connecting the dots
find me as kandarpksk on most platforms
I am a Ph.D. student in Computer Science. I work with Philip Guo in the Interactivity Lab at UC San Diego to envision and build systems to help people design and program effectively, at scale. I firmly believe that advancement in technology is at a stage where anything we might want to dream about is within the realm of possibility as long as we are persistent.
In the sphere of interactions with computing interfaces, let’s consider online tutorial videos and web proxies. In the former, most interfaces are YouTube-esque one-size-fits-all solutions that don’t offer any affordances to interact with content inside a video other than consuming it passively. At best, one might take a screenshot to share. If we think about programming tutorials, using code from a video is tedious and inefficient, with no scope for end-users to dabble. Similarly, we have web proxies, but they cater to low-level stuff rather that creative pursuits like live testing of designs!
❝ my work is around devising interactions inaccessible to those not experienced enough
to get their hands dirty and tinker with with different levels of technology stacks
My design process is predominantly user-centric, with emphasis on whether there is a real need for the system I envision and later build. I try to recreate the target user’s mental model and link breakdowns to the underlying technology to come up with meaningful and practical solutions. Also, my perspective is to adapt to the requirements of the solution that I (or my team) decide to build, rather than narrowing the range of the solution space explored in the first place.
My research is focused on building scalable, user-centered systems to help people design and code effectively. Here is a quick overview of (the different areas of) my work:
- Codemotion: reimagining interactions with programming tutorial screencasts to make them easier to find, navigate and practice with, by extracting source code edits from videos.
- Marionette: I am currently working on enabling user testing with front-end-only prototypes, by helping a facilitator imitate (wizard-of-oz) backend logic in real-time.
- Future ideas: Augmenting the coding-debugging workflow with a learning angle when a programmer is stuck and needs help – among the ways is adapting ELIZA (a chatbot that mimics a psychotherapist) to aid self-reflection.