2011-07-11: Job: 3 Research assistants at Madeira Interactive Technologies
Closing date: 1 August, 2011
We are hiring 3 researchers (with BSc or MSc degrees in one of these areas: design, psychology or computer science) to form an inter-disciplinary team. The candidates are required to collaborate with team members and existing staffs effectively in several small projects. Candidates are also expected to initiate long-term projects along the research lines described below.
Project description: In this project we will build on existing expertise teaching and designing for service in ways that stimulate senses, connect deeply with people’s lifestyles, emphasize the broader social and cultural context of people’s actions and provide support through a networked service ecology. We aim at exploring methodological integration of the key service design methods and techniques into a well-established service engineering development process at Logica a leading service oriented high-tech company.
Integrating service design in modern software-based development processes
Companies are turning to design to address the opportunities and challenges faced by the shift to a knowledge-based service-centered society. In the past, services have been consciously designed, but rarely with the participation of designers or interdisciplinary teams. At the same time new services are emerging as a consequence of the increased integration of information technology into the mainstream service economy. We are currently facing a paradox were some companies are successfully integrating interdisciplinary service design into their development processes and others are struggling with the many conflicting influences from both the design and engineering perspectives, i.e., traditional service design looks back at product design for inspiration and traditional service engineering looks at marketing and software development processes. In this project we will build on existing expertise teaching and designing for service in ways that stimulate senses, connect deeply with people’s lifestyles, emphasize the broader social and cultural context of people’s actions and provide support through a networked service ecology. We aim at exploring methodological integration of the key service design methods and techniques into a well-established service engineering development process at Logica a leading service oriented high-tech company. The post will require expertise in design languages and a good background in design and/or software engineering with an interest in creativity, business and innovation. The candidate should be able to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. Ambition to pursue a PhD is encouraged but not required. Please contact Nuno Nunes (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
Differentiating intended and perceived user experience in service design using eye-tracking technique
Providing users satisfactory experience is the essence of any good service design. Observing and measuring user experience is crucial for service designers to better understand interaction among people, artifacts and environment. Results from observations and measurements inspire new design, support evaluation, and articulate redesign. However, the subjective nature of user experience presents a great challenge to design a successful service. One of the major causes of an unsuccessful service design is the discrepancy between intended and perceived user experience. It could be either the service designer did not fully understand the user before hand, or the user did not follow exactly what the designer anticipated. As a result of the difference between designer’s intention and user’s perception, the service becomes unusable, unenjoyable, and even useless. In the project, we intend to develop methods and tools in order to understand the discrepancy between intended and perceived user experience. Particularly, the eye-tracking technique, along with other bio-sensors, will be applied to measure user experience quantitatively and objectively. The visual attention and emotional states of users and designers will be tracked and compared while using a service. We expect a better understanding of the discrepancy will help us to narrow the gap and lead us to finer service design in the future. This post will require expertise in human science, experimental design and a good knowledge in service design and statistic analysis. Previous experience in eye-tracking, EEG and programming will be a plus. The candidate should be able to work effectively in multi-disciplinary teams. Ambition to pursue a PhD is encouraged but not required. Please contact Monchu Chen (email@example.com) for further information.
Software development for “Quantifying perceived service and product quality”
Users’ perceptions and experiences with interactive products and services are increasingly becoming an important factor in the design process. Managing the user perceived product and service quality is however substantially more complicated than with traditional, objective and quantifiable quality factors. While a number of interview techniques exist for inquiring into users’ perceptions, the process is usually highly unstructured, different users may come up with different ways of describing the qualities of products and services and researchers and designers are often required to repeat the same process from the scratch each time they design a new product or service. In essence, we lack a way to build a cumulative, yet standardized, vocabulary of perceived service design quality. In this project we will build on existing strong expertise with the Repertory Grid Technique (see , ), a particular structured interview technique for eliciting the so-called personal constructs. The role of this post will be to build a software tool that will support service design researchers in the analysis of Repertory Grid data. The software tool will be tested in Logica design cases and the candidate will work in close collaboration with the other two researchers in correlational studies of perceived (subjective) product quality with other objective quality criteria (e.g. gaze behavior as elicited through eye-tracking studies). The post will require expertise in languages for scientific programming (e.g. Python, Java) and a good background in information visualization and applications of graph theory. The candidate should be able to work effectively in multi-discplinary teams. Ambition to pursue a PhD is encouraged but not required. Please contact Evangelos Karapanos (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further information.
1. Hassenzahl, M., & Wessler, R. (2000). Capturing design space from a user perspective: The repertory grid technique revisited. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 12(3), 441-459. Taylor & Francis.
2. Karapanos, E. (2010). Quantifying Diversity in User Experience. PhD thesis, Eindhoven University of Technology (section 7.3: http://ekarapanos.com/Karapanos_Thesis.pdf).
The grant will have a duration of 12 months, with estimated start in September 2011, and can be renewed up to the project completion.
Monthly stipend: 980€, according to the table of values of the grants awarded by FCT, I.P. (http://alfa.fct.mctes.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores). Voluntary Social Security (SSV) – which provides access to Portuguese public health care system -, and accidents insurance are also provided.
Evaluation and selection: The selection of the applicants will be done in two phases:
- First phase: evaluation of curriculum and/or portfolio, and the names of at least 2 referees according with the selection criteria (40%), academic degree (40%), and cover letter (20%).
- Second phase: interview of the applicants selected in the first phase (top three).
- Prof. Dr. Nuno Nunes (email@example.com)
- Prof. Dr. Monchu Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Prof. Dr. Evangelos Karapanos (email@example.com)
Publication and notification of results: The results will be made public through a final list ordered by candidate classification, available for consultation at the Madeira-Interactive Technologies Institute. The outcome of the selection process will be notified to the applicants via email.
Application period: Between the 15th of July and 1st of August 2011.
Application: To submit an application please email a cover letter clearly indicating the post for which you are applying, your CV and/or portfolio, and the names of at least 2 referees to Monchu Chen (firstname.lastname@example.org), Nuno Nunes (email@example.com) and Evangelos Karapanos (firstname.lastname@example.org)