I teach at the School of Computer Science, University of Nottingham.
Design Ethnography (G54DET).
I am convening this module again in the autumn 2017/18.
I have previously convened Design Ethnography in 2016 (spring and autumn), and and together with Andy Crabtree in the spring semester 2015.
I have also co-convened Understanding Users in Computer Science (G54MET) together with Andy Crabtree in the fall semester 2014.
Student Projects in Human-Computer Interaction
Projects must involve users at the core. Typical activities in a human-centred computing project include
- Requirements gathering through interviews or ethnography, to inform your design,
- Testing your design with users, for example through deployments of your your design ‘in the wild’ (for example in people’s homes),
- Evaluation of your design through analysis of system use or user feedback.
Social computing: supporting collocated face-to-face interaction
At the MRL, we are interested in designing and studying for collocated groups of people in leisure and work settings. Past work includes for example, Automics, a mobile photo-story system for visitors of a theme park; or InstaCampus, an app for collaborative photo-taking to create visitor guides (see this paper).
How could groups of families or friends at public events be supported by a mobile service for recording the experience, sharing, or augmenting it? Possible settings include festivals and music events, galleries, museums or parks, sightseeing or heritage tours, or sports events. You could
- design a mobile app (or a prototype) to support/enable such a group experience, and/or
- deploy and study the way such a service is used in a real-world setting.
Mobile computing: notifications and Interruptions
Notifications are a common feature of mobile devices. However, they have the potential to interrupt human activity at inopportune moments, with adverse or even dangerous effects. On the other hand, they alert the user of potentially important messages.
What are the effects of interruptions on various activities? How can notifications be made more sensitive to the human context? Interruptions and interruption management are a widely studied domain, and potential topics for a project could be
- studies/experiments of interruptions in mobile settings,
- explorations of mobile device sensors to predict (un-)availability,
- design of notification or interruption management systems.
Internet of Things and the Home
We encourage project ideas around the “Internet of Things” in the home, for example
- energy monitoring (sensing) and feedback (real-time, historic, visualisations etc.) in homes,
- a prototype hardware system that monitors and rewards low water usage,
- a system/app to collect environmental data and energy consumption through sensors (e.g., noise, light, temperature, electricity, water, gas etc.),
- Encourage people to self-report on sustainability-related behaviours, connect it to social networking sites.
Previous MSc project include a web-based food diary that showed users the carbon footprint of their meals, and added gamification to reward low carbon meals, and an energy budget application.
Past students include:
Wenchao Jiang (graduated in 2016).