TEAM (Technology Enabled Mental Health for Young People), is a 4-year Innovation Training Network (ITN), funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions initiative. There has been considerable research and many commercial products for improving physical health. However, the use of technology to support mental health lags far behind. The aim of the training network is to deliver new applications and technologies that support rapid, large-scale early assessment, prevention and treatment of mental health issues in young people.
As part of the TEAM project, the HCI group focus on design and evaluation of technology-enabled programs that empower young people and help them to build resilience and care for their own mental health, thus reducing the incidence of mental health difficulties.
While incidence of mental health difficulties generally is increasing, incidence for youth from a refugee migrant background is even higher. Unaccompanied boys and girls, such as those fleeing Syria, are at particular risk of mental health issues, including attempted suicide and self-harm. The challenge is not just how to treat such youth once mental health issues manifest, it is how to implement prevention strategies that are evidence-based, but also fit into their specific life worlds. Thus, as part of the project an in-depth understanding of the lived experience, needs and opportunities for prevention programs delivery for unaccompanied migrant youths in Austria through an ethnographic study of their contexts, the role of technology, and how they might be engaged with prevention strategies, will be gained. One outcome of the research will be a framework and set of design implications for technology development: how technologies can be used to deliver (and, if needed, re-interpret) existing evidence-based strategies around resilience and positive coping strategies for this high-risk user group.
The Viz4PAIS (Visualization Techniques for Process-Aware Information Systems) project is an initiative from the Workflow Systems and Technology Research Group, Faculty of Computer Science, University of Vienna and we are one of their partners. The goals of the project are (a) to develop and design user centered visualization approaches and (b) to create a community to unify and nurture the development of process visualization topics as a continuing research area.
The goal of this project is to improve visualizations for pairwise network comparisons via new cognition-driven design guidelines. This project will specifically concentrate on the visual comparison of directed acyclic graphs in node-link diagrams. Such comparison is needed, for example, in the analysis of phylogenetic trees in biology or in the assessment of contagion in financial networks. In these cases, the domain experts concentrate on finding commonalities and differences between the two networks being compared. This analysis is often undertaken in a visualized form. Visual exploration enables to identify where the differences are located and thereby to extract insights from these differences. Effective visual network comparison requires a well-designed visualization. Effective visualization uses guidelines, which are inter alia derived from research in cognitive psychology and human-computer interaction (HCI). Until now, HCI research has mainly focused on deriving guidelines for the visualization of single networks. There are still many open research questions concerning the comparison of two or more networks in node-link diagrams
SCHAUKASTEN - Sehförderung für Kleinkinder (1.12.2016 - 31.1.2018), financed by: Hauptverband der österreichischen Sozialversicherungsträger
SCHAUKASTEN seeks to conceptualize, co-design and implement novel interactive toys that motivate young children with visual impairments to keep up with their often dull but crucially important optical exerices.
Children with distinct visual impairment shall exercise their vision as soon as possible in order not to go blind. This exercise in vision constitutes an important building block for later leading an autonomous life.
Unfortunately, these exercise can often be little engaging and boring for the effected children and their parents or caregivers.
Therefore, SCHAUKASTEN seeks novel ways into motivating these children to do their exercises by supporting them with engaging and interactive exercise elements. During training, children shall be motivated by interactive toys to focus and endure as long as optimal. At the same time, parents and caregivers shall be relieved from challenges in motivating the children.
In Austria about 1.2% of the population or a total of ca. 130.000 persons are affected by dementia. The increase of life expectancy will lead to a growing number of people affected in the future. Maintaining mobility can at least help delay the advance of dementia symptoms. Lack of movement is considered to be one of the prevalent risk factors for dementia in the USA and Europe. Encouraging mobility of people with dementia poses risks like getting lost or falling. For this reason technological solutions mostly focus on monitoring and restricting or even inhibiting the mobility of persons with dementia. Often considered stakeholder groups in the design and implementation of technological solutions are care personnel and relatives, making persons with dementia only passive users in the functional chain. Whenever attempts were made to increase independent mobility of people, smartphones or smart watches were used, which are known to be difficult to handle for this user group.
The project Way-Key follows the approach of promoting mobility. For persons with light to medium grades of dementia independent mobility is feasible and a legitimate need in a self-determined lifestyle. Technology should be used to support people to the necessary extent, to guide them to their goal and back home safely, and to generally encourage mobility. Relatives or care personnel will be involved only when necessary. To avoid acceptance problems and facilitate everyday use, the developed tool will be connected to an item of daily use to make it likely to be carried along by users when leaving home. Privacy protection, human dignity, ethics by design, usability and non-discrimination are central themes in the project.
A principal challenge for existing social-emotional learning (SEL) programs is to provide reinforcement of the learnt competencies in everyday contexts and beyond the in-school lessons. SEL4Home project starts to bridge this gap by exploring how novel technologies can extend the programming into the homes of learners.
We collaborate with SEL developers and researchers at Committee for Children---the developers of Second Step, used by more than 8 millions of children in USA; as well as the VIBE group at Microsoft Research.
The Centre of Visual Analytics Science and Technology (CVAST) is one of the Laura Bassi Centres of Excellence. The goals of CVAST are twofold. The first goal is the integration of the outstanding capabilities of humans in terms of visual information exploration with the enormous processing power of computers to form a powerful knowledge discovery environment. The second goal is to scientifically assess the usability and utility of such discovery environments while bridging the gap between theory and practice for selected application scenarios. To achieve these goals we cooperate with several partners from industry.
Minecraft multiplayer servers allow millions of children from around the world to build, play and problem solve together in a shared virtual space. As conflicts between players are common, these online spaces offer unique opportunity to help children develop effective conflict resolution skills that would then transfer to real-world settings.
This project draws on 40 years of conflict resolution curricula in Prevention Science to develop in-game tools that embedded learning into the Minecraft gameplay. To explore this space, we collaborate with leading game researchers (Katie Salen, Mimi Ito) as well as SEL developers at Committee for Children (the developers of Second Step, used by more than 8 millions of children in USA).
Urban Food Spots – Development of the basics for gender and diversity sensitive cooling stations for foodsharing in urban areas (2015 – 2017), financed by: Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft (FFG)
70.000 tons of originally packed or opened food of households, industry or trade, are disposed of into Viennese residual waste, while at the same time 22,7 % of the inhabitants are at risk of poverty. To take counteractive measures, this project develops the base for an area-wide, low-threshold offer to share food on a local level, including all relevant gender and diversity aspects in the development of cooling stations. The so called UrbanFoodSp ots consist of a cooling station and an information system. The UrbanFoodSpots assemble the needs of the various groups of users and will be developed to be realised in different places and organisational forms.
The CoSi4U (Human Factors in Using Collaboration Systems in Companies) project is a cooperation project with FRINK Advanced Services GmbH. FRINK Advanced Services GmbH developed a tool for analysing collaboration data in companies. The goal of the project is to support the company in finding a user-friendly design in order to help analysts to handle this data and to make relationships between them visible.