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Anne Spencer Ross

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I am a PhD Candidate in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering at 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 and Jacob O. Wobbrock on making Android applications more accessible to people with disabilities. I received 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.


An app for everything, but can everyone use it?


Anne Spencer Ross, Xiaoyi Zhang, James Fogarty, Jacob O. Wobbrock (2020). An Epidemiology-inspired Large-scale Analysis of Android App Accessibility. TACCESS 2020. [local pdf] [official link]

Anne Spencer Ross, Xiaoyi Zhang, James Fogarty, Jacob O. Wobbrock (2018). Examining Image-Based Button Labeling for Accessibility in Android Apps through Large-Scale Analysis. ASSETS 2018. Best Paper Nominee. [local pdf] [official link]

Xiaoyi Zhang, Anne Spencer Ross, James Fogarty (2018). Robust Annotation of Mobile Application Interfaces in Methods for Accessibility Repair. UIST 2018 [official link]

Anne Spencer Ross, Xiaoyi Zhang, James Fogarty, Jacob O. Wobbrock (2017). Epidemiology as a Framework for Large-Scale Mobile Application Accessibility Assessment. ASSETS 2017. Best Paper Nominee. [local pdf] [official link][]

Xiaoyi Zhang, Anne Spencer Ross, Anat Caspi, James Fogarty, Jacob O. Wobbrock. (2017). Interaction Proxies for Runtime Repair and Enhancement of Mobile Application Accessibility. CHI 2017. [local pdf] [official link]


Finalist: NCWIT Collegiate Award

Spotlight on: Annie Spencer Ross and Smartphone Accessibility. University of Washington's Scholars' Studio. Feburary 22, 2017.

UW CSE’s Annie Ross excels in ACM Student Research Competition, Allen School News. October 27, 2016.

Past Research

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.


Annuska Zolyomi, Anne Spencer Ross, Arpita Bhattacharya, Lauren Milne, Sean Munson (2018). Values, Identity, and Social Translucence: Neurodiverse Student Teams in Higher Education . CHI 2018. [local pdf]

Annuska Zolyomi, Anne Spencer Ross, Arpita Bhattacharya, Lauren Milne, Sean Munson (2017). Value Sensitive Design for Neurodiverse Teams in Higher Education . Assets 2017. Poster [local pdf] [official link]

Creative Writing with a Machine in the Loop

We exploring how human creativity can be supported, enhanced, or changed by having a machine in the loop model of creative writing. We seek to understand:

  • What would a machine collaborator looks like?
  • In what cases would human writers accept and use such an agent?
  • What would machine-in-the-loop writing tools look like?
For this project, I joined a collaboration with the ARK lab including Elizabeth Clark, Dr. Chenhao Tan , and Dr. Noah Smith.


Elizabeth Clark, Anne Spencer Ross, Chenhao Tan, Yangfeng Ji, Noah Smith (2018). Creative Writing with a Machine in the Loop: Case Studies on Slogans and Stories. IUI 2018. [local pdf]

Cherry Blossoms on the UW campus