Eureka Foong profile pic Hi! My name is Eureka.

I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student in Technology and Social Behavior, a joint program in computer science and communication at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. This year, I am also a Northwestern Design Research Cluster Senior Fellow. Currently, I work with Elizabeth Gerber in the Delta Lab to understand how online crowds can be leveraged to give useful feedback to creative freelancers. I recently led a project with Joy Kim and Mira Dontcheva at Adobe Research in San Francisco building on this work in an online community.

I have a bachelor's degree from Linfield College in cognitive psychology and media studies. While I was the lead UX researcher at Piktochart, I helped develop a culture of design thinking among graphic designers, web developers and marketers. My research interests are related to developing technology that improves the way people innovate, research, and design.

Recent Accomplishments

Recent Projects

As a Design Cluster Fellow, I ran a quasi-experiment to understand how design experts and novices differ when they make sense of online feedback comments.

Below are some of my other recent projects.

Online Feedback Exchange: A Framework for Understanding the Socio-Psychological Factors

Method: Literature review, design-based research, user testing, experiment

Online feedback exchange (OFE) systems, including online communities such as Adobe's Behance and usability testing websites such as UserTesting, enable visual designers to receive timely feedback at little cost and at scale. However, we know little about the effectiveness of these websites in helping designers improve their work, particularly because some feedback is less useful or specific than others. With Dr. Liz Gerber and in collaboration with Dr. Steven Dow and Dr. Brian Bailey, I am helping to research and design a feedback tool that will help new designers get quick and high quality feedback from crowds of online users. I recently co-authored a paper that was accepted to the conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI'17), outlining a framework of socio-psychological factors that need to be addressed when designing a crowd feedback system for end-to-end design. I have also received the Segal Design Fellowship this year to study the role of framing when designers attempt to make sense of feedback. My hypothesis is that designers make more significant improvements to their work when they transfrom feedback comments into user-specific goals, rather than product-specific goals. The results of this study will help us design more intuitive and helpful systems for interface and interaction designers.
Foong, E., Dow, S., Bailey, B., and Gerber, E. (2017). Online feedback exchange: A framework for understanding the socio-psychological factors. Proceedings of the Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '17).

Eliciting curiosity through digital rails

Method: Field observations, surveys

From March to September 2016, I was part of Dr. Mike Horn's research team that redesigned digital reading rails at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. I contributed design ideas, tested prototypes, collected video and audio data from museum visitors, and learned how to calculate key success metrics. Our goal was to prompt deeper learning conversations about artifacts in the Cyrus Tang Hall of China. The preliminary work on this project will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA '17) in June 2017.

Past Projects

Learning on the Job: Training crowdworkers to learn complex skills through micro-tasks

Method: Pilot studies, proposed online experiment

Many platforms exist today that make large tasks possible by crowdsourcing smaller micro-tasks. However, the people who engage in such crowdwork face unstable employment and less-than-enriching work environments. With Dr. Liz Gerber and Dr. Steven Franconeri, I am interested to know how crowdwork could be made more valuable to workers. We started exploring a way for crowdworkers to learn about graphic design by being paid for their feedback on other designs. We wanted to know if workers can develop expertise on these platforms and what types of features would make this possible.
Workshop paper

Crowds that hack: Problem solving at a civic hackathon

Method: Participant observation, interviews

For a class on field methods, I started conducting participant observations and interviews at Chi Hack Night, a weekly civic hack night in downtown Chicago. I was interested in learning what motivates people to volunteer their time to solving tough societal problems with tech, as well as how a group of unrelated individuals explore a problem space. I was part of the Access to Justice group that is trying to connect disparate resources in the city to help the formerly incarcerated adapt to life outside prison.

Upcoming Events

Fun Fact

As a kid, I trained in ballet for 4 years and later in Chinese contemporary dance for 4 years, performing with the Eastern Dancer company in Penang, Malaysia. I've also trained in contemporary jazz for 2 years with Van Collins in Chicago and performed in a tribute performance for choreographer Duwane Pendarvis. I'm currently working on improving my ballet technique!

Contact Me

Segal Design Institute
Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center
2133 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208

Download my CV