Charlotte Massey

Santa Cruz, CA 95060




I am a recent doctoral graduate and HCI researcher. My research has focused on understanding user behaviors with regards to how they manage their personal digital information. We all access personal files multiple times a day and yet we still know little about how people manage and keep track of their digital stuff. My work has explored how users behave with online collaborative tools and shared repositories, specifically how people co-organize shared resources.  I also do research in personal information management (PIM). In particular I’ve looked at how PIM strategies differ by personality and how they may be affected by mood. I am also more broadly interested in Personal Informatics, individual user differences, interface and technology personalization, and using technology for behavior modification and improving health.  I am passionate about using my background as a social scientist to help design and test new technology so that it is engaging, intuitive, and seamless.




Ph.D. Cognitive Psychology
University of California, Santa Cruz (2017)


M.S. Cognitive Psychology
University of California, Santa Cruz (2015)


B.A. Psychology (Intensive Major)
University of California, Santa Cruz (2010)


(Available on request)

Massey, C., Lennig, T., & Whittaker, S. (2014). Cloudy forecast: an exploration of the factors underlying shared repository use. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 2461-2470). ACM. (Acceptance Rate 23%)

Massey, C., TenBrook, S., Tatum, C., & Whittaker, S. (2014, April). PIM and personality: what do our personal file systems say about us?. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3695-3704). ACM. (Acceptance Rate 23%)

Massey, C., Whittaker, S. (In preparation). Understanding the Role of Emotions in PIM Strategies and Behaviors.




Graduate Student Researcher with Prof. Steve Whittaker (Advisor) 2015-2017
UCSC Department of Psychology HCI Lab

  • “Exploring the Impact of Emotions on Users Information Management Strategies”
  • Research on emotion has shown measurable changes to behavior based on one’s mood. In light of this, we designed a project to explore the impacts of mood on how people manage and retrieve files digitally. We found that participants in sad moods tended to generate more complex folder hierarchies
  • Designed, tested, and implemented in-lab filing simulation and mood induction protocol (150 participants)
  • Managed team of 4-6 research assistants each quarter
  • Designed and conducted follow-up exploratory study of participant’s personal computer management strategies (100 participants)
  • MANCOVA, regression, t-test, word frequency, & non-parametric analyses
  • Dissertation report completed (June 2017)


Summer Research Intern with Hendrik Mueller                       2015
Google Sydney (Google Drive UX Team)

  • Conducted user evaluation research for prototyped interfaces which led to product improvements to various Drive file management features.
  • Defined and conducted foundational research that helped to establish strategic opportunities for Android backup.
  • These projects involved planning, recruiting for, and conducting…
    • User evaluation that incorporated cognitive walkthroughs, think aloud protocols (6 participants).
    • Deploying short survey to establish terminology and initial estimates of behavior (~5000 participants)
    • Workshop to establish baseline reactions to novel concepts (7 participants)
    • Set of contextual interviews that incorporated semi-structured interviews questions and design concept evaluations (10 participants)
    • Concept evaluation for new designs that incorporated previous studies findings (5 participants)
    • Conducted qualitative data analysis for each study and generated two summarizing reports that were presented and widely distributed.


Summer Research Intern with Dr. Peter Pirolli                      2014
Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center)

  • Tested the effectiveness of a new innovative health and wellness behavior change mobile application.
  • Ran randomized control study of a health and wellness behavior change application (~120 participants)
  • Recruited participants, assisted in study design and related surveys and materials
  • Conducted preliminary literature review for pilot study on the effects of team composition in behavior change
  • Assisted in development of new method for administering surveys


Graduate Student Researcher with Prof. Steve Whittaker and Prof. Ofer Bergman 2013
UCSC Department of Psychology HCI Lab

  • “Understanding and Designing for Effective Collaborative Document Management“ (sponsored by Google)
  • Due to the widespread uptake of collaborative repositories this study set out to understand how users overcome the well documented problems associated with co-organization. We found that several strategies were employed that either used implicit knowledge or explicit instruction provided by a single organ
  • Qualitative study
  • Designed semi structured interview asking current professionals about their use of collaborative tools (g. Dropbox, GoogleDrive, SkyDrive, etc.)
  • Recruited and interviewed 27 participants
  • Coded qualitative data via content analysis
  • Wrote up results for CHI paper.


Graduate Student Researcher with Prof. Steve Whittaker            2011 – 2014
UCSC Department of Psychology HCI Lab

  • “Understanding User PIM Strategies by Personality Differences”
  • This project set out to explore whether personality is one source of individual differences in personal information management str Individual differences are well documented in PIM and are a barrier to developing successful general tools. We found that conscientiousness and neuroticism accounted for some of the variability in information management strategies seen in our participants.
  • Managed 12 undergraduate research assistants to run lab studies, coding qualitative data, running analysis programs, data prep and clean-up
  • Worked with 4 programmers to define program that generates objective behavioral data about users file/folder hierarchies
  • Data parsing and processing using python programming
  • Co-supervised successful undergraduate thesis on personal information management and personality
  • Conducted complex multivariate data analysis including the use of factor analysis, ANOVA, and multiple regression
  • Wrote up results for CHI paper.


Research Assistant with Prof. Travis Seymour                      2010
UCSC Psychology Department Cognitive Modeling Lab

  • Run participants in research experiment evaluating the perception of emergency vehicles in distracted driving contexts
  • Run participants in research experiment on attention and multitasking
  • Active discussion of methods and running literature searches for relevant research
  • articles


Research Assistant with Prof. Maureen Callanan                    2009
UCSC Psychology Department Callanan Lab

  • Independently worked to recruit and schedule parent-child dyads for study on functional fixedness and unusual uses for everyday objects
  • Run research experiments with parent-child dyads
  • Interviewing 4-5 year old participants on functional fixedness and unusual uses tasks


UCSC Psychology Dept. Outstanding TA Award

Recipient of: Academic Competitiveness Grant;

CA Governors Scholarship;

UCSC Regents Fellowship


Quantitative Experience: statistical expertise in ANOVA, MANOVA, T-Test, correlation, multiple regression

Qualitative Experience: Content Analysis, Semi-structured interviewing, Contextual Interviews, Cognitive walkthrough, Think-Aloud Protocol

Skilled in: SPSS, R, Microsoft Office and other productivity tools

Proficient in: Java, Python



Conference Talks and Posters

  • CHI ’14 (main session). Toronto, Can Presented Paper: Cloudy Forecast: An Exploration of the Factors Underlying Shared Repository Use
  • CHI ’14 (main session). Toronto, Can Presented Paper: PIM and Personality: What do our digital files say about us?


Guest Lecturer

  • UCSC, Cognitive Colloquium, 1st and 2nd year Research Presentations (2012 & 2013)
  • UCSC, Computer Mediated Communication, Lecture in Personal Information Management (2013)
  • UCSC, Introduction to Psych Stats, Lecture in Two-Way ANOVA (2015)
  • UCSC, Learning and Memory, Lecture in Improving Memory (2015)
  • UCSC, Behavioral Neuroscience, Lecture in Sex, Drugs, and the Brain (2016)


Relevant Teaching Assistant Positions

  • Research Methods, with Prof. Leila Takayama (Spring 2017)
  • Cognition: Fundamental Theories, with Dr. Sara Goodman (Fall 2016) & with Bryan Holbrook (Winter, 2017)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience, with Prof. Bruce Bridgeman (Spring 2016)
  • Introduction to Psychology Statistics, with Prof. Steve Whittaker (Spring 2015)
  • Computer Mediated Communication, with Steve Whittaker (Winter 2013 & Winter 2014)
  • Human Factors, with Prof. Steve Whittaker (Spring 2013)




Available upon request