Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has often focused on developing new artefacts to visualize and design a future world of information technology. Now we already live with technology around us, so our role as researchers and developers is instead to enhance and embellish our ways of living with technology. Because even though we are in the middle of digitalization and have almost endless possibilities of doing things with the help of IT, there is still a lot that does not work as we wish, and some that even makes it more difficult and causes stress. We want to understand and influence this development.
Our research within HCI includes a wide range of research objects, perspectives and methods. We carry out various types of design research and analytical studies of empirical conditions. We do this work by designing, building and studying technology in use. In order to carry out the research, we sometimes need to develop new tools in order to get close and capture the everyday situation. This is a way of studying existing practices, what use looks like today. To study alternative ways in which technology can be present in everyday life, we sometimes also need to design and build these alternatives to be able to test them.
This work is done through multidisciplinary perspectives and involves people with backgrounds in computer science, applied IT, and interaction design. To be able to carry out these studies, collaborations with other disciplines are needed.
The project Digital Seniors (2019-2021), funded by The Kamprad Family Foundation, focus on the growing group of older people who have been actively using computers for a long time – digital seniors. We are going to develop, test, and disseminate the concept of gracefully adaptive user interfaces – systems that can adapt and become simpler according to the users’ needs and abilities. We hope this will enable digital seniors continue to use IT to do the tasks they are used to, despite age related challenges. Read more about this project on the project web site or on the project Facebook page www.facebook.com/digitalaseniorer.
The research project Work from Home Movement www.gu.se/en/applied-information-technology/our-research/human-computer-interaction/contribute-to-research-on-the-covid-19-pandemic (2020-2021) was initiated to answer the question: Are we moving less during the pandemic due to recommendations to work from home? To be able to answer this question, our team developed an app, which retrieves steps saved on smartphones and watches, and visualizes the changes in everyday movement, during Covid-19. The data collection will continue as long as recommendations to work from home are in place, and will contribute to knowledge about the consequences of the pandemic for people's daily physical activity.
We are involved in multiple university, national, and international research collaborations and networks. Through the project Digital Seniors, we are members of the University of Gothenburg’s Center for Ageing and Health – AgeCap (www.agecap.gu.se)
Members of the division regularly participate in popular science contexts through their own texts and are interviewed in the media, and participate in conferences and lectures for the public. Here are some examples of our research in the media (Swedish):
Har coronapandemin gjort oss mer stillasittande? Ny app ska ge svar. Intervju i DN 2020.
”Selfies handlar om gemenskap”. Kulturnytt i P1 2019. [https://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=478&artikel=7192501]
”Prylen i våra liv. Alexandra Weilenmann om mobil teknik. Intervju GU-Journalen 2017. [https://issuu.com/universityofgothenburg/docs/gujournalen2-2017]