We are seeking new members to join our team!

About us

The HCI-VIS Lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst conducts both fundamental and applied research at the intersection of HCI and Visualization. The mission of our Lab is to augment the abilities of individuals and groups to understand data and solve complex problems. We develop novel visualization and interaction techniques to facilitate data analysis, communication, and exploration. Additionally, we build community-centered tools to address real-world sociotechnical problems in domains such as civics and healthcare.

Focus & Excellence

The lab focuses its research on socially impactful technologies and techniques that include marginalized perspectives and empower data-informed decision-making. We value interdisciplinary work and utilize human-centered methods to understand people and design for them.


We strive to build an inclusive and human-centered environment where we value everyone’s unique properties, values, orientations towards meeting excellence in research. We commit to building a supportive and healthy community where we help each other by providing continuous feedback for improvements, participating in active collaboration and research, and celebrating our achievements.

Recent Publications

A Framework for Open Civic Design: Integrating Public Participation, Crowdsourcing, and Design Thinking. Brandon Reynante, Steven P. Dow, and Narges Mahyar
ACM Journal for Digital Government 2021

Designing with Pictographs: Envision Topics without Sacrificing Understanding. Alyxander Burns, Cindy Xiong, Steven Franconeri, Alberto Cairo, and Narges Mahyar
TVCG 2021

RisingEMOTIONS: Bridging Art and Technology to Increase Public Engagement with Climate Change. Carolina Aragón, Mahmood Jasim, and Narges Mahyar
C&C 2021

CommunityPulse: Facilitating Community Input Analysis by Surfacing Hidden Insights, Reflections, and Priorities. Mahmood Jasim, Enamul Hoque, Ali Sarvghad, and Narges Mahyar
DIS 2021

Declutter and Focus: Empirically Evaluating Design Guidelines for Effective Data Communication. Kiran Ajani, Elsie Lee, Cindy Xiong, Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic, William Kemper, and Steven Franconeri.
TVCG 2021

CommunityClick: Capturing and Reporting Community Feedback from Town Halls to Improve Inclusivity
Mahmood Jasim, Pooya Khaloo, Somin Wadhwa, Amy X. Zhang, Ali Sarvghad, and Narges Mahyar.
CSCW 2020

The Curse of Knowledge in Visual Data Communication
Cindy Xiong, Lisanne Van Weelden, and Steven Franconeri.
TVCG 2020

Designing Technology for Sociotechnical Problems: Challenges & Considerations
Narges Mahyar, Mahmood Jasim, and Ali Sarvghad.
CG&A 2020

How to Evaluate Data Visualizations across Different Levels of Understanding
Alyxander Burns, Cindy Xiong, Steven Franconeri, Alberto Cairo, and Narges Mahyar.
BELIV 2020

Rehabilitation Games in Real-World Clinical Settings: Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities
Hee-Tae Jung, Taiwoo Park, Narges Mahyar, Sungji Park, Taekyeong Rye, Yangsoo Kim, and Sunghoon Ivan Lee
TOCHI 2020

The Civic Data Deluge: Understanding the Challenges of Analyzing Large-Scale Community Input
Narges Mahyar, Diana Nguyen, Maggie Chan, Jiayi Zheng, and Steven Dow
DIS 2019

CommunityCrit: Inviting the Public to Improve and Evaluate Urban Design Ideas through Micro-Activities
Narges Mahyar, Michael James, Michelle Ng, Reginal Wu, and Steven Dow
CHI 2018

Embedded Merge & Split: Visual Adjustment Of Data Grouping
Ali Sarvghad, Bahador Saket, Alex Endert, and Nadir Weibel
TVCG 2018