My research is all in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) which is the study of how people use digital technologies, the problems they encounter and the the experiences they have. Though I have a broad interest in HCI, my specific research interests:
If you are interested in working with me, particularly if you are looking to do a PhD with me, I am happy to discuss these areas with you further. Just get in touch.
Research methods for HCI
As digital technologies cut across more and more areas of modern life, so researching them needs to cut across more and more disciplines and draw on the research methods of those disciplines. I co-edited, with Anna Cox, the first book on research methods specific to HCI and I use a wide-range of methods in my research including psychometric scale development, experiments, qualitative methods and user modelling. I am currently writing a book on the use of modern statistical methods in HCI.
- O'Brien, H. L., Cairns, P., Hall, M. (2018) A practical approach to measuring user engagement with the refined user engagement scale (UES) and new UES short form, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 112, 28-39
- Cairns, P. (2016) Experimental Methods in Human-Computer Interaction. In Soedergaard, M., Dam, R.F. The Encyclopedia of Human-Computer Interaction, 2nd edn, chap 34, online
- Cole, T., Cairns, P., Gillies, M. (2015) Emotional and Functional Challenge in Core and Avant-garde Games. ACM CHI PLAY 2015 , ACM Press, 121-126
- Thimbleby, H., Cairns, P. (2010) Reducing number entry errors: solving a widespread serious problem. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 7(51), 1429-1439
Experience of playing digital games
We would like our interactive systems to offer fulfilling experiences to people but often they don't. By contrast, games offer compelling experiences to millions of players every day but we know little about what precisely those experiences are and how games provoke them. I am interested in a range of aspects of player experience including immersion, social presence and engagement in games. When we understand what is happening in games, we may be in a better position to understand experiences in other interactive systems.
- Cairns, P. (2016) Engagement in Digital Games in O'Brien, H., Cairns, P. Why Engagement Matters: Cross-disciplinary perspectives on engagement in digital media, Springer, 81-104
- Denisova, A., Cairns, P. (2015) The Placebo Effect in Digital Games: Phantom Perceptionof Adaptive Artificial Intelligence. ACM CHI PLAY 2015, ACM Press, 23-33
- Cairns, P., Cox, A., Nordin, A.I. (2014) Immersion in Digital Games: Review of Gaming Experience Research, in Angelides, M.C., Agius, H. (eds) Handbook of Digital Games, IEEE/John Wiley and Sons, 339-361
- Hudson, M., Cairns, P. (2014) Interrogating social presence with experiential vignettes, Entertainment Computing, 5, 101-114 DOI
Errors in interactions
People make errors and, even with skill and training, occasional errors are unavoidable. However, there are aspects of the design of interactive devices that promote errors. I am interested in using small scale interactions to reveal the errors that people make and how good design can reduce them.
- Thimbleby, H., Cairns, P. (2017) Interactive numerals. Royal Society Open Science, 4(4), online, doi: 10.1098/rsos.160903
- Soboczenski, F., Hudson, M., Cairns, P. (2015) The Effects of Perceptual Interference on Number-Entry Errors.Interactive with Computers
- Cairns, P., Pandab, P., Power, C. (2014) The influence of emotion on number entry errors, ACM CHI 2014, ACM Press, 2293-2296