User experience research and design anthropologist focused on thick data and ethnography.

I’m Matt Garvin. A Master’s Student at the School of Information specializing in UX/HCI/Social Computing.

Before UX, I was a professional singer. Later, I tended bar before and during my tenure as a Four-Field Anthropology major at Wayne State University. At WSU I worked as Peer Mentor and President of the Anthropology Learning Community, and an Astronomy tutor.

I was selected by Dr. Irvin D. Reid, President Emeritus of WSU and founder/namesake of the Honors college that gave me a transfer scholarship, to conduct a field study with him and a small group of undergrad/grad students, studying democracy in Ghana during the 2012 election.

Upon obtaining my BA, I entered the workforce as an Account Manager at a local Supply Chain Logistics firm until admittance to UMSI. Since then, I’ve specialized in UX Research and Design, Human-Computer Interaction, and Social Computing as a master’s student, and I am planning to apply for the Ph.D. program at UMSI in the fall.

I am currently working as a UX research intern at Tyler Technologies.

I am the SOCHI Chair for 10th annual World Information Architecture Day – Ann Arbor coming in early 2021.

I am a UX researcher and “human in the loop” co-coordinator for CLAWS as we move forward with the development of ATLAS (AR Toolkit for Lunar Astronauts and Scientists), RIGEL (Rock Identification for Geological Evaluation), and VEGA (Voice Entity for Guiding Astronauts). I am providing UX consulting for BLiSS (Bioastronautics and Life Support Systems) as they develop new technologies to enhance NASA’s Artemis missions.

With the focus on space exploration, I have identified a research topic for the Master’s Thesis Option, or MTOP. Advised by Kentaro Toyama, I will be conducting an ethnographic field study utilizing participant observation to understand how aerospace and bioastronautics researchers conceive of human-computer interaction and what it can do to advance their field.

In my first year as an MSI at the University of Michigan School of Information, I’ve specialized in:

  • UX Research and Design
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Social Computing

I mastered coursework on:

  • Cognitive Psychology and Human Behavior
  • Interaction Design
  • Contextual Inquiry and UX Consulting
  • Python data structures
  • Needs Assessment and Usability Evaluation
  • Graphic Design Foundations
  • Accessible Design of Complex Websites.

In the upcoming Fall semester, I will be focused on:

  • Theories of Social Influence
  • Engaging with Communities
  • The UX Mastery course
  • MTOP

What I do

Field Studies

Need Assessment

Usability Testing

Design Validation

Recent Experiences

UX Research Intern | Tyler Technologies
(2020 – Current)
I was recruited to Tyler’s internship program through a resume book I opted into at my school’s career fair. Given the pandemic, the internship had to become fully remote. As a result, we’ve had to look for other opportunities. In the first month I built sitemaps and conducted heuristic evaluations on 3 closely related mobile apps. I helped validate key design changes for a crucial product by calculating speed/accuracy tradeoffs with Fitts’s Law. I observed/took notes on usability testing sessions. I am currently preparing to facilitate internal pilot testing on a new prototype. I also participate in the weekly UX Clinic and biweekly Virtual Standup and Design Review sessions.

Student Usability Consultant | IBM Developer
(2020 – Current)
This semester my group has been paired with IBM Developer to conduct needs assessment and usability evaluation on a recently launched product. We’re using interaction mapping, user interviews, thematic analysis, competitive analysis, surveys, heuristic evaluation and usability testing.

Human in the loop/Usability Lab Coordinator | CLAWS
(2019 – Current)
I’m working as a UX specialist and the Human-in-the-Loop Usability Lab Testing Coordinator for SEDS@UM on the CLAWS AR/MR interface designed to compete in the SUITS and eXploration Habitat Challenges. We are representing University of Michigan. Of the 21 student teams competing, ours is 1/10 invited to demo our system at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston this April.

Student UX Research Consultant | Grandmont Rosedale Dev. Corp
I led my team to conduct user research into the GRDC’s volunteer Vacant Property Task Force in order to develop and optimize documentation processes as the Task Force was set to be used as a model for other neighborhoods by the City of Detroit and its mission to cut down on vacant property, blight, and prevent tax foreclosure.

Matt Garvin

Cross-functional mixed methods user-experience research designer with a background in anthropology and human-computer interaction

9:00 am – 5:00 pm
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