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Friday, March 26 2021
5:30pm - 7:00pm

Oliver Haimson - "Designing Trans Technology"

Transgender and nonbinary people face substantial challenges in the world, ranging from social inequities and discrimination to lack of access to resources. Though technology cannot fully solve these problems, technological solutions may help to address some of the challenges trans people and communities face. In this talk I will discuss what “trans technology” means, and how it can be designed. Drawing from participatory design research with trans and nonbinary people, I detail four types of technologies trans people envision: technologies for changing bodies, technologies for changing appearances and gender expressions, technologies for safety, and technologies for finding resources. I show how centering trans people in the design process enabled inclusive technology design that primarily focused on sharing community resources and prioritized connection between community members. Next, I will discuss some of my research conceptualizing life transitions more broadly and people’s online sharing behaviors surrounding them. Finally, I will describe next steps for trans technology design and life transitions research.
Speaker’s Bio
Oliver Haimson is an Assistant Professor at University of Michigan School of Information and a recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER award. He conducts social computing research focused on understanding and designing for social technology use during life transitions, with a primary research goal of impacting technological inclusion of marginalized users. One of his main research areas is transgender experiences with social technologies. His research has been published in conferences and journals including CHI, CSCW, TOCHI, New Media and Society, and Social Media + Society.

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