Ph.D. and Other Activities
My doctoral research (HighWire CDT – Lancaster University) questions on how interface and interaction design can invoke and enhance Mindful and Mindless interactions; and how such interactions can improve users understanding and experience when engaging with digital technologies
Understanding, Measuring, and, Invoking Mindfulness and
Mindlessness During Human-Computer Interactions
(HighWire Centre for Doctoral Training - School of Computing and Communications, Lancaster University, UK).
Current designs of user interfaces often follow a design trend. Designers often try to make the interface easier to understand, familiar, and more intuitive. While the use of technologies that are familiar holds qualities such as low cognitive demand and ease of use; they hold within them an intrinsic problem. The familiarity and repetition in design qualities produces habitual response and reduces the facilities of reflection and contemplation upon the interaction. Subsequently this inhibits the discovery of novel solutions to challenges and / or formation of novel goals.
This thesis proposes the framing of human-computer interaction and interface design through a lens of Mindfulness and Mindlessness as a means of better understanding and designing for the distinct qualities each holds. This is achieved through three stages; firstly this body of work presents a pragmatic definition of Mindfulness and Mindlessness that can be applied to interactions with technologies. In doing so it overcomes the problematic qualities of directly applying previous definitions, such as spiritual and clinical foundations and interpretations. Secondly, this research provides the reporting of an exploratory study conducted, and initial direction for future works to build upon, in the analysis of Mindful and Mindless during interactions with digital technologies. This is achieved through the application and advocating of a neurophenomenological methodology, combining first person reporting alongside physiological measurement. Finally this thesis provides insight to how the design of technologies can invoke Mindful and Mindless interactions and the consequences of these, followed by design considerations in the final conclusion. In addressing these three areas this thesis provides answer to an overarching research question; how Mindfulness and Mindlessness might be understood, measured and invoked in relation to Human-Computer Interactions.
Master of Research - Digital Innovation
Lancaster University, U.K. (Highwire - Doctoral Training Centre)
Master of Arts - Creative Music Practice
University of Wales, Newport, U.K.
B.A. Hons. - Creative Sound And Music
University of Wales, Newport, U.K.
Research Community Activities and Roles:
I have presented to academic institutions, specialist organisations, leading research conference (international), and various stakeholder and public engagement events. I also play an active roll in international research communities:
Chair ACM Tangible, Embedded and Embodied Interactions (TEI) Student Design Challenge, 2018
Associate-Chair ACM Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) Provocations & Works in Progress, 2017
Reviewer (ACM Creativity and Cognition, ACM DIS, ACM CHI, ACM TEI), 2013- Present
My broader research interests centre upon understanding and improving experience and knowledge for users of interactive technologies and environments; primarily how design choices may alter and impact such experiences.
My research practice involves physical computing, including prototype design, development and implementation (software and hardware), interactive media, and, affective computing/bio-feedback interactive systems (including eye-tracking and EEG technologies).
I use both qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods.
My research (and practice) is multidisciplinary… like much of HCI research… though due to labels that never quite fit me well I often get summarised as "does stuff with computer things”.