HCI Research Group Seminars

News about seminars (and other activities of the HCI Group) is distributed via the Google hci-group@york.ac.uk mailing list. You may subscribe yourself to the list.

Seminars usually take place on Thursdays, 13.30-14.30 in CSE/266-267 – unless otherwise specified.

Information for speakers is available.

Autumn Term 2017

Date Speaker Room Title
(Links to abstract)
5 October Helen Petrie, Paul Cairns, Chris Power,
David Zendle, Alistair Edwards
CSE/266-267 My research and my favourite student project
12 October Helen Petrie CSE/266-267 HCI and food sustainability
19 October Chad Gowler CSE/266-267 Asking about gender: How to ask and why it matters
26 October Alistair Edwards CSE/266-267 Nudging students into better money management
2 November Andreas Savva CSE/266-267 Understanding accessibility problems of blind users on the web
9 November Hend Albassam CSE/266-267 Modelling Outlying Performance
16 November Helen Petrie CSE/266-267 Flash mob usability testing  
23 November David Zendle CSE/266-267CSE/082-083 Do Video Games Make You Violent? New Evidence From a Repeated Measures Design
30 November No seminar: Helen Petrie and Chris Power will be giving this week's Departmental Seminar


5 October
Helen Petrie, Paul Cairns, Chris Power, David Zendle & Alistair Edwards: My research and my favourite student project

This is mainly a chance for new members of the Group to find out about the research of the established members. We will outline our research interests in general and talk about one (or more) of the related student projects that we have supervised. This will give new students a chance to start thinking about the kind of project they might like to undertake.

12 October

October 16 is World Food Day and Helen will speak about her part in the IKnowFood Project.

19 October
Chad Gowler: Asking about gender: How to ask and why it matters

Between 1 and 5 percent of the UK population identifies as having a non-binary gender or are transgender. We ask people their gender all the time, but do we really understand what this means and the assumptions we make? This talk aims to help researchers understand what gender is and what it means, when asking for it is appropriate and how to design forms that are inclusive.

Slides (PDF)

26 October
Alistair Edwards: Nudging students into better money management

Many people – including students – find it difficult to manage their personal finances. A local small company is trying to address this by developing an app. The app monitors income and expenditure. From time to time it needs to present messages to the user, often warnings about over-spending. How should such messages be worded in order to be most likely to elicit the best response? Nudge theory might suggest different types of wording, but given that not everyone is the same the wording that works for one person might not work for another.

This talk will be based on Musa Babagana's student project, in which he found that a personality test could be used to match individuals to wordings. It will also cover some interesting methodological challenges encountered, some of them relating to the use of the Amazon Mechanical Turk crowd sourcing website.

2 November
Andreas Savva: Understanding accessibility problems of blind users on the web

The web is an eminently visual medium. However, not everyone accesses web content visually. Research shows that using the web is challenging for blind users. To create a good user experience for blind users on the web, we need a comprehensive understanding of the users' problems. Currently, there is little knowledge about the problem differences between blind and sighted users, which makes it difficult to suggest and test design solutions that address these problems.

This research aims to provide a further understanding of the problems blind users have on the web by comparing and contrasting problems between blind and sighted users and testing how design solutions to prevalent problems benefit blind users' experience.

The first study draws together the research literature into a common unified definition of web accessibility that was used to operationalise studies. The second study compared which verbal protocol (concurrent or retrospective) is better in user-based studies. The results showed that retrospective verbal protocol is a better option for eliciting problems on the web for blind and sighted users.

Then, an empirical study compared the problems between blind and sighted users on the web. The results showed that the problems the two user groups encounter largely differ. There are specific problem types distinct to blind users, but also the characteristics of the problem types that had instances by both user groups were very different. Moreover, many problems blind users encounter were in relation to the search and browse features of the websites.

A further investigation by two studies with blind users of how specific design solutions to prevalent problems users had (poor page structure, lack of feedback and excessive effort) in this specific design aspect showed that simple design solutions improve specific aspects of users' experience. Although, for major improvements in the overall user experience a combination of design solutions is needed.

9 November
Hend Albassam: Modelling Outlying Performance

It is always assumed by most usability studies that user performance accurately represented by a normal distribution. However, it has been found by some researchers that during usability testing there is always one user who is substantially slower than others. This outlying performance needs more investigation because most studies focus on average performance. Therefore, our study aiming at investigating the possible factors that cause outlying performance. Also, we are going to propose a model of outlying performance in menu search. And that model could be used as analytical tool to help designers to predict which design make a difference and improve usability for those users who are really struggling and making them happier by improving the quality of their interaction with systems. This is significantly considered one of the main goals of Human Computer Interaction (HCI).

16 November 2017
Helen Petrie: Flash mob usability testing

This is World Usability Day, and we will mark it by undertaking a cooperative usability evaluation.

23 November
David Zendle: Do Video Games Make You Violent? New Evidence From a Repeated Measures Design

The GAM, or General Aggression Model, is currently the dominant theoretical model when it comes to predicting the effects of violent video games (VVGs) on their players. The GAM predicts that being exposed to violent content in a video game makes violent concepts easier to access for players, leading to increases in antisocial behaviour. Furthermore, the GAM predicts that repeatedly playing a violent video game will make these concepts even more easy to access, leading to long-term changes in player behaviour. However, recent research in the literature has challenged this dominant perspective, arguing that seemingly definitive results reported in the literature are in fact the product of systematic confounding.

So, do violent video games make their players violent? This talk presents an overview of the theory of video game effects. It then moves on to focus on a new study that helps to answer this question through the use of an innovative and rigorous approach to experimental design.

Spring Term 2018

Date Speaker Room Title
(Links to abstract)
18 January      
25 January      
1 February      
8 February      
15 February      
22 February      
1 March      
8 March      
15 March      

Archive of previous seminars