Holistic Health & Wellbeing

Understanding how to design for health and well being requires more than simply building an app and expecting good outcomes. Health and well being is also more than just the absence of disease and our interests cover physical health and well being, as well as emotional, social and mental health and well being.

Research in the group aims to put the focus on the people and their everyday practices. We reject narrowly conceived measures of success and strive for more holistic concepts of wellbeing and empowerment. We are concerned with the whole spectrum of health care: from institution-based clinical care; to shared care and care in the community involving clinicians and patients/carers; to self care and health promotion. Our research and design work connects to areas such as eHealth, health management, electronic records, rehabilitation, intervention, motivation and behaviour change, social and emotional skills learning, social inclusion. Projects within this theme include designing smart objects with autistic children or creating peer-care and sharing platforms for older people. We have also published three substantial literature reviews that frame up research agendas in the areas of: CSCW research and healthcare; self-care technologies from an HCI perspective; and technology support for social and emotional skills learning.

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Game Design

Making games is hard work. Often, mastering the technological hurdles seems to be the hardest part, when in fact making a great game is more a question of careful and thorough game design. We are researching tools, strategies and methods to help game designers achieve their goal - making games fun! Games have expanded and have long transcended the closed concept that is the magic circle. Alternate reality games connect to real world behavior and serious games promise potential for areas like education, health care and to raise awareness to social as well as political issues. Social games have significantly expanded the gamer demographic.

We focus on the design process of these contemporary digital games and contribute our research to the field of digital game studies. The 'Landspotting' project improves the quality of land cover information by vastly increasing the amount of data by crowd-sourcing data collection to games. 'Serious Beats' strives to change social behavior by furthering acculturation through letting Viennese youth play music together online.

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The technological interventions that could be used for investigating how a shift towards a more sustainable society is tangible, are various: wearable technologies, embodied and tangible interaction, integrating sensors and actuators in everyday objects provide new possibilities for sustainable interaction design (SID). At our group we are raising research questions that also blend in with manifold aspects such as attitude, motivation, behaviour change, individualization, community and grass roots movements. In most cases sustainability in the field of HCI focuses on ecological sustainability, i.e. the connection between humans interacting with systems and the resources they use through their behaviour.

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Human Centred Visualization

Often a visual representation is an intuitive way to interpret the data, their relationships and structure. Visualizations can support users to understand, explore, compare and browse multidimensional data sets and help them to gain valuable insights into their data. However, for the design of an effective visualization it is necessary to consider the users’ needs, their expectations as well as experiences and which tasks they want to solve with this visualization.

Our goal is to design visualization concepts in regard to utility and user-friendliness in order to support users to analyze their data. For this purpose we adapt methods from Human Computer Interaction and consider the four main steps of the human centered design process: analysis, requirements, design, and evaluation. If you interested in a Master or Bachelor thesis with focus on design and/or evaluation of visualizations, please contact Prof. Margit Pohl or Simone Kriglstein.

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