Research Priorities

User Experience Research

The priority user experience deals with the incorporation of experience factors that have a strong impact on user acceptance of new technology, such as emotion, aesthetics, product identity, social impact, reliability, trust, enjoyment, context, usefulness and presence. Whereas usability focuses on creating a usable system, these factors take the positive into the equation and provide a more holistic view on technology development. We are working on the identification of human characteristics and influencing factors and to develop a multidimensional definition of user experience and its exploitation in operational terms.

Methods and tools have to be developed to study these factors and their implications for interaction design, in particular in a multidimensional factor space. Innovative, valid methods and techniques for human-intelligence interaction are under investigation, e.g. in ambient intelligence environments. An enhanced user experience engineering environment is developed comprising appropriate means to support user experience design throughout the whole life cycle.

Mobile and Personal Technologies and Services

The mobilization and ubiquity of technology creates a special care for the interaction with the user. Users on the move utilizing personal technologies, have different contexts and change between different contexts with implications for interaction design. As a central element the diverse characteristics of the context of use and its implication for mobile technologies and pervasive systems are under investigation and a context of use model has been developed. One such context is the care environment aiming at providing context-aware feedback and support to the user depending on actual needs and sensitive to privacy and security issues.

Other issues are the investigation of open user experience issues in mobile user interfaces (e.g. consistency between different devices) including multi-device issues, the development of a multidimensional mosaic of usability data, the investigation of interaction techniques and advanced interaction techniques for mobile systems, development of mobile HCI guidelines, and multi-device oriented development tools (e.g. model based adaptation).

Advanced Interfaces, Intelligent Environments

Solid user experience research is performed to investigate advanced interaction techniques and interface paradigms. We study users to gain deep insight in how users can interact with advanced interaction spaces covering 3D spaces, augmented reality, mixed realities and virtual reality with careful consideration of the context of use. Advanced interaction techniques incorporating intelligent agents, information visualization (e.g. focus and context) and multimodal aspects are investigated.

Interaction with ubiquitous and pervasive systems as well as ambient intelligence in the office and the home domain are a research priority that deals with the disappearing user interface. User experience factors are measured which allow the fine-grain tuning of innovative interaction approaches towards real usage and utilization. Special attention is paid to the specific interaction paradigms suitable for the elderly population, as system complexity and usability are major barriers in technology adoption for this user group.

User experience factors for intelligent environments are classified and studied. Innovation potentials (on the conceptual as well as on the detailed level) are identified based on user centered approaches and usage based innovation roadmaps are developed. User interaction in these complex information spaces becomes critical when urgent reactions are required and detailed study of the user in such specific contextual settings is being undertaken (e.g. regarding the communication of the intelligent vehicles and their drivers).

Advanced Web and Content Spaces

General user experience criteria and empirical data for web and content spaces is enhanced and reconsidered as users are studied in 2D web and content spaces oriented to specific domains. Guiding principles based on solid data for specific application domains are identified.

Based on user centered approaches innovation potentials (on the conceptual as well as on the detailed level) are identified and usage based innovation roadmaps are developed on different levels. Based on solid user experience consideration we investigate alternative interaction techniques and interface paradigms for specific application domains.

Learning, Knowledge and Innovation Environments

Learners, people in the course of knowledge acquisition and people within entertainment environments (with special emphasis on edutainment) are studied. Learner centered user experience criteria are investigated. In particular the synergy of didactics and design, the utilization of different learning modes and strategies, relevant factors that facilitate an appropriate learning outcome and learner experience within innovative learning environments (e.g. virtual collaborative environments), advanced learning devices and interfaces that facilitate ubiquitous learning, the understanding of learning goals and (specific) user and context characteristics are issues addressed.

We strive for the establishment of widely accepted quality assurance and measurement methods regarding learning efficiency, learner experience and ease-of-use for products. We place the learner's needs into the center of system development. The vision is to provide user-based roadmaps for innovative interaction strategies that enhance the learning process. We thereby are able to benefit from the synergy between pedagogical competency and high-level experience in user centered interface development.

Multi-Channel Information Spaces

Users are studied facing interaction situations using multiple channels of interaction. The problem oriented synergy of different interaction media (web, mobile devices, personal technologies, home appliances, television, and ubiquitous environment) and/or the synergy of different interaction modalities offer several user experience challenges. The development of user experience criteria and guidelines and the user centered development of solid interaction techniques solving cross media issues are the main focus of our work.