Jacob O. Wobbrock is an Associate Professor in the Information School and, by courtesy, in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington, one of the world's elite institutions for research in human-computer interaction (HCI). Dr. Wobbrock directs the Mobile & Accessible Design Lab and he is a founding member of the DUB Group and the Master of Human-Computer Interaction & Design program.
Dr. Wobbrock's research seeks to scientifically understand people's interactions with computers and information, and to improve those interactions through design and engineering, especially for people with disabilities. Interaction is his phenomenon of interest—studying and shaping it to create better user experiences. His specific research topics include interaction techniques, human performance measurement and modeling, HCI research and design methods, mobile computing, and accessible computing. He pursues Ability-Based Design, where the human abilities required to use a technology in a given context are questioned, and systems are made operable by or adaptable to alternative abilities.
Dr. Wobbrock has co-authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications, receiving 19 paper awards, including 7 best papers and 7 honorable mentions from ACM's CHI conference. For his work on accessible computing, he received the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Social Impact Award. His work has been reported in The New York Times, The Seattle Times, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Huffington Post, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, M.I.T. Technology Review, PC World, Self Magazine, USA Today, and other outlets. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award and five other National Science Foundation grants. He is on the editorial board of ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction. His advisees have been hired at Harvard, Cornell, Colorado, Maryland, Brown, Simon Fraser, and elsewhere.
Dr. Wobbrock is also an entrepreneur. He was the venture-backed co-founder and CEO of AnswerDash from September 2012 – May 2015, and is currently its Chief Experience Officer (CXO) in an advisory role.
Dr. Wobbrock received his B.S. with Honors in Symbolic Systems and his M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. Upon graduation, he was honored with CMU's School of Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Award.