Tim Merritt joins S+I

Starting 1st February Tim Merritt will join S+I as an associate professor.  Tim has a research background in interaction design and in particular in designing novel/tactile interfaces and understanding the human activity of their use. Tim will primarily lecture and supervise students on the Interaction Design education.

Recent S+I seminar on “Human Activity Supported by Novel Interfaces“.

Tim’s Google Scholar page.

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S+I Research Seminar – Timothy Merritt

Title: Human Activity Supported by Novel Interfaces

Abstract: In many activities, communication among people can be limited. Current interfaces can be mismatched or inadequate considering environmental factors, e.g. the fine control offered by a mouse may be unhelpful while walking around a room, flat touch screens compete for attention from the driver, etc. In this talk I discuss findings from my recent research that investigates new technologies to support human activities and social collaboration in challenging contexts. This involves the development and evaluation of new interfaces that explore the capacities of the human senses, reduction of negative experiences, and support for social interaction in physical space. The talk will focus mainly on two projects 1) designing for communication in extreme contexts and 2) development of a novel breath-based biofeedback game for reducing pain and anxiety for children in a hospital.

Kiteboarding serves as an experimental platform to find ways in which technologies could support communication needs in mentally and physically demanding contexts. In our HapticKite system, a kite control bar with embedded sensors and actuators communicates instructions through voice or tactile cues to explore communication of control guidance. Tactile cues were shown to be productive in changing behavior, however, voice communication provides planning models and directional guidance better than tactile cues alone. Voice may negatively impact the user experience and is not well suited for all activities. The experiments highlight the need for better ways for communication tools to support mental models. I will share insights from our current work exploring haptics and kiteboarding and will connect this to wider issues in the design of technologies for people.

In the second part of the talk, I will provide insights from a recent project in which we developed a novel breath sensor and video game experience that provides active distraction for children undergoing blood sampling procedures at a special blood clinic in the hospital. The findings of a clinical trial suggest that our technique of providing active distraction reduced the pain and fear associated with the blood sampling procedure. I will provide an overview of the results of the clinical trial and insights about how the technology provided improvements compared to the control condition of passive distraction. This research highlights the potential of non-pharmacological assistive technology tools to reduce fear and pain for children undergoing painful or stressful medical treatment.

Short Bio: Timothy Merritt is an Associate Professor in the Design Research Group at Aarhus University, Dept. Of Engineering and teaches interaction design courses in the IT Product Development BSc and MSc programme. He holds a PhD from the National University of Singapore where his thesis explored how and why people respond differently to artificial and human team-mates in co-operative games. His current research investigates how people respond to interactive technologies including game experiences, shape-changing interfaces, tools for digital fabrication, and communication in extreme human activities. This has led to dissemination in the form of large internal exhibitions featuring demonstrations of future interactive product concepts, most notably at the world headquarters of Volkswagen AG and LEGO. Public dissemination includes interaction design conferences e.g. CHI, DIS, TEI and relevant journals e.g. Digital Creativity, Interacting with Computers among others. Prior to re-entering academic life, Tim worked for 12 years as project manager and senior enterprise management consultant at Siemens IT Solutions and Services designing and deploying monitoring systems within large corporations such as MetLife, BestBuy and government institutions including the Dept. Of Energy.

Where and When: Room 0.2.15, 16 of December 2016, 09:00-10:00

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S+I Research Seminar – Marta Kristín Lárusdóttir

Title: Integrating UX activities in Agile Software Development Processes

Abstract: Marta Kristín Lárusdóttir is an Associate Professor at Reykjavík University. She is visiting Aalborg to give a talk on her research on integrating UX activities in agile software development processes.

Where and When: Room 0.2.11, 5th of December 2016, 14:30-15:30

More information on Marta’s research can be found here: http://www.ru.is/haskolinn/starfsfolk/marta

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S+I takes over Gothenburg

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S+I Research Seminar – Michael Kvist Svangren

Title: Ph.D. Plan: Cars as Digital Artefacts in Digital Eco-Systems

Abstract: Over the last decades, we have witnessed a significant and rapid development of the digitalization of private cars. We currently use various interactive technologies to control car settings, such as temperature or cruise controls, while embedded car systems monitor our driving and driving performance, such as fuel consumption or driver fatigue alarms. Furthermore, as the car is becoming more digital and connected, it is increasingly being used and interacted with through other devices, e.g. using smartphones to control charging of electric cars.

Cars is now digital devices that are connected to other digital devices rather than being used as individual ones and these networks connect to other’s devices in different ways than we did a few years ago. One way we refer to these devices is as digital artefacts, which are devices with some level of interactivity enabled by digital technology. We now see entire digital eco-systems of digital artefacts that are interconnected. This facilitates and to some extend requires the design of interactive systems that spans across more devices, which increasingly is also the case for not only the car itself, but also technology and systems that are part of the eco-systems it belongs to.

To our knowledge, there have been no systematic HCI research studies on cars as digital artefacts in digital eco-systems, and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead, despite the fact that development and research with cars is already under way. This Ph.D. project tries to expand our knowledge in the area as to how we can design interactive systems and devices for cars in digital eco-systems.

Where and When: Room 0.2.11, 28 of October 2016, 13:00-14:00

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S+I Research Seminar – Elefteris Papachristos

Title: Well-being and Connectedness

Abstract: There is a growing interest for the topic of well-being in the HCI community primarily fueled by developments in field of Positive Psychology. In the last decade HCI research has shifted the focus of attention from functionality and usability to the experiential. It seems to me that the question that will dominate HCI in the future will be one of purpose (i.e. does technology promote well-being or happiness?). In this presentation I will provide a short introduction of findings in Positive Psychology relevant to HCI research with special focus on connectedness which is one of the recognized factors influencing well-being. Finally, I will describe my first steps into this new research field investigating whether technology could help people improve their feeling of connectedness.

Where and When: Room 0.2.15, 14 of October 2016, 09:30-10:30

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Cross-Device Interaction Techniques paper accepted at MoMM 2016

Jeni, Dimitrios, Jesper and their students got their research work accepted at MoMM 2016


In recent years there has been an increasing interest in cross-device interaction research involving mobile computing. We contribute to this research with a comparative study of four interaction techniques for moving information from a mobile device to a large display. The four techniques (Pinch, Swipe, Throw, and Tilt) were compared through a laboratory experiment with 53 participants, measuring their effectiveness, efficiency and error size. Findings from the experiment revealed that the Swipe technique performed best on all measures. In terms of effectiveness, the Tilt technique performed the worst, and especially so with small targets. In terms of efficiency and error size, the Pinch technique was the slowest and also the most imprecise. We also found that target size mattered considerably for all techniques, confirming previous research. Based on our findings we discuss why the individual techniques performed as observed, and discuss implications for using mobile devices in cross-device interaction design.

Paay, J., Raptis, D., Kjeldskov, J., Lauridsen, B.M., Penchev, I.S., Ringhauge, E., and Ruder, E.V. 2016. A Comparison of Techniques for Cross-Device Interaction from Mobile Devices to Large Displays. In Proc. MoMM 2016, (to appear).


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New Cool Paper published at BIT journal

Dimitrios, Anders, Jesper and Mikael published their work on converging coolness at Behaviour & Information Technology journal.

Recently a number of studies appeared that operationalised coolness and explored its relation to digital products. Literature suggests that perceived coolness is another factor of user experience, and this adds to an existing explosion of dimensions related to aesthetics, hedonic quality, pragmatic quality, attractiveness, etc. A critical challenge highlighted in prior research is to study the relationships among those factors and so far, no studies have empirically examined the relationship between coolness and other established user experience factors. In this paper, we address this challenge by presenting two studies one that focuses on factors from two cool questionnaires, and one that compares them against existing User eXperience (UX) factors. Our findings show that factors from the two cool questionnaires converge and they also converge to existing, established UX factors. Thus, 11 distinct cool and UX factors converge into 5 for the case of mobile devices. Our findings are important for researchers, as we demonstrate through a validated model that coolness is part of UX research, as well as for practitioners, by developing a questionnaire that can reliably measure both perceived inner and outer coolness as well as the overall coolness judgement based on 5 factors and 21 items.

Raptis, D., Bruun, A., Kjeldskov, J., and Skov, M.B. (2016) Converging coolness and investigating its relation to user experience. Behaviour & Information Technology.

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New demonstrator page

A new page has been created that contains our different demo projects. The page can be accessed from the menu at si.aau.dk or from this link.

If you have a project that you would like to be added to that page, please talk to Kvist.

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