I am an applied social scientist who incorporates theories and methods from the fields of social computing, value-sensitive design, cross-cultural studies, human-centered design to account for users’ needs and their cultural context in a robust way. My research spans two areas. In the first, I examine the information practices and behaviors of Arab social media users with the goal of informing global technology design and policy. In the second, I research the use and influence of social and political bots on social computing systems.
My work informs various dimensions of the study of information communication technology design and use, Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and Computer-Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW). Currently, I’m completing my PhD degree in Information Science at the University of Washington Information School (Expected in July 2017) where I arrived as a Fulbright scholar. I am a member of the Value Sensitive Design Research Lab, a co-founder of the Political Bots.org project, a co-founder of the HCI across the Arab World initiative. Previously, I was a research associate with the Social Computing group at the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI).
My work reflects my strong passion for understanding people’s social and collaborative interactions in their everyday digital and physical contexts with the goal of designing and evaluating collaborative, social, and inclusive technologies. In doing so, I combine my experience conducting research studies, my expert knowledge of qualitative and human-centered design methods, and my multilingual and cross-cultural background to engage with stakeholders empathetically.
In my dissertation project, I investigated the use of social media (i.e., Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat) by young adults from the Arab Gulf states (e.g., Saudi Arabia) to understand how youth conceptualize privacy and identity. In general, my research reflects my strong interest in a broader research agenda that advocates for culturally-inclusive design and research by applying qualitative, quantitative, visual and human-computer interaction methods, and on understanding the implications of emerging technologies used by people in different contexts.
In addition, I investigated the use and influence of Automated Social Actors (ASA) on social media– also known as Social and Political bots – on social networking sites during political events with the goal of informing automation policy. I published research in this area with focus on events related to the Arab spring, specifically, the Egyptian uprising and the ongoing Syrian civil war.
My research can be applied across both industry research and academia. I publish my research in venues like ACM CSCW(Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing) ACM SIGCHI(Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction) and ACM DIS (Designing Interactive Systems). Numerous outlets have also featured my research, such as the Pew Research Center, CNN, New York Post, Commondreams, Desmogblog, and the University of Washington news site. You can find my published research in my Google Scholar page.
Upon receiving the Fulbright Science Award, I came to the University of Washington, Seattle in 2009 from Saudi Arabia where I worked at DHL Express as a Direct Sales Manager and lead the initiation of one of the first all-women teams in the country. I hold a Masters degree in Information Management from the University of Washington Information School and a Computer Science Degree from King Saud University in Riyadh.