"Navigating Challenging Health Situations: Individuals’ Practices and Opportunities for Design"

Golisano College presents Xinning Gui, faculty candidate in HCI/Accessibility.

Abstract: The U.S. health systems (primary healthcare and public health systems) are well known to be fragmented and nontransparent with poorly coordinated or disjointed service providers, organizations, and information systems at different levels. These systems create challenging health situations for individual health consumers to make informed decisions and obtain desired health services. As a result, individual health consumers engage in “navigation practice” to configure, connect, and sustain multiple service providers, organizations, and information resources.

In this talk, I will discuss the contexts and enactments of navigation practices in two lines of research. First, I examine how individuals navigate the primary healthcare system to acquire desirable services through an interview study with new parents. I will present: 1) barriers for individuals to navigate the primary healthcare system, including breakdowns at different levels within the health infrastructure; 2) various types of work that individuals carried out to cope with these barriers, such as seeking alternative information, transmitting information from one organization to another, and negotiating with healthcare providers; and 3) individuals’ learning activities that could inform their future interactions with the healthcare system. Second, I study how individuals navigate through a public health crisis (the Zika virus outbreak) by studying individuals’ behaviors on social media. I will discuss how individuals faced information challenges such as mismatches between the general public’s information needs and the information provided by public health authorities, and extreme uncertainty and ambiguity that characterized the Zika virus crisis. The findings reveal how individuals used social media for information gathering and social learning geared towards personal risk assessment and travel-related decision making. Together these two lines of research provide empirical and conceptual insights into individuals’ navigation practices, and highlight opportunities for designing information and communication technologies to facilitate such practices. I will conclude by presenting my future research directions in further investigating individuals’ interactions with health systems.


Bio: Xinning Gui is a PhD candidate in the Department of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine. Her research lies at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), Health Informatics, and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). She adopts a socio-technical approach to examine individuals’ interactions with the healthcare and public health systems, and explore opportunities to design sociotechnical system that can facilitate such interactions. In addition to conducting research in healthcare settings, she has collaborated with HCI researchers on various topics such as self-tracking, gaming, and privacy. She has also worked with machine learning researchers to explore methodological innovations that could optimally integrate the advantages of qualitative insights and large-scale analytic capacity of quantitative and computational approaches.

She has published in top-tier human-computer interaction and health informatics journals and conferences such as the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI), the ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing (CSCW), the EAI International Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (PervasiveHealth), the American Medical Informatics Association Annual Symposium (AMIA), and the Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. Her research has been recognized with two Honorable Mention awards from CHI’2017 and CSCW’2018 respectively.

Rhonda Baker


Event Snapshot
When and Where
Thursday, February 7, 2019
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
Golisano Hall

Open to the Public

Interpreter Requested


access technology