Publication statistics

Pub. period:2005-2012
Pub. count:9
Number of co-authors:14


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Karen Levy:
Joshua Introne:
Sean Munson:



Productive colleagues

Rick Wash's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Paul Resnick:31
Cliff Lampe:18
Emilee Rader:6

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Rick Wash


Publications by Rick Wash (bibliography)

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Solomon, Jacob and Wash, Rick (2012): Bootstrapping wikis: developing critical mass in a fledgling community by seeding content. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2012. pp. 261-264.

Online communities depend on content contributed by their members. However, new communities have not yet achieved critical mass and are vulnerable to inadequate contribution. To encourage contribution, many fledgling communities seed the site with data from 3rd parties. We study the effectiveness of such seeding by looking at how people react to different types of seeded content. We found that people make larger contributions when there is no seeded content. But when there is seeded content, users learn from that content and contribute similar types of content. Therefore, if websites prefer specific types of contributions, seeding that type of contribution can be a valuable way to elicit appropriate contributions.

© All rights reserved Solomon and Wash and/or ACM Press

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Wash, Rick and Lampe, Cliff (2012): The power of the ask in social media. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2012. pp. 1187-1190.

Social computing and social media systems depend on contributions from users. We posit the existence of a latent demand for contribution: many users want to contribute but don't. We then test a simple interface that can induce these users to actually contribute: we display a popup window asking users to contribute. In a real-world randomized field experiment, we found that asking them to contribute right now is ineffective, but reminding the users to contribute actually leads to approximately a 23% increase in contributions with no reduction in quality. However, this effect wanes as users habituate to the popups.

© All rights reserved Wash and Lampe and/or ACM Press

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Introne, Joshua, Levy, Karen, Munson, Sean, Goggins, Sean, Wash, Rick and Aragon, Cecilia (2012): Design, influence, and social technologies: techniques, impacts, and ethics. In: Companion Proceedings of ACM CSCW12 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2012. pp. 9-10.

Our actions and opinions -- "what we know and believe, how we behave and make decisions" -- are embedded in and shaped by webs of social relationships. Small individual actions that flow within networks can lead to broad systemic dynamics that fundamentally impact how societies function economically, socially, and culturally. Social technology provides a set of affordances that makes it easier for individuals to manage this web of relationships and the information that flows through it. But designers can configure and make use of the same affordances to influence user behavior. As much of the connected world races to adopt social technology, we have a responsibility both to understand its impacts and to develop ethical guidelines for its use, as its impacts could be profound.

© All rights reserved Introne et al. and/or ACM Press

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Rader, Emilee, Wash, Rick and Brooks, Brandon (2012): Stories as informal lessons about security. In: Proceedings of the 2012 Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security 2012. p. 6.

Non-expert computer users regularly need to make security-relevant decisions; however, these decisions tend not to be particularly good or sophisticated. Nevertheless, their choices are not random. Where does the information come from that these non-experts base their decisions upon? We argue that much of this information comes from stories they hear from other people. We conducted a survey to ask open- and closed-ended questions about security stories people hear from others. We found that most people have learned lessons from stories about security incidents informally from family and friends. These stories impact the way people think about security, and their subsequent behavior when making security-relevant decisions. In addition, many people retell these stories to others, indicating that a single story has the potential to influence multiple people. Understanding how non-experts learn from stories, and what kinds of stories they learn from, can help us figure out new methods for helping these people make better security decisions.

© All rights reserved Rader et al. and/or their publisher

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Wash, Rick (2010): Folk models of home computer security. In: Proceedings of the 2010 Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security 2010. p. 11.

Home computer systems are insecure because they are administered by untrained users. The rise of botnets has amplified this problem; attackers compromise these computers, aggregate them, and use the resulting network to attack third parties. Despite a large security industry that provides software and advice, home computer users remain vulnerable. I identify eight 'folk models' of security threats that are used by home computer users to decide what security software to use, and which expert security advice to follow: four conceptualizations of 'viruses' and other malware, and four conceptualizations of 'hackers' that break into computers. I illustrate how these models are used to justify ignoring expert security advice. Finally, I describe one reason why botnets are so difficult to eliminate: they cleverly take advantage of gaps in these models so that many home computer users do not take steps to protect against them.

© All rights reserved Wash and/or his/her publisher

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Lampe, Cliff, Wash, Rick, Velasquez, Alcides and Ozkaya, Elif (2010): Motivations to participate in online communities. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2010 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2010. pp. 1927-1936.

A consistent theoretical and practical challenge in the design of socio-technical systems is that of motivating users to participate in and contribute to them. This study examines the case of users from the theoretical perspectives of Uses and Gratifications and Organizational Commitment to compare individual versus organizational motivations in user participation. We find evidence that users may continue to participate in a site for different reasons than those that led them to the site. Feelings of belonging to a site are important for both anonymous and registered users across different types of uses. Long-term users felt more dissatisfied with the site than anonymous users. Social and cognitive factors seem to be more important than issues of usability in predicting contribution to the site.

© All rights reserved Lampe et al. and/or their publisher

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Rader, Emilee and Wash, Rick (2008): Influences on tag choices in In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW08 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2008. pp. 239-248.

Collaborative tagging systems have the potential to produce socially constructed information organization schemes. The effectiveness of tags for finding and re-finding information depends upon how individual users choose tags; however, influences on users' tag choices are poorly understood. We quantitatively test competing hypotheses from the literature concerning these choices, using data from (a collaborative tagging system for organizing web bookmarks) and a computer model of possible tag choice strategies. We find evidence that users choose tags in a pattern consistent with personal information management goals, rather than as a result of social influence.

© All rights reserved Rader and Wash and/or ACM Press

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Wash, Rick and MacKie-Mason, Jeffrey K. (2007): Security when people matter: structuring incentives for user behavior. In: Gini, Maria L., Kauffman, Robert J., Sarppo, Donna, Dellarocas, Chrysanthos and Dignum, Frank (eds.) Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Electronic Commerce - ICEC 2007 August 19-22, 2007, Minneapolis, MN, USA. pp. 7-14.

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Wash, Rick, Hemphill, Libby and Resnick, Paul (2005): Design decisions in the RideNow project. In: GROUP05: International Conference on Supporting Group Work November 6-9, 2005, Sanibel Island, Florida, USA. pp. 132-135.

The RideNow Project is designed to help individuals within a group or organization coordinate ad hoc shared rides. This paper describes three design decisions the RideNow team made in order to allow incremental adoption and evolution and to capitalize on local conditions. (1) The system allows users to interact with the system through email or Web, because we anticipate that email will be most convenient when there are few users but the Web interface will be more useful as the number of users increase. (2) The system does not force structure on user-entered data such as dates, times, and locations, instead allowing conventions to emerge. (3) We use the group\'s shared physical spaces to provide additional information about ride sharing activity.

© All rights reserved Wash et al. and/or ACM Press

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