn Dombrowski, Adriana Alvarado Garcia, and Jessica Despard. 2017. Low-Wage Precarious Workers’ Sociotechnical Practices Working Towards Addressing Wage Theft. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 4585-4598. DOI:

Abstract: Nearly 40 million workers in the USA, a third of the working population, are low-wage, meaning they make less than $11.65 per hour. These workers face the pervasive and detrimental challenge of wage violations, also known as wage theft, which is any illegal activity by an employer that denies benefits or wages to employees. We interviewed 24 low-wage workers who experienced wage theft and sought justice about their work practices, challenges, and information technology usage. Based on these interviews, we identify three key sociotechnical practices these workers engaged in to address their wage theft: 1) identifying wage and payment discrepancies; 2) tracking and documenting work; and 3) pursuing wage claims. Seeking to leverage HCI research to interrupt uneven social, economic, and information relations in the low-wage workplace, we ultimately reflect on the possibility and limits of several key design recommendations.

Best Paper at DIS 2016!

I am honored to announce that my paper that I co-authored with Ellie Harmon and Sarah Fox titled, “Social Justice-Oriented Interaction Design: Outlining Key Design Strategies and Commitments” has received a Best Paper at DIS 2016! I am really excited about this paper and I hope others in our community enjoy it as well!

Lynn Dombrowski, Ellie Harmon, and Sarah Fox. 2016. Social Justice-Oriented Interaction Design: Outlining Key Design Strategies and Commitments. In Proceedings of the 2016 ACM Conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS ’16). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 656-671. DOI=

Abstract: In recent years, many HCI designers have begun pursuing research agendas that address large scale social issues. These systemic or “wicked” problems present challenges for design practice due to their scope, scale, complexity, and political nature. In this paper, we develop a social justice orientation to designing for such challenges. We highlight a breadth of design strategies that target the goals of social justice along six dimensions — transformation, recognition, reciprocity, enablement, distribution, and accountability — and elaborate three commitments necessary to developing a social justice oriented design practice — a commitment to conflict, a commitment to reflexivity, and a commitment to personal ethics and politics. Although there are no easy solutions to systemic social issues, a social justice orientation provides one way to foster an engagement with the thorny political issues that are increasingly acknowledged as crucial to a field that is not just about technological possibility, but also about political responsibility.

Congrats to my co-authors!

Publications accepted for CSCW 2015!

I am pleased to announce that two publications, where I am a co-author, will be presented at CSCW 2015.

Hamison, O., Brubaker, J., Dombrowski, L., & Hayes, G. R., Disclosure, Stress, and Support During Gender Transition on Facebook. To appear in the Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW).

Ringland, K., Wolf, C., Dombrowski, L., & Hayes, G. R., Making “Safe”: Community-Centered Practices in a Virtual World Dedicated to Children with Autism. To appear in the Proceedings of the 18th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW). 

Congrats to my co-authors, and I hope to see you in Vancouver!


Best Paper Nominee at ICT4S 2014!

A many-authored paper, including myself and advisors Gillian R. Hayes and Melissa Mazmanian among its authors, was nominated for a Best Paper Award at the ICT for Sustainability 2014 conference!

TITLE: ICT4S 2029: What will be the systems supporting sustainability in 15 years?
AUTHORS: Birgit Penzenstadler, Bill Tomlinson, Eric Baumer, Marcel Pufal, Ankita Raturi, Debra Richardson, Baki Cakici, Ruzanna Chitchyan, Georges Da Costa, Lynn Dombrowski, Malin Picha Edwardsson, Elina Eriksson, Xavier Franch, Gillian R. Hayes, Christina Herzog, Wolfgang Lohmann, Martin Mahaux, Alistair Mavin, Melissa Mazmanian, Sahand Nayebaziz, Juliet Norton, Daniel Pargman, Donald J. Patterson, Jean-Marc Pierson, Kristin Roher, M. Six Silberman, Kevin Simonson, Andrew W. Torrance and Andre van der Hoek

Congrats to the authors!

CHI paper receives Honorable Mention at CHI 2014!

Congratulations to my co-authors Amy Voida, Gillian Hayes, and Melissa Mazmanian, on our paper “Shared Values/Conflicting Logics: Working Around E-Government Systems” receiving an Honorable Mention Award at CHI 2014!

Abstract: In this paper, we describe results from fieldwork conducted at a social services site where the workers evaluate citizens’ applications for food and medical assistance submitted via an e-government system. These results suggest value tensions that result—not from different stakeholders with different values—but from differences among how stakeholders enact the same shared value in practice. In the remainder of this paper, we unpack the distinct and conflicting interpretations or logics of three shared values—efficiency, access, and education. In particular, we analyze what happens when social services workers have ideas about what it means to expand access, increase efficiency, and educate the public that conflict with the logics embedded in the e-government system. By distinguishing between overarching values and specific logics, we provide an analytic framework for exploring value tensions as values are enacted in practice.

Best Paper at Ubicomp 2013!

Ubicomp 2013 Proceedings

Congratulations to my co-authors, Jed Brubaker, Sen Hirano, Melissa Mazmanian, and Gillian R. Hayes! I am pleased to announce that our paper, “It takes a network to get dinner: designing location-based systems to address local food needs” has been awarded a Best Paper Award at Ubicomp 2013!


Based on an 18-month qualitative study that included the creation and testing of design considerations and a prototype location-based information system (LBIS), this research provides empirical insight into the daily practices of a wide variety of individuals working to address food insecurity in one U.S. county. Qualitative fieldwork reveals that nonprofit organizations in the food assistance ecology engage in location-based information practices that could be enhanced by the design of a LBIS. Two practices that would benefit from a collaborative LBIS are 1) practices of matching in which nonprofit workers help individuals who are seeking assistance to food resources and 2) practices of distribution in which nonprofit workers help organizations access and deliver food resources to clients. In order to support such practices across organizations the cooperative design component of this research suggests that an LIBS should: support the role of intermediaries who engage in practices of matching and distribution; provide interactive mapping tools that match resources to need; enable organizations to control visibility over specific data; and document work and impact. This research further suggests that designers should explore the wide variety of spatial patterns that must align and overlap such that ecologies of nonprofit organizations might synergistically work together to address pressing social needs.