I am a second year Ph.D. student in the Human-Computer Interaction(HCI) at Brown University, where I am advised by Prof. Jeff Huang. Before joining Brown, I worked on the intersection of design and technology to improve the psychological and educational impact of everyday tech. I had the fortunate experience to lead these projects at Computer-Human Interaction for Social Well Being(CHISEL) at LUMS, Pakistan, where I was advised by Suleman Shahid and Mobin Javed. Previously, I earned my Bachelor’s the Department of Computer Science at NUCES, Pakistam.

My research focuses on designing accessible social support healthcare applications. I use mixed methods research in my work, including interviews, ethnography observations, grounded theory and surveys. Currently, I am analysing language to understand cognitive biases present in textual communication which guides my work on creating AI powered mental health conversational agents for people with minimal access to healthcare. Previously, I designed novel applications to address the needs of Pakistan’s marganalized communities (e.g. people with lived experience, low-literate populations, visually impaired, and neuro-divergent children)


September 2021: I started grad school at Brown HCI.

August 2021: I resigned from my position as a Research Associate \& Product Lead from CHISEL, LUMS.

Research Projects

Corona Assisted: Pakistan’s first COVID-19 awareness platform that showcases educational material about the COVID-19 including, the basics of the virus, protective measures, searchable hospitals in the region, myth busters, and FAQs.

HumQadam (Securing Activists for Freedom and Empowerment): A learning tool designed to strengthen Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) in Pakistan. The application provides rapid information regarding the legal actions for different forms of violence against women. [app]


Designing Parental Monitoring and Control Technology: A Systematic Review
Zainab Iftikhar, Osama Younus, Taha Sardar, Hammad Arif, Mobin Javed, and Suleman Shahid IFIP Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, pp. 676-700. Springer, Cham, 2021. [paper]

Technology, Privacy, and User Opinions of COVID-19 Mobile Apps for Contact Tracing: Systematic Search and Content Analysis
Mahmoud Elkhodr, Omar Mubin, Zainab Iftikhar, Maleeha Masood, Belal Alsinglawi, Suleman Shahid, and Fady Alnajjar Journal of Medical Internet Research 23(2), 2020. [paper]

Last Updated on 10/13/2022 by Zainab Iftikhar