Student Projects

This page lists student projects that are available to students. These can be completed as part of a summer experience, a final year undergraduate project, or an MSc project.

To find out more about how the lab operates student projects, see Working in the UX'd Lab.

Accessiblocks - Making Blocks-Based Programming More Accessible

Blocks-based programming is a type of visual programming paradigm that makes use of a drag-and-drop interface where graphical ‘blocks’ resembling puzzle pieces are joined together to create applications. The paradigm has been hugely successful in teaching programming concepts to young people through applications such as ‘Scratch’, ‘App Inventor’ and ‘Alice’. However, this paradigm still relies heavily on the use of a mouse, the ability to read text in a small font, and visual cues that may be inaccessible to a wide variety of end-users. The aim of this project would be to investigate accessibility issues in typical blocks-based programming and develop an extension that improves accessibility for a particular group with a relevant impairment.

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into accessibility of software development tools
  • Develop solutions for an existing accessibility challenge to traditional software development derived from literature review (e.g., difficulty in distinguishing code syntactical elements due to visual impairment)
  • Conduct a comparative evaluation of developed prototype solutions for the identified accessibility issue with affected users. The type of evaluation (quantitative or qualitative) would be open but should be clearly justified.

Skills: Prototyping, Research Methods, Quantitative/Qualitative Analysis; End-User Development

Related Papers:

Accessibility through Empathy: A Task-Based Application to Explore Accessibility.

It is essential for societal inclusion that our increasingly ubiquitous technologies are accessible. Building empathy with users is a key business strategy within industry and this is replicated within education. Buildign empathy through "being with" users is key to generating a complete understanding of the challenges faced and adaptations made by users with a variety of disabilities. To achieve this, we engage our students on a supported pathway of exploration and understanding. The aim of this project will be to develop a task-based application that allows users to complete tasks as different personas with a variety of disabilities. The application can be aimed at different user groups (e.g. younger children, university students, employees, etc) and this can be based on the interests of the student.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into accessibility education
  • Design and develop an educational application
  • Conduct a user evaluation of your application

Skills: Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis, Design and Prototyping

Related Papers:

Accessible Escape Rooms

Escape Rooms are a recent phenomenon across the world, whereby a group of people are “locked” in a room for 60 minutes. Inside the room, there are clues to help them escape. Typically, there is a series of logic-based puzzles, and these are increasingly moving towards using technology in these puzzles. Given the wide range of visitors to Escape Rooms, care must be taken to ensure that the physical and tangible interface is designed to allow for a wider range of abilities. For example, a child and an elderly grandparent may use the room, as well as visitors with disabilities such as physical impairments. The purpose of this project is to investigate different options for technology-based puzzles, turn these into escape room artefacts and then evaluate your room in terms of usability and engagement of users.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into accessibility, escape rooms and related gaming literature
  • Design and develop escape room artefacts that are accessible to users with different disabilities
  • Conduct an evaluation of the generated artefact(s)

This project is very open in terms of what can be created. For example, you may decide to focus on one particular artefact or puzzle, or you might focus on one particular disability in a case study method. In addition, you may consider a more abstract view by looking into the role of the game-master within the room.

Skills: Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis, Design and Prototyping

Related Papers:

Accessible Video Conferencing

Video conferencing has increased in popularity over the past six months. The platforms that facilitate this focus on personalisation options that allow for certain aspects to be adapted on a per-user level. However, the adaptions that take place occur are split between the person sending the video and the person recieving the video in a non-standard manner. Accessibility systems work best when personalisation options can be fully configured by the end user and a video conferencing system that facilitates this would be benefitial. This project has three aims:

  1. To understand the user needs and functional outcomes required by an accessible video conferencing system
  2. To determine how a system that encorporates these needs and outcomes can be created using modern web technologies
  3. To discover which adaptions to a video conferencing system would be most beneficial for users within live testing systems.

This will research project and is largely research based and consists of the following steps:

  • Conduct a literature review into the accessibility of video systems and their usage to facilitate video conferencing and create a resultant list of User Needs and Functional Outcomes.
  • Design a research study to test the accessibility of video conferencing systems based on the Needs and Outcomes previously created
  • Obtain ethics for this research study and then run it within a controlled lab setting
  • Create a software tool that allows for the accessibility of video conferencing methods to be tested
  • Carry out reserach study and conduct analysis on the results in order to test out this final system

In terms of the front and backend web programming languages that will be used, web based delivery would be preferred. It is anticipated that the project will take full use of a number of js APIs that are built into the browser and will also use technologies such as webRTC to facilitate real time video interactions.

Skills: Web Development, API usage, research study design, user testing.

Related Papers:

Augmented Reality: Viewing Complex Protein Structures in Augmented Reality

The Jalview Desktop (http://www.jalview.org/About) is an application that is designed for use by students and scientists in order to explore complex proteins or RNA sequence families to understand how their sequence relates to structure and function. Currently, a 3D model can be seen within a desktop window. The aim of this project is to create an Augmented Reality application that can be used to display these protein models within an education or public science engagement setting.

In this project the student will be expected to create a method of viewing complex protien structures within a browser based AR application. It should be possible to highlight different parts of the protein structure and then navigate around the protein in order to understand structural elements

The student will be expected to:

  • Carry out a literature review into the usage of AR within education settings and come up with a resultant research question
  • Design an experiment (and any associated software artefacts) that will be capable of answering the previously created research question
  • Obtain ethical approval for the experiment to take place
  • Carry out the experiment in a controlled lab setting, gathering all data required to answer the reserach question
  • Analyse the collected data and create a discussion of the subsequent results

Skills: Software Development, Mobile App Development, Design and Prototyping

Related Papers:

Chatbots By Example: End-User Development of Personalised Chatbot Experiences

Chatbots are effectively voice user interfaces, but with the input and output modality of speech replaced by text. Chatbots are popular for engaging users in general conversation, automating customer helplines, providing information or performing other services for their users. Much like skills development for Amazon Alexa and Google Home, however, chatbot development is outside the domain of a non-programmer end-user. The aim of this project is to investigate the ‘programming by example’ paradigm for allowing end-users to customise their chatbot experiences.

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into chatbot development and the programming by example paradigm
  • Design and develop an application that allows end-users, with no programming, to add functionality to a chatbot by demonstrating expected behaviour
  • Conduct a usability evaluation of the application to determine the feasibility of programming by example for chatbot development

Skills: End-user Development; Conversational Assistant Development; Research Methods

Related Papers:

Emoji for Blind Users

Emoji are graphical symbols that appear in many aspects of our lives. Worldwide, around 36 million people are blind and 217 million have a moderate to severe visual impairment. This portion of the population may use and encounter emoji, and many experience issues that lead to social exclusion. These issues are related to, e.g. searching for appropriate emoji, cultural use of emoji, platform differences. The aim of this project is to design and evaluate novel solutions to one or more of these issues.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into accessibility and emoji usage
  • Create different solutions to a known problem (from your literature review), e.g. searching for emoji without visual representations
  • Create prototypes of your different solutions
  • Conduct an evaluation that compares your different solutions

In terms of the technology being used, this will be focussed the front-end development of high-fidelity prototypes.

Skills: Design and Prototyping,Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis

Related Papers:

Emoji Kitchen Expansion

Emoji are graphical symbols that appear in many aspects of our lives, and the prevalence is increasing. There are regular updates to the emoji lists at Unicode which contains details of emoji across multiple platforms. In addition, Emoji Kitchen has been developed by Google to allow even more combinations of emoji to be possible. This work does not consider the context that a proportion of technology users areound the world have disabilities or experience situational impairments. This portion of the population may use and encounter emoji, and many experience issues that lead to social exclusion. These issues are related to, e.g. searching for appropriate emoji, cultural use of emoji, platform differences. The aim of this project is explore possible accessibility issues with the Emoji Kitchen concept and develop novel solutions.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into accessibility and emoji usage
  • Create a system to address an identified user interaction challenge
  • Conduct an evaluation that compares your different solutions

In terms of the technology being used, this will be focussed the front-end development of high-fidelity prototypes.

Skills: Design and Prototyping,Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis

Related Papers:

Emoji: What is the difference between a moon-poo and a poo-moon?

Emoji are graphical symbols that appear in many aspects of our lives, and the prevalence is increasing. There are regular updates to the emoji lists at Unicode which contains details of emoji across multiple platforms. In addition, Emoji Kitchen has been developed by Google to allow even more combinations of emoji to be possible. The aim of this project is explore how users create combination emoji, and the interactions that such new emoji makes possible. You will explore the cultural impact of the Emoji Kitchen and may build add-on prototypes to enhance or support the interactions it makes possible.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into the cultural impact of the Emoji Kitchen
  • Create a system to address an identified user interaction challenge
  • Conduct an evaluation that compares your different solutions

Skills: Design and Prototyping,Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis

Related Papers:

Emotion in Subtitling

Approximately 10% of the television audience use subtitles (captions) to support their viewing experience. Subtitles enable viewers to participate in an experience that is often taken for granted by the general audience. Subtitles are generally displayed at the bottom of the video media being presented and little research has examined alternatives to this. The purpose of this project is to investigate an alternative presentation of subtitled video content in order to convey emotion in what is being displayed. We have three aims:

  1. To understand how emotion can be conveyed through alterations to text display
  2. To determine how changes to subtitle display can be implemented within a web based subtitling system
  3. To discover if viewers see greater levels of user experience due to any textual alterations that take place.

This will research project and is largely research based and consists of the following steps:

  • Conduct a literature review into models of emotion and how emotion is currently presented to viewers within subtitled systems
  • Design a research study that allows users to match a predetermined set of fonts into different emotive categories
  • Obtain ethics for this research study and then run it within a controlled lab setting
  • Create a software tool that allows an emotive category to be attached to a piece of text within a media broadcast and subsequent fonts loaded into this
  • Carry out reserach study and conduct analysis on the results in order to test out this final system

In terms of the front and backend web programming languages that will be used, this can be decided upon by the student but web based delivery would be preferred. The end result must be cross-platform compatible, not require any additional plug-ins and should be easy for a non-computer expert to use. Data collected in the system should be easily exported into a .csv file (or similar).

Skills:

Related Papers:

Mobile Device Size Game

Fitts’ law is commonly used as a method to determine target accuracy and is based on the time to move to the target, the distance between the start position and the target location, and the target size. Whilst this works well for common interfaces where the user has free range of movement, this is not the case with modern mobile displays where the device size limits the overall movement that is possible.

This project will investigate this area and the student will be expected to design and run an experiment that will allow for data to be captured to understand this area and to develop an adapted version to the Fitts Law that takes into consideration.

Spurious Tours
Fitts Law and Device Size
The purpose of this project is to develop a game that will enable data to be gathered on how Fitts law applies to one-handed operation of mobile devices of different sizes. This will research project and is largely research based and consists of the following steps:

  • Conduct a literature review into Fitts law, how it is applied, and how it works within a mobile setting.
  • Design a research study to test Fitts Law within mobile applications of different sizes, focusing on the gamification of this exercise.
  • Obtain ethics for this research study
  • Create a gamified experimental tool that allows for the research hypothesis to be tested
  • Carry out reserach study and conduct analysis on the results in order to test out this final system

In terms of the front and backend web programming languages that will be used, web based delivery would be preferred. It is anticipated that the project will take full use of a number of js APIs that are built into the browser and will also use technologies such as webRTC to facilitate real time video interactions.

Skills: Web Development, API usage, research study design, user testing.

Related Papers:

Fitts' Law and Head Pointing in VR

Fitts's law is a predictive model of human movement primarily used in human–computer interaction and ergonomics. This predicts that the time required to rapidly move to a target area is a function of the ratio between the distance to the target and the width of the target. Fitts's law is used to model the act of pointing, either by physically touching an object with a hand or finger, or virtually, by pointing to an object on a computer monitor using a pointing device. The aim of this project is to explore Fitts's Law within the contenxt of Virtual Reality.

In this project the student will be expected to:

  • Carry out a literature review that justifies why this research area deserves to be examined and develop a research question(s) that can be answered
  • Design an experiment (and any associated software artefacts) that will be capable of answering the previously created research question
  • Obtain ethical approval for the experiment to take place
  • Carry out the experiment in a controlled lab setting, gathering all data required to answer the reserach question
  • Analyse the collected data and create a discussion of the subsequent results

Skills: Research Methods, Quantitative Analysis, VR Software Development

Related Papers:

Game Development: A Game to Explore Accessibility

It is essential for societal inclusion that our increasingly ubiquitous technologies are accessible. In computing degree programmes across the world there is an increasing focus on exposing students to accessible technologies and building a motivation for the development of accessible software. This project is to develop a story-based game that generates data on how players explore their attitudes to accessibility. Students can use the game to explore their attitudes to accessibility and generate tangible data. This anonymised data generated by the game could be a basis for classroom-based discussion, so there should be consideration to both the game development and the data visualisation that the game can generate.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into accessibility education
  • Develop a story-based game
  • Complete a user evaluation of your game

Skills: Research Methods, Design and Prototyping, Game Development

Game Development: A Game to Explore Colour Contrast Perception

As mobile devices are becoming more popular, there is an increasing need to ensure that the content provided on screen is perceivable by the user. This includes ensuring that colour is of a sufficient contrast. However, existing colour contrast guidelines are out-dated and do not consider the context of use. To address this we developed ‘BrightLights’: an android application that collects information about on-screen colour contrast. A pilot project has shown that the application is viable for research purposes. This project is to develop a new Android application with a new game mechanic. This can then be compared to the existing BrightLights application in a quantitative experiment.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into colour perception and situational visual impairements (SVIs)
  • Generate software engineering documentation for a new Android application based on existing designs and prototype
  • Develop an application (most likely Android but open to discussion) based on your specification
  • Complete a user evaluation of your application

For this project you should have a reasonable background in development. You will be required to create a native Android application that can access various sensors in the phone, as well as a data storage facility in the cloud. A project extension could be to analyse the data generated, with the potential to get involved in writing research papers.

Skills: Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Design and Prototyping

Related Papers:

Graphic Novel Subtitles

Approximately 10% of the television audience use subtitles (captions) to support their viewing experience. Subtitles enable viewers to participate in an experience that is often taken for granted by the general audience. Subtitles are generally displayed at the bottom of the video media being presented and little research has examined alternatives to this. The purpose of this project is to investigate an alternative presentation of subtitled video content – Graphic Novel Subtitles.

In this project, you will be expected to create a system capable of creating a graphic novel comic from a video file and accompanying subtitle file. Initially you will develop this system to automatically select appropriate image frames that correspond to the subtitle text being displayed. This may then be advanced by allowing a user to move the position of this text, place it in speech bubbles, and change the font size/colour. You will then be expected to test this system with participants analyse the results from this experiment.

In terms of the front and backend web programming languages that will be used, this can be decided upon by the student. The end result, however, must be cross-browser compatible, not require any additional plug-ins (i.e. Java) and should be easy for a non-computer expert to use. Data collected in the system should be easily exported into a .csv file (or similar).

Skills: There is the potential for students to develop skills relating to research methods and accessibility within this project. Additionally, software and design skills will be developed based on the direction that the student chooses to take when developing the application.

Related Papers:

iJeeves - Developing an Experience Sampling App for iOS devices

Jeeves is a Java-based application that allows psychology researchers to create ‘experience sampling method (ESM)’ smartphone studies. More information on Jeeves is available here. The Jeeves app is available on Android via the Google Play store, but the large market share of iOS devices in the UK means that many potential participants are omitted. The aim of this project would be to develop an iOS equivalent of the Jeeves Android app that would allow iPhone users to also participate in ESM studies created with the Jeeves application.

Screenshot of Jeeves adjacent to its config JSON
Blocks in Jeeves shown alongside the JSON config generated

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into other experience sampling method (ESM) creation tools
  • Understand the design and architecture of the Jeeves Android app from existing source code
  • Develop an iOS app that can be used to trigger surveys and prompts from users based on a configuration file from the Jeeves desktop application
  • Demonstrate the functionality of the developed app through a field study

Ideally the student would have some prior experience of iOS app development.

Skills: iOS Development; Swift Programming; Working From Existing Source; Field Testing

Related Papers:

Magnetic Surface Interactions

The MIT inFORM display is a Dynamic Shape Display that can render 3D content physically, so users can interact with digital information in a tangible way. inFORM can also interact with the physical world around it, for example moving objects on the table’s surface. This project focused on creating a tangible interface that users could interact with.

MIT InFORM project
Example applications of the inFORM display

We take insperation from this project, but aim to focus on how it can be extended to create semi-tactile interfaces that can be used to create feedback mechanisms for AR interfaces. We want to discover if this type of interface can be enhanced with the use of multiple magnets in order to create shapable magnetic fields that can be placed directly beneath tabletop surfaces. If successful, this would enable surfaces to exhibit tactile properties under the correct conditions. The purpose of this research project is to begin initial investigations into this area. This project has three aims:

  1. To understand opportunities that exist with tabletop displays for tactile interactions
  2. To develop a prototype system that allow shapable magnetic fields (SMFs)to be created
  3. To determine if these SMFs can be used to improve interactions on tabletop displays

This will research project and is largely research based and consists of the following steps:

  • Conduct a literature review into touch based interaction methods and how these have changed over current years
  • Design a prototype SMF system that can be used to supplement touch interactions
  • Design a research study that allows users to match a predetermined set of fonts into different emotive categories
  • Obtain ethics for this research study and then run it within a controlled lab setting
  • Build a SMF system and supplementary software that will allow for testing to occur
  • Carry out reserach study and conduct analysis on the results in order to test out this final system

Skills: Hardware development (Arduino, Raspberry Pi), Software Development (Web Interfaces and basic server API creationg), Reserach Methods (Literature Review, Experiment Design, User Testing).

Related Papers:

Online Text Entry Comparison System

A common challenge in human-computer interaction is to develop new text entry methods that will allow users to type text more efficiently (faster, fewer errors, less frustration). This project is to develop an online system that will allow researchers to compare different text entry methods in an empirical research study to evaluate new methods. This should allow a researcher to import different keyboards and input methods that can be directly compared using the system. The development of additional text entry methods is a possible extension to the project.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into text entry
  • Design a quantitative research study that allows users to compare at least two text entry methods
  • Develop a web-based research environment for the research study
  • Conduct a user-evaluation to test the system

It is intended that this web-based system will be used in teaching and so it is important that it can work consistently and robustly. In tems of the technologies used for both front-end and back-end development, this is open for discussion and can be based on your own preferences.

Skills: Research Methods, Quantitative Analysis, Software Development

Programming On the Phone, For the Phone

Today, most of the digital content we consume is via our smartphones. Further, we are likely to see smartphones increasingly used for accomplishing work tasks - with an emphasis on programming. While full-fledged software projects in general-purpose programming languages like Java and C++ are still the domain of devices with keyboards and larger screens, smartphones are of a form factor potentially suitable for small script development. Further, our phones today are filled with all sorts of sensors and data streams. The aim of this project would be to design and develop an Android app that allows users to create their own small scripts for context-aware data capture.

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into methods of programming on mobile devices and end-user development of context-aware applications
  • Design and develop a mobile app on Android that allows users to create scripts for capturing and saving various sensor or data streams on their devices (using the AWARE framework, for example)
  • Conduct a field study to understand how app users make use of their data streams and the benefits and difficulties of script development.

Some experience of Android app development would be preferable

Skills: Android app development; End-user development; Context-aware computing; Qualitative research methods

Related Papers:

Qualitative Coding: Real-time Analysis for Multiple Users

Qualitative research methods such as thematic analysis and grounded theory typically required the use of computer applications to review and analyse complex sources of information (e.g. interview transcripts, observation notes). However, these software packages are typically used for one individual and not within a group setting. The aim of this project is to develop a software package that can allow multiple people to analyse qualitative data at one time. This project has three aims:

  1. To analyse how qualitative coding is currently carried out between groups of reserachers
  2. To determine what aspects of this can be digitised in order to support computer supported cooperative working (CSCW)
  3. To create and subsequently test a system that enables researchers to collaberatvely code qualitative data

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into current methods of qualitative research methods that are carried out within HCI
  • Carry out an evaluation of expert qualitative coders working together on a shared dataset
  • Develop a system that would allow for increased collaberation between users for qualitative coding
  • Conduct a user-evaluation to test the system

It is intended that this web-based system will be used in teaching and research and so it is important that it can work consistently and robustly. In tems of the technologies used for both front-end and back-end development, this is open for discussion and can be based on your own preferences.

Skills: Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Design and Prototyping

Real Time Viewing Adaptions through Second Screen Devices

Second Screen devices are used as a method to interact with media content in a new way through smartphone or tablet devices. This concept increases the opportunities for viewers to alter aspects of the television experience in real time as they are watching content. However, the use of these devices also leads to challenges in terms of promoting a sense of immersion and and overall connection to the content being viewed. This project explores how adaptions to interface elements (e.g. personalised subtitles) can take place in real time and methods that can be used to assist in doing this successfully. We have three aims:

  1. To understand the relationship between second screen devices and main content
  2. To determine what options ofr adaption of real time systems offers the best compromise between immersive experience and granular adaptions
  3. To discover user sentiment towards systems of this type and how it could be implemented in the future

This will research project and is largely research based and consists of the following steps:

  • Conduct a literature review into the accessibility of second screen systems and the challenges that arise in developing accessible software in this space.
  • Design a research study to test a number of viewing adaptions based on using second screen devices.
  • Obtain ethics for this research study and then run it within a controlled lab setting
  • Create a software tool that allows for the accessibility of second screen adaption methods to be tested
  • Carry out a reserach study and conduct analysis on the results in order to test out this final system

In terms of the front and backend web programming languages that will be used, web based delivery would be preferred. It is anticipated that the project will take full use of a number of APIs that are built into the browser and will also use technologies such as webRTC, socket.io and node.js to facilitate interactions.

Skills: Web Development, API usage, research study design, user testing.

Related Papers:

Simplifying Skills Development for Intelligent Personal Assistants

Integrated into smartphones or smart speakers, Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs) continue to grow in popularity and are a central feature of millions of homes around the world. Yet, their end-users are faced with barriers to understanding their ‘black box’ devices, and a lack of opportunity to engage in end-user development (EUD). The aim of this project would be to simplify the development of ‘skills’ for popular IPAs like Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or the more recent open-source Mycroft.

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into the design of Intelligent Personal Assistants (IPAs)
  • Investigate existing SDKs and web interfaces for allowing customisations of IPAs
  • Design and develop an application that enables users with no/limited programming experience to customise their IPAs
  • Evaluate the application in comparison to existing solutions

Skills: Intelligent Personal Assistant Development; Python/Java Programming; Qualitative Research Methods

Related Papers:

A Spurious Correlation Historic Tour Generator

Did you know that between 2000-2009 there was a 94% correlation between per capita cheese consumption and the number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bed sheets? Additionally, there is a 99% correlation between Apple iPhone sales and people who have died by falling down the stairs.

Spurious Tours
Examples of Spurious Correlations

A spurious correlation exists when we attempt to find meaning in completely unrelated phenomena where no relationship exists. The results of this can be entertaining, but incorrect.

The purpose of this project is to create a system that is capable of creating curated “Spurious Correlation Historic Tours”. The project will involve developing a system that combines Scottish archaeological data with modern day service locations. It is hoped that this will allow for tours to be curated that are based on spurious correlations. For example:

  • A coffee shop tour where each shop is within 250m of a Roman Fort
  • A list of dog groomers that are all within 100m of an ancient standing stone.

Once this system has been developed it should be tested regarding the curation and consumption of these tours. Attention must be paid to the overall information architecture in this system and in developing an easy to manage system that is expandable in the future.

Skills: Potential for skills to be developed in a number of software development areas based on the students chosen direction. It is expected that this project will be mostly web based with the student developing knowledge in back end API creation and also in front end frameworks such as Angluar and Ionic.

Related Work:

Technology for Sport

The use of technology is increasing in many areas of life, including sport. There is now a plethora of applications, sensors, etc to support athletes in learning new skills and tracking their progress. For example, apps such as Fitbit record movement data, applications all casual gym-goers to track their performance, and sensors are used in professional sport to track movement and performance. This project allows students scope to explore the use of technology in their chosen sport. It is expected that the project will incorporate elements of data visualisation as a key element of the user interface.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into the use of technology in sport
  • Design and develop an application to support sport
  • Conduct an evaluation of the application

The brief is very open so you are encouraged to be creative in how you might apply Technology to your chosen sport. You can contact Dr. Rachel Menzies (r.menzies@dundee.ac.uk) to discuss any ideas.

Skills: Design and Prototyping, Software Development

Ticketing (Queue) System for Requesting Lab Support

As we move towards blended and online learning, there are limitations for both staff and students in managing laboratory support. For example, many students may require assistance at one time. From the student point of view it may not be clear where you are in the queue, e.g. will the lab tutor be with you immediately or do they have three other people to help before they get to you. To make life more simple for all involved, one possible solution could be an online queue or ticketing system. The aim of this project is to explore the feasibilty of a ticketing system across difference teaching activities and implement such a system using appropriate technologies.

The student will be expected to:

  • Develop an application for an online ticketing system
  • Complete a user evaluation of your application

For this project you should have a reasonable background in web-development and ideally should take the User Experience option in semester 1 to gain an experience of the design sprint process.

Skills: Software Development, Web Development, Design and Prototyping

Web Application to Support The Sprint Design Processes

The Design Sprint Method is a UX Methodology, originally developed within Google Ventures. The method is a five-day, faciltated process that allows a company to overcome challenges or generate new ideas for products or services. Increasingly, this process has been moved to online environments due to social distancing restrictions. The main barrier to overcome is that the process needs to be distributed over a number of different services, e.g. an online whoteboard, a video call system, a note-taking application, etc. The aim of this project is to develop a system that can allow remote teams to engage in the design sprint process and document this process appropriately.

The student will be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into online design workshops
  • Complete initial research to develop system requirements
  • Develop an application based on your specification
  • Complete a user evaluation of your application

For this project you should have a reasonable background in web-development and ideally should take the User Experience option in semester 1 to gain an experience of the design sprint process.

Skills: Research Methods, Qualitative Analysis, Quantitative Analysis, Design and Prototyping

'Who Am I?' Supporting users in visualising their personal information

Self-monitoring apps, which track and encourage reflection on one’s personal data, continue to be a popular use of smartphones despite growing privacy and security concerns. Daily diet, exercise habits, location, productivity, sleep quality etc. are all popular sources for which there is inevitably ‘an app for that’. But users have different needs, different ways they’re interested in combining their information, different data representations that make sense to them. Why should they be restricted to the representation that the app distributor decides is best? The aim of this project would be to create a web application that lets users ‘mash up’ their personal data from different self-monitoring apps and customise the output into a form that suits them.

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into personal mashups and visualisations in research
  • Design and develop a web application that allows users to view, combine and visualise streams of their personal data in personally meaningful ways
  • Conduct a field study to understand how people make use of different combinations and visualisations through use of the application over a number of days or weeks

Skills: Information Visualisation; Web development; End-User Development

Related Papers:

Who ate all the cheese? - A Web Development Project

In this era of data gathering and sharing, many tracking applications exist for people to track when they taste different wine and beer, and other foods. However, there is no existing application available to track cheese tasting. Cheese tasting is regaining popularity, with proponents aiming to taste cheese from all countries of the world. This project is to develop a web-based application that allows users to save their cheese tasting notes, record their preferences and share their experiences with other users.

The student will be expected to:

  • Explore existing applications that track lists and achievements
  • Design and develop a web-based application, including a database back-end and an admin system
  • Complete a user evaluation of your application

For this project you should have a reasonable background in web development or databases.

Skills: Design and Prototyping, Web Development, Web Design, User evaluation

'Who is around me?' Helping Users Make Sense of their Social Networks

‘Trust’ on e-commerce websites such as Amazon and eBay is established through their reputation systems - a positive/negative/neutral feedback rating and a 5-star rating respectively. Our social networks, while previously more likely to be made up of people we know in-person, are now increasingly likely to consist of unidirectional relationships (i.e., follower/followee directional relationships) with strangers. The aim of this project would be to help users make sense of their social networks through visualisation of different metrics of their choice. A web application would allow the user to visualise their social media network in different ways and select and filter metrics of interest that would help determine trustworthiness or other aspects of their followers / those they follow.

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into social network visualisation methods and end-user perceptions
  • Design and develop a web application that allows users to view their social network (Twitter, for example, has APIs that enable programmatic access to this information) query it and understand it in different ways
  • Design and conduct a research study to understand how users make use of the application to understand their social network

Skills: Social Network Analysis; Information Visualisation; End-User Development; Qualitative Research Methods

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'Write Me a For-Loop': Designing a Conversational Assistant for Simple Programming

Students new to programming are likely to initially struggle with the syntax of programmatic constructs like method names, loops and conditional statements. Visual programming environments can help with this by abstracting over syntax, but the semantic understanding of these concepts can still be an issue. What do we mean by a ‘for loop’ or a ‘case switch statement’? Discussion with a tutor can help, but in the absence of a real person, a conversational assistant could provide the same explanatory help. The aim of this project would be to develop such a conversational assistant or chatbot that would provide help in understanding simple programmatic concepts.

The student would be expected to:

  • Conduct a literature review into intelligent tutoring systems and other novel methods of teaching programming
  • Develop a conversational assistant ‘tutor’ that can explain the meaning of different programming concepts through answering users’ natural language questions
  • Design a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the conversational assistant in explaining programmatic constructs in comparison to alternative means of learning

Skills: Conversational Assistant Development; Research Study Design; Quantitative Data Analysis

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