Human-Centered Computing

Department of Computer Science

About HCC

Human-Centered Computing is one of three research units at the Department of Computer Science. The research field is design, development, and use of interactive computer systems. The research approach is empirical and experimental. The types of results include:

  • Theoretical frameworks as contributions to understanding the field.
  • Methodologies and techniques as contributions to guiding practical action.
  • Changes as contributions to understanding and improving practice within the field.

The perspective is human-centered and it includes software development, digitalisation, human-computer interaction, interaction design, user experience, and innovation.

Intellectual support is sought in adjacent disciplines: engineering, systems theory, organisation theory, sociology, media science, theory of research, and philosophy. The research approaches applied by the unit encompass action research, case research, laboratory experiments, and field studies and experiments.

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Paper

Lifelogging in the Wild: Participant Experiences of Using Lifelogging as a Research Tool

Anders and one of his former master students got a full paper accepted at INTERACT 2019

Anders Bruun and Martin Lynge Stentoft Abstract

Research in the wild has emerged in HCI as a way of studying participant ex-periences in natural environments. Also, lifelogging tools such as physiologi-cal sensors have become more feasible for gathering data continuously in the wild. This could complement traditional in-waves approaches such as observa-tions and interviews. Given the emerging nature of sensors, few studies have employed these in the wild. We extend previous work by exploring the use of a physiological sensor and camera to examine how participants appropriate and experience wearing these. Participants were engaged in viewing the photos taken during the day and used the sensor and camera data to recall details about their daily experiences and reflect on these. However, participants also went through some efforts in making the camera blend into the environment in order not to break social norms.

Paper

Managing Big Data Analytics Projects: The Challenges of Realizing Value

Maria Hoffmann Jensen, Peter Axel Nielsen, John S. Persson Abstract

Organizations invest significantly in Big Data Analytics (BDA), but only limited knowledge is available on the challenges faced by these organizations when trying to realize value in such projects. Benefits realization management (BRM) offers a perspective and processes for realizing value from information systems (IS) projects. Yet, limited research has investigated how this can be applied to development processes for BDA projects. We report an in-depth case study of a large organization’s BDA development processes and the inherent challenges of realizing value. From our analysis, we found eight necessary activities for realizing value in a BDA process and the challenges pertaining to each activity. These findings extend previous research on value creation in BDA projects with insights from practices in a large organization highly dedicated to exploiting Big Data. The paper discusses these findings as they relate to previous research and concludes with their implications for current BDA projects and future research.

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Paper

CyclAir: A Bike Mounted Prototype for Real-Time Visualization of CO2 Levels While Cycling

Eike and Mikael got a short paper accepted at Interact'19 on CO2 measures for cyclists.

Eike Schneiders and Mikael B. Skov Abstract

With the increased global focus on the environment, pollution, greenhouse gases, as well as carbon footprint, a multitude of initiatives have emerged in order to reduce air pollution and also increase awareness of air quality. In this paper, we developed CyclAir, a system enabling cyclists to monitor the traffic-related air pollution, measured in carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, both in real-time as well as retrospectively. Based on a first user study with seven test participants, we found that our participants were often confirmed about their preconceptions of the immediate CO2 level and air quality, but interestingly they were also sometimes surprised. 6 out of the 7 participants expressed willingness to change route choosing behavior when presented with new evidence about the air quality, even when this increased the route length.

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Paper

Investigating EV Driving as Meaningful Practice

Rikke, Kvist, Mikael, and Jesper got their full paper on EV practices accepted for OZCHI'19

Jensen R., Svangren M. , Skov MB., Kjeldskov J. Abstract

Studies show that people find meanings such as freedom and independence in driving. However, the transition towards electric vehicles (EV’s) challenges these meanings as they present different driving experiences such as shorter driving range and missing supportive infrastructures. This suggests that people find other meaning in EV driving. This paper presents a qualitative study with 11 Danish participants who reflect on their experiences of driving EV’s in everyday life. As driving is embedded in many practices along with being a practice in itself, we draw on social practice theory as a frame- work to unfold how participants make use of technology to make EV driving a meaningful and desirable practice. We report on how participants facilitate their driving practices using interactive technology and charging infrastructure. We discuss these findings under three headings with ideas to inspire future HCI research and design for meaningful, sustainable EV driving practice.

Paper

Investigating the Use of an Online Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Service

Kvist, Margot, Mikael, and Jesper got their full paper on car sharing accepted for Interact'19

MK Svangren, M Brereton, MB Skov, J Kjeldskov Abstract

Online peer-to-peer car sharing services are increasingly being used for ena-bling people to share cars between them. However, our body of knowledge about peer-to-peer car sharing is still limited in terms of understanding ac-tual use and which opportunities and challenges present for those who use them. In this paper, we investigate peer-to-peer car sharing between car-owners and car-borrowers as facilitated by the Australian car sharing ser-vice Car Next Door. We conducted a study with 6 car-owners and 10 car-borrowers. Our findings, outlined in four themes, suggest that P2P car shar-ing fuels different goals for both borrowers and owners. While it is com-plementing traditional means of transportation car sharing is also in itself a mean of mobility, for example, for recreational purposes. Further, the shar-ing service plays a central role in supporting the users to make it more con-venient to share cars, for example, by letting borrowers find and book cars instantly reducing resources needed to borrow a car. We further discuss our findings and relate it to existing literature providing opportunities and challenges for future research and design on car sharing in HCI.

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Paper

Interaction Design for Domestic Sound Zones

Stine, Peter, and Jesper got a short paper accepted for Audio Mostly '19

Stine S. Lundgaard, Peter Axel Nielsen, and Jesper Kjeldskov Abstract

Sound zone systems have actively been developed for more than two decades. Building on this, we explore four different interaction design approaches for domestic sound zone systems: Tangible representation, light projection, familiar objects, and handhelds. These four approaches were conceived through a scenario-based workshop with HCI and IS experts responding to the functional challenges, opportunities, and requirements of interactive sound zones. The work presented in this paper contributes to development of interaction design for sound zone systems which is an essential parallel to the technical development.

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Paper

Investigating EV Driving as Meaningful Practice

Rikke, Michael, Mikael and Jesper got their paper accepted at OZCHI '19

Rikke Hagensby Jensen, Michael Kvist Svangren, Mikael B. Skov, and Jesper Kjeldskov Abstract

Studies show that people find meanings such as freedom and independence in driving. However, the transition towards electric vehicles (EV's) challenges these meanings as they present different driving experiences such as shorter driving range and missing supportive infrastructures. This suggests that people find other meaning in EV driving. This paper presents a qualitative study with 11 Danish participants who reflect on their experiences of driving EV's in everyday life. As driving is embedded in many practices along with being a practice in itself, we draw on social practice theory as a framework to unfold how participants make use of technology to make EV driving a meaningful and desirable practice. We report on how participants facilitate their driving practices using interactive technology and charging infrastructure. We discuss these findings under three headings with ideas to inspire future HCI research and design for meaningful, sustainable EV driving practice.

Research seminar

A Success Model for Agile Software Development

I will present a case study of an Agile Software Product Line (SPL) developed for mission critical purposes, where stakeholders’ commitment was a critical success factor. The Software Product Line goal was to implement mission–oriented features, reducing costs and time to operation in critical scenarios. The project lasted for three years and involved over 40 professionals. I will show how a hierarchical, waterfall- oriented organization was able to exploit Agile methods for its SPL to develop a Command & Control system, effectively running in on-field operations. I generalize the research experience, inducing a success model of general use for other comparable organizations. To do so, both Grounded Theory and Ethnographic approaches are used to identify critical success factors and their relations. In particular, I used a new Grounded Theory approach to improve qualitative rigor, known as Gioia methodology1. In this talk, I will provide an explanation of the context, challenges, and solutions provided to the Italian Army, as also the research methods used.

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Paper

Personalised Soundscapes in Homes

Stine and Peter got their paper accepted at DIS '19 (25% acceptance rate)

Stine S. Lundgaard & Peter Axel Nielsen Abstract

Sound zone technology is being developed to provide users with the ability to modify their personal soundscape. In this paper, we take first steps toward studying how and when users could use sound zone technology within the domestic context. We present a design ethnographical study of sounds in homes and potentials for utilising sound zone technology to modify soundscapes. Based on two rounds of qualitative interviews with seven participating households of diverse composition, dwelling type, and area type, we develop a design-oriented framework. The framework posits particular situations in which sound zone technology can support domestic activities. These are described and validated through the qualitative data collected in the households. The framework consists of two dimensions leading to four generalised situations: private versus social situations, and separate versus connected situations. A number of implications for designing interaction with sound zone systems in homes are derived from the framework.

News

Mikael Skov appointed professor of HCI

As of 1st March Mikael Skov is professor of HCI at the Department of Computer Science. <p>Mikael’s research interests include use of technology in human activity and my work is within different areas of human-computer interaction, interaction design, mobile computing, ubiquitous computing, pervasive computing. He has published more than 100 scientific papers on human-computer interaction including at conferences like CHI, CSCW, UbiComp, MobileHCI, Interact, NordiCHI. <p>http://people.cs.aau.dk/~dubois/

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News

A new research project on Energy and IT

The project has research partners within energy planning from the Department of Planning and within sustainable architecture from the Department of Mediaology and Architecture. <p>The project with over the next two years opens a new line of research on synchronization, integration and synergies between production and distribution of energy (heat, electricity, gas) on the one hand and energy consumption in smart homes or businesses. <p>The project links with what is currently called Smart Energy Systems and Smart Grid.

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Research seminar

Implementing Quality Assurance Practices in an Open Source Software Community

Many Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) projects have matured over the years to produce software of considerable size, complexity and some have seen generational changes. The need to rediscover, re-factor, and re-engineer existing code bases will thus increase over time, as will the need to deal with technological changes, processes, infrastructure, dependencies, and deployment platforms. We can safely assume that handling growth and maturity will require use of the best practices of software engineering methods and tools. An increase in popularity of a FOSS project implies that the community has to mature and improve its processes and practices. The objective of my PhD study is to bring a FOSS community quality assurance (QA) practices to higher standards. Through the mechanisms of a participatory action research process, I intend to introduce and when necessary, reinvigorate best QA practices in a FOSS community. I want to align the community QA practices with other FOSS communities’ practices and current software engineering best practices. This will yield a change in the affected community, but also new empirical insights into QA practices and new method to work with FOSS communities. The subject of my study is the Robot Operating System (ROS) community. The overall objective is to identify valuable lessons and knowledge that help others who wish to pursue a similar change agenda.

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Paper

Paper published in ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction

Stine, Jesper, and Mikael got their paper published in the TOCHI special issue on HBI

Stine S. Lundgaard, Jesper Kjeldskov, and Mikael Skov Abstract

Human-building interaction is converging the fields of architecture and interaction design, leading to new and interesting tensions in perspectives and methodological approaches. One such tension is related to temporal constraints. Architecture and interaction design typically produce outcomes with very different lifetime expectancies and, predominantly, use methods with very different pace. As an example, fast, iterative approaches of contemporary interaction design, consisting of frequent updates and redesigns, contrasts with much slower, plan-driven and long-term vision driven approaches within architecture. One question emerging from this tension is how to meaningfully combine perspectives and approaches. One suggestion, among others, has been that interaction design methods such as participatory design can be used to heighten the involvement of inhabitants and other stakeholders in continuous adaptations of the buildings they inhabit. While an interesting proposal, we believe that methodological considerations only partly address the complexity of the tension at play from the different lifetime expectancies of buildings and interactive computer systems. Unfolding this complexity further, we therefore propose a framework of temporal constraints at three levels of abstraction: 1) rationale, 2) method, and 3) outcome. Inspired by previous work, we discuss temporal constraints in human-building interaction at these levels. We argue that designing for human-building interaction requires an understanding of temporally constrained design conventions that apply meaningfully to both the short-term and long-term.

Paper

The SEE toolkit: How Young Adults Manage Low Self-esteem Using Personal Technologies

Jeni Paay, Helle Larsen, Heidi Nielsen Abstract

While low self-esteem is treatable, there is a stigma attached to seeking treatment for it (Corrigan, 2004). Low self-esteem can make even small things, like getting out of bed, difficult and lead to more serious illnesses such as depression or eating disorders (Elmer, 2001; Harter, 1993; Oshri et al., 2017; Sowislo & Orth, 2013). To understand how young adults are currently managing their self-esteem, we conducted a study using cultural probes (Gaver et al., 1999) and interviews with 11 young adults who feel they have low self-esteem. We identify the ways in which these young people act to increase their sense of self-worth, with particular focus on how they use personal technologies, such as smartphones. The aim of the study was to understand the role that these technologies were currently playing in the lives of people with self-esteem problems, and to investigate how personal technologies might be designed specifically to help people cope with low self-esteem, and ultimately improve their self-worth. Our contribution to health informatics is the SEE (Self-estEEm) toolkit, which identifies important factors that can influence young adults when dealing with low self-esteem. The SEE toolkit can be used in the design of health support technologies for young adults who want to manage their own self-esteem The SEE toolkit can be used in the design of health support technologies for young adults who want to manage their own self- esteem problems, giving them a private, helpful and meaningful user experience.

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