From Research Projects to Research Tools
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.
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.