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Papers & Conferences

The role of photography in framing and creating personal narrative: An analysis of the 2012 presidential candidates
Author - Britta Mennecke



The purpose of this investigation is to determine whether images located on Governor Mitt Romney's website and President Barack Obama's website could provided a strong enough narrative to sway voters. The goal of this investigation is not to suggest the causation, but to look for patterns that emerge in the collection of data over the month of October 2012, up to the election. Screenshots are collected on a daily basis, in the morning and at night to check for changes that may occur throughout the day. During the process of categorizing the images, patterns began to emerge suggesting that President Barack Obama's campaign was more sophisticated in its use of images. The results of the election provided President Obama a second term in office and a victorious Democratic party win. The Republicans now realize new measures must be taken to win the presidential election in the 2016, and many of those will include a better marketing campaign that targets specific voter groups using personalized narratives.

2012, AHFE Conference, San Francisco, CA​
Exploring Low-Glance Input Interfaces for Use With Augmented Reality Heads-up Display GPS (AR GPS Input Interfaces)
Authors: Edward Cupps, Patrick Finely, Britta Mennecke


Abstract: "Two Interfaces, One Goal"
This project’s goal is focused on exploring two potential AR-GPS
interface solutions and their accompanying display solution: one
for route display and two for route input. The display’s goal is to
create a head-up display of GPS route information that employs
the full windshield view optimized to balance necessary information
with minimal distractions and maximum visibility and safety.


The two Input Interface’s goals will explore the input interface itself and
would be designed to minimize glance time. By off-loading the actual
instructional part of the navigation onto the windshield display, it is
hoped that the subsequent reduction of glances will increase driving
safety while also increasing the effectiveness of the GPS navigation
itself. Positioned for minimal glance time, the interfaces will explore
two primary vectors: one, comparing a tabbed interface versus
a linear drill-down solution and two, comparing an iconographycentered
design versus a text-focused design.

2011, HCI International, Miami, Florida
Designing for Cultural Connections
Authors: Anicia Peters, Britta Mennecke, José Camou, Kiraz Candan Herdem, Lei Zhang​


Abstract: The 2010 earthquake in Haiti not only devastated the country’s infrastructure, it also left many orphaned children, which accelerated the pace of international transracial adoptions by families in the United States and other developed countries. While international adoptees such as these Haitian children are older and will therefore likely remember some aspects of their birth culture, often younger children are at risk of forgetting much of their cultural and linguistic heritage.


Despite much research on international transracial adoptions, surprisingly few web-based resources are available to adoptees for exploring and connecting with their birth cultures. To address this shortcoming, we used an iterative approach of ethnographic methods, paper prototypes, usability testing and heuristic evaluations to design Synergy, a system which allows adoptees to explore and connect with their birth cultures and its people autonomously.

2010, Paper submitted to CHI 2010, Design Competition Kewi2Walking
Authors: Hiro Iino, Nikolaus Karpinsky, Britta Mennecke, Mark Stenerson, Ryan Kirk​


Abstract: The design challenge for CHI2010 was to design an object, interface, system or service intended to encourage people to take a walk. Our team created the Kewi2Walking system, which encouraged users to walk by allowing them to walk for charity whenever they can. This creates a positive reinforcement cycle, as people help charity by walking, they walk more to help themselves.

2009, National Science Foundation's ​
Research Experience for Undergraduates,
North Carolina State University
Skinning Skimmer: News with Aesthetic Appeal, REU
Student Authors: Arehart, Tyler S., Gilliam, Ryan E.,
Mennecke, Britta L.
Research Mentor(s): Benjamin A. Watson/Computer Science,
​Jordan R. Benson/Computer Science


Abstract: Our research is an extension of a news visualization program called Skimmer. The program collects news articles from online sources, analyzes them to find important words, and renders the words in clusters based on how frequently they co-occur. Articles are collected based on a given query to any of BBC News, Digg, Google Blog Search, Google News, Summize, Technorati, and Yahoo News. Skimmer can then poll these sources periodically to adapt the visualization to a developing story. From the articles, key words are chosen for high occurrence and high co-occurrence with other words. These key words are displayed in the visualization as elements which drift around, attempting to co-locate with one another according to co-occurrence found in the articles. Ideally, the words form meaningful clusters once the visualization reaches a steady state.  Our contribution was to make Skimmer more engaging with a 3D version of the visualization which provides a metaphor for the program’s functions. The 3D visualization consists of an area on the sea floor where the key words float in bubbles. An animated crab attracts attention to the visualization, and provides plausible agency for the removal of outdated words. The crab also periodically chooses a word and triggers a rapid serial visual presentation of a related article. Additional 3D elements, including fish and a treasure chest, strengthen the context and visual appeal of the scene. Beyond the visualization, we enabled the program to analyze HTML-formatted books of the type found at

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