Founding Assistant Professor
Department of Information Science
College of Media, Communication, and Information
University of Colorado Boulder
UCB 315
Boulder, CO 80309-0315 USA

Office: ENVD 201 (SE corner)
Office Hours: By appointment

Contact me via email:
  svoida@acm.org (research)
  svoida@colorado.edu (CU)
  stephen@voida.com (personal)

I conduct research in human–computer interaction, at the intersection of personal information management, user interface design, ubiquitous computing, and computer-supported cooperative work. My work focuses on helping people to overcome the day-to-day challenges of information overload.

As computing has become an increasingly pervasive part of our lives, people now have access to their electronic information across a larger variety of networked devices, in more places, among different groups of friends or co-workers, and while participating in a broader range of activities than ever before. And as access to information increases, so does the amount of information that people create, receive, share...and have to manage. Most of the computing interfaces that people use on a daily basis simply weren't designed to help us make sense of information at this scale. In my research, I aim to address this problem—I study how people manage their information in the real world, and I design new interfaces and computing systems to minimize the impact of information overload.

I'm particularly interested in re-examining the interfaces that we use every day—file browsers, the desktop, our smartphone home screens—and the ways that electronic information is represented within our computing systems in order to help make the next generation of computers more responsive to the ways that people naturally organize and manage their projects, collaborations, and everyday lives. In my previous jobs, I've taught various programming and ubiquitous computing courses, and I at least try to keep up with a few hobbies to stay balanced.

I'm always interested in working with motivated students. If you are currently enrolled at CU, please email me for more information about signing up for independent study course credits. If not, please take a look at the information for prospective students on the CU-Boulder admissions web pages.

Current and Featured Research Projects

Multitasking & Email Study


Giornata (Activity-Based Computing)
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(Not Very) Recent News

Lots of News; Indiana Bound!

written by Steve on 05 August 2013

As of 1 August, I'm pleased to announce that I've started a permanent academic position in the IU School of Informatics and Computing at Indianapolis (IUPUI). In fall 2013, I'll be teaching a throughly refreshed version of the course I480, Experience Design and Evaluation of Ubiquitous Computing, which will be based on a design-focused ubicomp course that I offered previously at UC Irvine.

Keep an eye on this space; I have a new website in the wings with lots more information about current and forthcoming research projects as I come up to speed at IU!

Personal Informatics Workshop at CHI 2013

written by Steve on 12 March 2013

After (regrettably) having missed several personal informatics workshops held at CHI and CSCW, I'm pleased to have been invited to attend this year's workshop at CHI 2013 as a co-author of two accepted position papers. One of the main motivations for me to participate is to share some of my recent thinking about how physiological sensing (such as stress detection) might dovetail with other kinds of information management approaches as one way to combat information overload. I've also been working with other postdocs and students at Cornell to think about how critical design can be used to reveal the seams and assumptions inherent in personal health informatics systems.

I'm also excited that this year's workshop will be more than just participant presentations and brainstorming. Ian, Jon, and company have put together a fun mix of hands-on prototyping exercises for one of the two days. This seems like a great way to play with some new ideas and get to know the other participants in a way that you typically wouldn't in the course of a conference workshop!

New Postdoc in Cornell's Department of Information Science

written by Steve on 01 June 2012

I'm pleased to announce that I've accepted an appointment as a postdoctoral associate in the Cornell University Department of Information Science, where I'll be working with Tanzeem Choudhury and Geri Gay on various projects in the domain of mobile health informatics. Although this will be a new research area for me, some of the initial research that we'll be doing will build off of the kind of stress detection that I used for the Multitasking & Email Study at UC Irvine.

I'll be moving to Ithaca to start the new position in August 2012. Since my appointment at UC Irvine will be closing out later in the year, please update any web bookmarks to point to this new, permanent site (http://stephen.voida.com) and note my updated email addresses: svoida@acm.org for research-oriented correspondence and svoida@cornell.edu for University-oriented correspondence. My various UCI login credentials will go away sometime in November or December.

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