GroupLens Student Wins Best Paper Award at DIS2017

Adel Al-Dawood.jpg
July 14, 2017

CS&E and GroupLens student Adel Al-Dawood (B.S. 2013, M.S. 2016) received the best paper award at the Designing Interactive Systems conference (DIS2017) for his paper “Against Marrying a Stranger: Marital Matchmaking Technologies in Saudi Arabia.”

Al-Dawood’s team examined how cultural factors affect the adoption of matchmaking technologies, such as dating and marital websites and applications, in religiously conservative non-Western cultures. They focused on Saudi Arabia and reported the findings from interviews with 18 Saudi nationals (nine male and nine female) with diverse demographics and backgrounds. The aim of the study was to see how participants actually used matchmaking technologies and see if cultural background determined use of these technologies and, if so, whether any insight could be drawn to help design better matchmaking technologies.

Al-Dawood’s team found that participants wanted to use and benefit from matchmaking technologies, but were only willing to use them if they fit within their cultural context and religious norms. The team hopes their work will aid designers in creating more culturally-sensitive and inclusive designs for matchmaking technologies in the future.

The DIS conference is ACM SIGCHI’s premier, international arena for designers, artists, psychologists, user experience researchers, systems engineers, and others to get together to debate and shape the future of interactive systems design and practice. This year’s conference took place at Edinburgh Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Working with his advisor, Assistant Professor Lana Yarosh, Al-Dawood will continue his engaging research with GroupLens as he pursues his Ph.D. Please join CS&E in extending our congratulations to him for receiving his first best paper award.

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