director, D.S. in Information and Interaction Design program
director, M.S. in Interaction Design and Information Architecture program
director, certificates in Information Design and Digital Media Production programs
Ph.D., Texas Christian University
B.A., M.A., Brigham Young University
Kathryn Summers' current work focuses on making medical and other information easier to find, navigate and read on the Web for people with lower literacy skills. Finding and understanding medical information and information about government services can have a huge impact on people’s health and happiness, yet often those who are most at risk are poorly served by current approaches to Web design.
The results of this research have been presented at a variety of international conferences and published by the American Society for Information Science & Technology and Interactions magazine. Summers has also done qualitative observational research supported by eye tracking measurements on how to make online forms, such as registration and medical assessment tools, easier to use for people with lower literacy skills.
Earlier work included collaborating with UB professorson a three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an intergenerational design team with faculty, graduate students and children. The School of Information Arts and Technologies KidsTeam, in collaboration with a team at the University of Maryland's Human Computer Interaction Lab, helped design interfaces for the International Children's Digital Library.
Summers also directs the School of Information Arts and Technologies' User Research Lab. The Lab supports research activities for faculty, students and local businesses.