Seminar – Understanding Perceived Uncertainty in Interactive Systems

October 17, 2017 at 11:00 am

11:00am, room WG49

Abstract: Imagine a gamer, trying to jump over a chasm for the twentieth time, wondering if they are doing something wrong, or if the game just too hard for them. Picture a family historian navigating through 300 pages of search results to discover a long lost aunt, but unsure which poorly labelled link will lead to her place of birth.  Finally, remember your own experiences, when you were hopelessly lost on a website, unable to find that form or policy you needed, even though you were sure you found it before. All of these scenarios are examples of users experiencing uncertainty in interactive systems. This uncertainty leads users to getting “stuck” and unable to progress in their tasks. Some of this uncertainty is unavoidable, caused by what we are trying to do, such as solving hard problems or playing a game. In other cases, uncertainty is unnecessary, caused by the design and feedback of the interactive system.  In this talk, I will discuss this feeling of uncertainty in two different and seemingly disparate domains: information seeking and digital games.  I will describe where we have encountered users that can identify and describe the feelings they are having, and how that has informed the development of psychometric scales to measure these experiences.  I will end the talk discussing future directions, specifically looking at how we can use these measures to drive design in interactive systems.

Speaker: Dr. Christopher Power is Senior Lecturer in Human Computer Interaction at the University of York.  He has active research programmes in inclusive design, information seeking and digital games, all with a focus on investigating foundational user experiences that can be directly related to the design of interactive systems.  Dr. Power is Vice-President of the AbleGamers Charity, and is an Adjunct Research Professor at Western University in Canada.  Outside of research, Dr. Power can often be found arguing the merits of superhero comics as a modern mythology for our society.

Seminar – How Does the Use of External Representations Alter the Sensemaking Process?

October 10, 2017 at 11:00 am

11:00am, room WG49

Speaker: Kholod Aslufiani (Middlesex University)

Abstract: Representation is central to the process of sensemaking, whether internally, with a mental model, or externally, by creating, for example, maps or tables. When solving complex problems, people create external representations of information in order to make sense of it. Sensemaking is achieved by means of manipulation of these created representations. Although previous studies have addressed the role of external representations in aiding cognition in general, and sensemaking in particular, little is known about how exactly these external representations aid sensemaking. Gaining a better understanding of this process will assist in designing (better) tools to enhance sensemaking. In this talk, I will discuss an exploratory study investigating the role of external representations in the sensemaking process from which a set of hypotheses have been derived, and a study design to test those hypotheses.

Speaker: Kholod is a PhD student at Middlesex University. Her main research interest is the role of external representations in altering the sensemaking process, and how to support sensemaking using external representations, particularly in tasks involving narrative construction.

IDC Seminar – From Research Projects to Research Tools

October 3, 2017 at 11:00 am

From Research Projects to Research Tools

Room WG49

Dr Bob Fields

Abstract: In this talk I will describe two projects, Insight and Quest, both collaborations between CS, Interaction Design, and Psychology, that have resulted in research tools for collecting and analysing research data. Insight began as a project to collect rich, near-real-time data from participants in a study focused on mental health and self-harm. The Insight tools have been developed to support the easy configuration of Experience Sampling studies where data include both subjective responses as well as objective measurements. Study participants can be sampled many times over the course of a study, and the data uploaded to a server for later analysis. The tools are being used in a number of studies that go beyond the original focus of self-harm. The Quest project collected and analysed data from multiple sources concerning peoples’ suicidal thoughts. Part of the data collection exercise elicited over 1800 text-based responses to an online survey, the scale of which necessitated the production of a bespoke tool to manage the coding and analysis of this qualitative data. The coded data can be explored using a range of visualisation and analytic tools to discover structure in the data, look for patterns, and so on. Like Insight, the intention is for Quest to offer facilities that can be easily reconfigured to support other studies. In this talk I will describe the development of the tools and the process of making them reconfigurable and useful across a range of research problems.


Dr Bob Fields

Bob Fields is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at Middlesex, where he teaches and researches Interaction Design and Human Computer Interaction. His work explores peoples’ interactions with technology in domains as diverse as aviation, command and control, novel displays for complex information tasks, and supporting conversation in design education. Bob’s work has involved empirical study of complex work environments, the design of novel interactive technologies, and the development of methods and tools to support analyses of usability, human error and safety. Recent projects have involved collaboration with designers and psychologists to design tools to assist in eliciting, analysing and making sense of data in the field of mental health.

IDC Seminar – Interactive Visualisation of Semantic Patterns in Passwords

September 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Interactive Visualisation of Semantic Patterns in Passwords

Room C218

Dr Shujun Li and Ms Stephanie Schmid

Abstract: We propose a visual approach to explore and analyse the use of passwords. It is designed to 1) educate users to use stronger passwords for authentication and 2) help security experts develop useful password policies. The basis of our work is a tool implemented at the University of Surrey in 2016. It was improved during the project focusing on visual aspects. A live demo of the current version will be used to illustrate the advantages of visual exploration in the field of password analysis. With the aid of use cases covering recently leaked password lists, the features of the tool will be explained and new data exploration possibilities shown. Both results and limitations (incl. Ideas and future work) will be shown and discussed. We will also illustrate how the integration of higher semantics in passwords could improve our work. For that, we will discuss some recent related work and show how this could be used in the tool.


Dr. Shujun Li will join the University of Kent later in 2017 as a Professor of Cyber Security and Director of its Interdisciplinary Research Centre in Cyber Security. He is currently a Reader (Associate Professor) at the Department of Computer Science, University of Surrey, and has been a Deputy Director of the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security (SCCS) since July 2014. SCCS has been a UK government recognized Academic Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Research (ACE-CSR) since 2015 and its status has been recently re-recognised until 2022. Dr Li’s research interests are mostly around interdisciplinary topics covering cyber security, digital forensics and cybercrime, human factors and human-centric computing, multimedia computing and information and information visualization, and applications of artificial intelligence and discrete optimization.

Stefanie Schmid is a student associate at the Department for Data Analysis and Visualization of Prof. Daniel Keim at the University of Konstanz In 2013, she received a BSc. degree in Information-oriented Business Administration from the University of Augsburg, where she focused on Statistics and Data Analysis. Subsequently, she studied Information Engineering at the University of Konstanz and finished with a BSc. Degree in 03/2017. Her research interests are in data analysis, data visualisation, visual analytics and exploration of high dimensional data.


IDC Seminar (CG04) – Visualisation for Facilitating Human-Machine Cooperation in Data Science

January 17, 2017 at 11:00 am

Dr Cagatay Turkay

giCentre, Department of Computer Science, City Univeristy



The unprecedented increase in the amount, variety and value of data has been significantly transforming the way that scientific research is carried out and businesses operate. As data sources become increasingly diverse and complex, analysis approaches where the human and the computer operate in collaboration have proven to be an effective approach to derive actionable observations. Interactive visual methods offer novel means to facilitate such a cooperation. This talk will discuss the scope, strengths, and limitations of such methods, and walk you through a number of approaches over applied examples.


Cagatay Turkay is a Lecturer in Applied Data Science at giCentre in the Computer Science Department at City, University of London. He has a PhD in visualisation from University of Bergen, and served as a visiting research fellow at the Visual Computing group at Harvard University in 2013. His research mainly focuses on designing visualisations, interactions and computational methods to enable an effective combination of human and machine capabilities to facilitate data-intensive problem solving. He works together with experts in various domains such as biomedicine, transport, intelligence, cyber security and social science, to name a few.  He actively contributes in various roles to journals and conferences within visualisation and computer graphics and, leads and contributes to a number of national, international, and industry-funded research projects.