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University of Michigan School of Information


Olivia Richards

A headshot of Olivia Richards


Olivia Richards is a User Experience (UX) researcher focused on enhancing digital experiences for children and families. Olivia is seeking full-time research opportunities in industry. 

With a rich portfolio of human-computer interaction research projects in both industry and academia, Olivia has conducted numerous mixed-methods studies in collaboration with stakeholders, academic peers, and industry experts at PBS KIDS and Parkview Health Systems. Olivia has also taught multiple UX research methodology courses to both undergraduate and masters students at the University of Michigan. 

Olivia’s dissertation focus is to better understand and address the digital needs of children and families. Olivia's dissertation research has a powerful premise: digital technology should evolve to support child autonomy, health, and well-being. Her post-pandemic work with children (age 7-12) and their parents examines the intricate role of technology in children's everyday digital lives. She uncovers the role of technology in the development, performance, and reconstruction of children’s routines, shedding light on the impact on their health and well-being and lacking autonomy in their technological activities. Her ongoing work uncovers child and parent perspectives on dark design patterns and how they want video-based digital technology to provide autonomy support and positively support child health and well-being.

Olivia's past research has shed light on the often overlooked complexities of health and well-being in digital technology design, for older adults, people experiencing low income, and caregiving for children. Her past research has explored both formal and informal care collaborative caregiving work for children, investigating how technology can meet their information needs and improve their health. This work has been published in esteemed journals and conferences, including the Journal of American Medical Informatics (JAMIA), ACM SIGCHI, CSCW, and DIS.

Olivia's dedication extends beyond research to community service and mentorship. She has actively contributed to her Michigan community as the Vice President of the UM Rackham Graduate Student Government, in various elected positions in her doctoral program, and as a graduate peer support group leader. Her leadership and commitment to underrepresented people in tech is undeniable, as she has mentored over ten underrepresented undergraduate and masters students in research.

Prior to her doctoral journey, Olivia earned her Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from the Pennsylvania State University in 2019. During her undergraduate years, she completed research internships in academia and industry. Her research experiences at Indiana University and the University of Washington led to a prestigious SIGCHI student research award and conference publications as an undergraduate. 

View Olivia's CV

Selected Press  

1) June 2022 Editor’s Choice, Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Volume 29, Issue 6, June 2022  

2) April 2022 How can I pay for that? Researchers seek technology solutions to provide real-time health care costs and affordability resources for US patients; UMSI News

Selected Refereed Publications (of 9):

1) Olivia K. Richards, Carol Scott, Allison Spiller, and Gabriela Marcu. 2022. “Wearing a High Heel and a House Shoe at the Same Time”: Parents’ Information Needs While Navigating Change in their Child’s Behavioral Care. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 6, CSCW2, Article 352 (November 2022), 32 pages.

2) Olivia K. Richards, Gabriela Marcu, and Robin N. Brewer. 2021. Hugs, Bible Study, and Speakeasies: Designing for Older Adults’ Multimodal Connectedness. In Designing Interactive Systems Conference 2021 (DIS '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 815–831.

3) Olivia K. Richards, Adrian Choi, and Gabriela Marcu. 2021. Shared Understanding in Care Coordination for Children’s Behavioral Health. Proc. ACM Hum.-Computer Interact. 5, CSCW1, Article 21 (April 2021), 25 pages.