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, particularly for people with disabilities. Interaction is his major phenomena of interest—measuring it, modeling it, and designing it to create better user experiences. His specific research topics include: (i) input techniques (text entry, pointing, touch, gesture, voice, gaze); (ii) mobile and tabletop user interfaces; (iii) human performance with computers; (iv) HCI research and design methods; and (v) accessible computing. He pursues a vision of Ability-Based Design, where the human abilities required to operate a technology in a given context are questioned, and systems are made operable by or adaptable to alternative abilities.
Dr. Wobbrock has authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications, receiving 12 best paper awards and 7 honorable mentions, among the most paper awards in his field. His work has been covered 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 students and post-docs have been hired at Harvard, Cornell, Colorado, Maryland, Brown, 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. AnswerDash sells a context-sensitive help platform to websites and web apps to lower their customer support costs, increase their sales, and improve their user experience.
Dr. Wobbrock received his B.S. in Symbolic Systems and his M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University in 1998 and 2000, respectively. 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 in 2006. Upon graduation, he received CMU's School of Computer Science Distinguished Dissertation Award.