Daniel Strazzulla

UX Researcher and Designer. PhD Candidate in HCI. Former Citizen of Stanford, Apple and IBM.

Daniel Strazzulla

About Me

I am a User Experience Researcher and Designer. I study how people use communication technologies and social media to communicate with their friends, families and loved ones. I perform the entire design process: understanding users, analyzing data, ideation, prototyping, evaluation and iteration. My core skills are observation, empathy and introspection.

Academic Background

Academic Background

In addition to my current Ph.D. thesis work at inSitu with Prof. Wendy Mackay, I've had the opportunity to work on other HCI-related topics with other great people. As a Research Assistant, I've worked on: Data Visualization problems with Prof. Jeff Heer, Health Tracking for the elderly through mobile devices with Prof. Scott Klemmer, Crowdsourcing of Expertise with Prof. Steven Dow, and novel interfaces to program micro-controllers for children with Prof. Paulo Blikstein.

I enjoy teaching. At the University of Paris-Sud and along with my advisor, I am Teaching Assistant for: Design and Evaluation of Interactive Systems, HCI Design Bootcamp, Advanced Design of Interactive Systems and Creative Design. Recently I taught a Video Prototyping Workshop at Stanford University and presented my work at a Video Communication Conference organized by Microsoft Research Cambridge.

Industry Experience

Industry Experience

At IBM I've built, deployed and managed large and complex applications, while managing a distributed team using Agile Methodologies. At Apple, I led a team of interns who designed and prototyped better Information Architectureand Interaction Techniques for their Reference Libraries. I also created a product design concept for Ibooks Author. Finally, at CIC.MX I produced the inital concept and design for an online community and governance communication plaftorm to help mediate communication between citizens and their authorities, as well as their Mobile App.


My Human-Computer Interaction background covers different disciplines such as Computer Science, Engineering, Ethnography, Human Factors, Sociology, Anthropology, Design and Psychology. Therefore I'm an expert in a wide-range of qualitative and quantitative user research methods, design methods, prototyping and software engineering. In addition, my expertise as a PhD student, research advisor, UX team lead, industrial program manager, along with strong communication skills and attention to detail make a very capable manager.


Relationships, Technolgy and Context.

How can we maintain, improve and even create new remote relationships? How do we use different communication technologies with different relationships? And at what point does having too many 'comm apps' becomes a burden rather than a desirable experience?

Sometimes we want to meet and share things with friends on Facebook, or maybe discuss things with strangers on Reddit. Other times we want to have high-fidelity intimate communication with family and loved ones through Skype or Hangouts. For colleagues, email and voice calls may be what works best. There's a deep interplay between relationships, technologies and context, that determine how we use, adapt and behave while using remote communication technologies.


I focus on those Key Privileged Relationships in our lives, those 3 or 4 people with whom we spend most of our online time communicating, and who provide intimate and emotional support. For most people these are one or both parents, couples, best friends or siblings. I study how we use all communication technologies, from high definition video to minimal communication applications on mobile devices, with each kind of relationship. They way we communicate with our remote parents or significant others is certainly different but equally important. I aim to understand how different and why, in order to design new communication tools better suited to their needs.

Intimate Relationships and Communication


Normally, one would think that we choose the technologies we use to communicate with our loved ones. The closer we are to someone the more likely we are to engage in remote video communication and other forms of rich, synchronous interaction. But we often forget that with the same people there will also be a need for a high frequency of asynchronous low bandwidth communication like text. Even more so, sometimes the other communication partner determines the technology we use. If the remote end only has access to a landline, or lacks the expetise to use modern digital communication tools, both sides fallback into their common denominator. Users determine who they want to talk to, but often times technology and context, determine the how. And this is where user innovation and appropriation of communication technologies happen.


Once a distributed relationship has established the communication tools approriate for their them, then it's all about the details. The time of the day, the time-zone differences, network access, economical access, hardware and software availability, weather, professions, and so on. The overall context has a key role in determining how people communicate. For example, while remote couples would like to use video chat as much as possible, during work hours they fallback to text chat. While people wait for the bus they choose to use that time to call home while they wait. Going beyond the stereotypes of what each ideal kind of relationship needs, and focusing on these details opens new possibilities for mediated communication research and design.

Beyond Mediated Communication

My other interests are interaction design, research methodologies and design processes. I've designed, developed and deployed a public collaborative multi-surface scheduling application as part of the CHI 2013 conference. I've also studied different strategies to engage with users in public via collaborative interacive artifacts. With my teaching I keep pushing my understanding of interaction design. Working with researchers at Stanford Medical School I explored the role of cognitive aids in the operating room and new research techniques to do qualitative field work under extreme conditions.


Invisible Channels Research Lead, Inria 2014

A two year longitudinal multi-method study on how international students use communication technologies to communicate with their key privileged relationships. Using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methods over time, we analyze adaptation strategies, mixing and matching of different media, and specific communication patterns with different kinds of relationships.

The image to the right is a sample of one cultural probe drawn by one of our participants, describing the technologies he uses to communicate with those he loves. To be published

                  Remote communication cultural probe

CommLine Advisor, Inria 2014

CommLine is a desktop minimalistic communication application for couples. Each partner has their own line which display over time how much they move when in front of their computer. They can change their band's color and also send each minimal colored dots, or "nudges". This allows them to create a small vocabulary of messages and signals which may be used, or not, in tandem with the activity value or color of the their Line. In Progress

>CommLine is a desktop minimalistic communication application for couples.

PhoneLine Advisor, Inria 2014

PhoneLine is a polymorphic Android mobile application that allows couples to share their masked location and send minimal color nudges. Its goal is to evaluate the effects of an always-on and always visible flow of ambient and active data sharing between couples over time. For this purpose, it can be displayed in three different ways: as an interactive widget, an interactive background or as a regular application. In Progress

honeLine is a polymorphic Android mobile application that allows couples to share their masked location and send minimal color nudges.

BitLine Advisor, Inria 2014

BitLine is a box-shaped minimal communication device that senses nearby movement, close proximity to RFID-tagged objects and sends it over WiFi to to other BitLines. It has a strip of 8-RGB LEDs, 2 local-feedback RGB LEDs and a buzzer. Remote data is displayed using the LED strip in real-time. The amount of movement determines the number of remote active LEDs. When a RFID tag is put on BitBox's tray, a light animation and buzz noise is played on its partner box. Then the color of the strip changes to the color assigned to the RFID tag. This allows users to communicate minimal ambient and discrete data on a dedicated always-on communication device. In Progress

BitLine is a box-shaped minimal communication device that senses nearby movement, close proximity to RFID-tagged objects and sends it over WiFi to to other BitLines.

Video in Personal Communication Research Lead, Inria 2014

Why do people use video to communicate with their loved ones? How do they use it, and when? Beyond the need for face-to-face communication and richness of video, what is its role on the bigger communication channel between loved ones? And, what dependencies does it has on other media? Just like previous work has found that people rely on text to support video interaction, we go even further in exploring the role of video in personal intimate communication. Presentation at MSR

Role of video in personal communication.

UX in the Operation Room Researcher, Stanford 2014

How can we study and evaluate use of cognitive aids in extreme scenarios, such as in the operating room? To properly study this we would need to be medical experts ourselves. How can we study specialized phenomena in the wild? Based on the critical-incident interviewing technique, we created a new research methodology to study how medical students use or not use emergency manuals, by leveraging their expertise, in our favor. Know more

Cognitive aids, and research, in the operating room.

CHI Schedule Designer, SIGCHI 2013

CHI 2013 introduced video previews for authors to invite people to their talks. However, there was no way to deploy these videos with attendees because of space concerns. We designed and developed the Interactive Schedule, which was deployed at the conference venue through multiple large interactive displays. Through it participants could use their mobile devices to search and play video previews and add events to their conference schedule. Paper Video

CHI 2013 Video previews and interactive schedule

Tehuan Designer, Stanford 2012

Endorsed by Twitter's Co-Founder Jack Dorsey, and winner of a Google "New Digital Age" grant. The CIC is a reliable social platform that links and integrates citizens with their authorities through clear, reliable and genuine opportunities for participation in social and community issues. This way we enable them to collaboratively raise awareness of to work in sum to improve our society. Web App Mobile App

Centro de IntegraciĆ³n Ciudadana

Ibooks Producer Designer, Apple 2011

Electronics books are more convenient and practical than physical books, while also offering new interactive functionalities. However, due of cost and technological reasons, the barrier to entry for interactive books creation is too high. Ibooks Producer concept was a proposed solution to Apple's Senior management for an easy to use self-authoring book creation and publishing platform for everyone. Know More

Ibooks Author

Want to talk?

Want to know more about a project? Interested in a joint collaboration? Got a juicy job opportunity that might be a good fit for me? Feel free to reach me for any of these reasons, or if you just want to say hello!