Cherry Blossoms on the UW campus
Picture of Anne

Anne Spencer Ross

ansross [at] cs [dot] washington [dot] edu


I am a PhD student in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the The University of Washington. My broad interest is in Human Computer Interaction. I am passionate about enabling diverse groups of people to access, interact with, and communicate information through technology. I am currently working with James Fogarty on making andoid applications more accessible to people with disabilities. I got my B.S. in computer science from Colorado State University.

Current Research

Accessibility of Smartphone Applications

We aim to enhance the accessibility of smartphone applications for people with disabilities. Through interviews, literature review, and other participatory design approaches, we investigate: accessibility challenges, interaction styles of people with disabilities, developer workflow, and the accessibility of existing apps. We are developing a tool to automatically determine the accessibility of an app based on the insights gleaned from the above strategies. The insights and tool will then be extended to developer tools to support developing more accessible apps and end-user tools for finding accessbile apps or enhancing apps that pose accessibility challenges.


Xiaoyi Zhang, Anne Spencer Ross, Anat Caspi, James Fogarty, Jacob O. Wobbrock. (2017). Interaction Proxies for Runtime Repair and Enhancement of Mobile Application Accessibility. Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2017). [local pdf]

Supporting Well-Being of Employees and Students with Autism

We explore mood tracking for people with high functioning autism in the workplace using a Value Sensitive Design approach (VSD). Our research questions, at a high level, are:

  • Can technology support adults with autism in getting support within the workplace or in higher education?
  • How do the values of the employee/students with autism, and the values of their team and managers/professors and peers, impact the design of such technologies?
We have specific interest in supporting the users’ personal understanding of how their emotional state is connected to workplace events, especially team meetings, and various modes of communication (face-to-face communications, phone, emailing), all of which have been identified as stress-inducing (Morris et al.), and using social connections to foster sharing and joint reflection on moods, triggers, and strategies to manage emotional well-being. We plan to study this through the lens of values (e.g., privacy, sharing, independence) and the values of other direct and indirect stakeholders so the user is comfortable and confident using a personal informatic system in the workplace.

Cherry Blossoms on the UW campus