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Tao Dong, PhD

Human-Computer Interaction Researcher | Google Scholar | LinkedIn | Medium | Twitter


I am a researcher in Human-Computer Interaction. Currently employed as a User Experience Researcher at Google, my work is focused on API usability and programming tools, specifically for Flutter, an opensource UI framework.

I received my PhD from the School of Information at the University of Michigan. My PhD thesis is entitled Designing Reflective User Experience with Social and Ubiquitous Computing Technologies. In graduate school, I was co-advised by Prof. Mark Ackerman and Prof. Mark W. Newman.

Select Research Projects

The Usability of Error Messages

Programmatic errors are often difficult to resolve due to poor usability of error messages. Applying theories of visual perception and techniques in visual design, we were able to substantially improve both error comprehension and resolution in an experiment. Publication: CHI2019 [Preprint],

API Usability

The usability of API can make or break a developer’s productivity. At DevXcon 2018, I talked about how to apply UX principles and methods to API usability (Transcript, Slides).

The Moving Context Kit (McKit)

How do devices take on different roles in ad-hoc multi-device configurations, and how do changes in the user’s context influence device roles and privacy considerations? This kit helps designers incorporate these considerations into product design. Learn more at Publication: DIS2017 [ACM]

McKit Figure

Multi-device Experiences

Why is building multi-device experiences so hard? Learn what I found from interviewing designers and developers. Publication: DIS2016 [ACM, PDF]

Home Trivia

Home Trivia is an experimental system which uses activity traces, games, and sensors to help families better understand how they spend time at home. Publication: UbiComp2015 [ACM, PDF]

House Memory: “If these walls could talk…”

Through a field study and a design exercise, I explored the potential value of activity traces captured by sensors in domestic environments. Publications: Interactions [ACM, PDF], DIS2014 - Best Paper Nominee [ACM, PDF]

House Memory Figure

Social Overlays

Social Overlays is an experimental system to enable users to fix usability problems on live websites and share their modifications with other site visitors. Publication: Interact2013 [Springer, PDF]


Jigsaw is a discovery-based learning game for Photoshop based on the jigsaw puzzle metaphor. Publication: CHI2012 [ACM, PDF]

If you don’t have access to the ACM Digital Library, you can download the preprint versions of my papers on Google Drive.