Local Connect: Merchants and Users

@ Daum (now Kakao), a technology company in Korea | UX Lab

Lead Researcher in a Team of Four / Focus Group Interview + Online Survey

Daum_MapExploring the Needs of Merchants and Users Regarding Local Search and Decision Making

Through focus group interviews and online surveys, this study identified the varied needs of merchants for business listing pages on Daum Place/Map (now Kakao Map) and the decision making process of users/customers for visiting places (e.g., restaurants, coffee shops). This research provided a range of insights for redesigning merchants’ business listing pages and local search results pages on “Daum.net” to meet user needs.

International Adjustment & SNS

@ University of Maryland, College Park | iSchool (College of Information Studies)

Primary Researcher / Online Survey + Semi-structured Interview


New international students’ social information practices during transition to their host country

This paper focuses on how ICTs, specifically mobile social networking and messaging services transform international newcomer students’ information practices during their transition to a new country. This work contributes to migrant information behavior literature by characterizing international newcomer students’ use of social technologies before and during their adjustment to host environments and identifying the role of social technologies in shaping international newcomer students’ social capital development and information acquisition. This paper argues that international newcomer students’ local social contexts with many or fewer co-national students interact with their socio-technical contexts to affect their significantly varied use of social technologies and their information acquisition during their adjustment to new environments.

Newcomers’ Information Seeking

@ University of Maryland, College Park | iSchool (College of Information Studies)

Primary Researcher / Online Survey + Semi-structured Interview + Cognitive Map

Who was a neighbor to those from the other side of the globe?: International newcomer students’ local information behaviors in unfamiliar environments

This research (dissertation) examines international and domestic newcomer students’ information and technology practices and the role that their socio-national contexts play during their adjustment to unfamiliar host environments. Specifically, I developed a theoretical construct “local co-national context” through which I examined the varying information and technology practices of international students from around the world. I used a longitudinal mixed-method approach by conducting online surveys, follow-up semi-structured interviews, and cognitive mapping (a research method in which participants draw their own map of an area; see pictures below) over a two-year period.


Through this longitudinal, mixed method approach, I achieved a holistic characterization of the information behaviors of international newcomer students and identified the social and technological contexts that shape their varying information and technology practices during adjustment to host environments. My dissertation-based article has recently been published in Early View at the Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST).

Personal Health & Information Sharing

@ University of Maryland, College Park | Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) [Ongoing]

Lead Researcher in a Team of Five / On-site In-person Survey + Interview


Understanding Young People’s Personal Health Data Tracking and Personal Health Data Sharing Practices in the Clinic  

In this project, I work with Eun Kyoung Choe and colleagues at the University of Maryland (UMD) Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) to examine people’s personal health data (e.g., sleep, steps, mood) tracking and sharing practices through surveys and interviews right after participants visited their doctor’s offices (UMD university health center).

By analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data from this field study, our research team works to identify the relationships between participants’ personal health data tracking practices, sharing practices, and health literacy. Also, we aim to draw implications for designing health informatics tools that support effective tracking and sharing of personal health data for enhanced doctor-patient communication and patients’ well-being.

Mental Health & Information Needs

@ Northwestern University | People, Information, and Technology Changing Health (PITCH) Lab [Ongoing]

Primary Researcher / Online Survey + Follow-up Interview

Examinations of the Information Needs and Information Seeking Behaviors of Young Adults Coping with Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety  


This research aims to better understand the information practices (e.g., information needs and information seeking) and associated challenges of young adults when they face symptoms of stress, anxiety, or depression. Specifically, this study focuses on the temporal/situational context where young adults with depression and/or anxiety symptoms have not accessed mental healthcare professionals (e.g., doctors, psychologists, counselors, psychiatric nurses) and thus are not yet receiving direct professional help for their mental illness symptoms.

I work with Madhu Reddy of the People, Information, and Technology Changing Health Lab and Emily Lattie and David Mohr of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University to develop this research in ways to provide meaningful findings for both human-computer interaction literature and clinical research and practices. Through this research I aim to identify the factors that shape the information practices of young adults regarding their stress, anxiety, or depression symptoms and inform the design of digital mental health tools that help young adults with their mental health-related information seeking and well-being.