Research

My overarching research interest is in exploring how end-users can be more involved in the design and programming of novel technologies. I am particularly interested in working with user groups that face greater barriers to taking an active role in technology design, including children and older people.

I am the PI on the EPSRC-funded CONVER-SE project, which is investigating ways to mitigate the challenges of end-user programming through voice user interfaces in smart home contexts. We are conducting domestic studies with participants with no programming background, including older and disabled users, who are often highlighted as people who could benefit from smart home technology, but rarely included in end-user programming studies. Our studies investigate how users understand and describe smart environment behaviours whilst in situ, and we use the findings to prototype more intuitive conversational interfaces to support these activities. See our blog  for updates.

I was the PI on Plugin Narratives, which explored the potential for alternate reality games to support local community engagement and reflection through fictional narratives rooted in alternate community futures. The project was a collaboration with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya and was funded by the EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+.

I was a CI on the Face 2 Face project, which examined everyday childhoods in a digital age. We developed and evaluated a range of methods for exploring the movement between face-to-face and online interactions. The project was funded by the National Centre for Research Methods.

I was a CI on Trajectories to Community Engagement (TRACE), which investigated older people’s experiences of engagement with online and offline communities through interview and survey methods. The project was a collaboration with the University of Brighton and was funded by the EPSRC Communities and Culture Network+.

As RF on the EPSRC funded Flip project I contributed to the design and evaluation of a new programming environment which aims to support young people in developing an understanding of computational concepts and skills, whilst empowering them to create complex behaviours in their own 3D computer games.

My PhD research investigated computer game creation as a writing development activity for young people aged 11-15, and involved the participatory design of software tools to support multimodal and interactive narrative creation. I am also interested in innovative learning spaces in higher education; both physical and virtual. I explored these in my past role as Technology Facilitator at InQbate, the CETL in Creativity.

Keywords: end-user programming, novice programming, young people and technology, community engagement, game creation for learning, participatory design, smart environments, interactive storytelling, external representations, visual programming languages, design-based research, computational thinking.