Design Student of the Month - Danielle Lottridge

There are a lot of creative students in Canada who are doing innovative work to improve people's life through interactive, visual, informational, and other aspects of User Experience Design. I invited them to introduce who they are and share their work with you. To nominate a Design Student of the Month, email us. The Design Student of the Month for September 2008 is Danielle Lottridge! Congratulations!! Let's hear from Danielle.

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Who’s Danielle?

I am halfway through a 4-year PhD program in Human Factors, in the Department of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering, at the University of Toronto. I have had the benefit of learning from gifted mentors who have inspired me and instilled in me a life-long goal of learning. I am passionate about the pursuit of meaningful questions with appropriate and rigorous methods. I have deep enthusiasm for the foci of human factors and human computer interaction; my work aims to improve the design and evaluation of interactive systems.

Teaching is also important aspect of my work: I aim to provide my students with motivation and tools to pursue their own questions and learning paths. I always try to approach the world with curiosity. This is one of my favourite quotes: “Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” - Voltaire

What cool stuff is Danielle doing?

I will highlight two projects from my two main research areas: design methods and emotional evaluation. Please see the video below where I talked about my two research areas.

Wendy Mackay and I developed a method to sketch design spaces.[1] Low-fidelity sketches that include design dimensions (axes), point designs (devices) and boundaries (inclusion-exclusion criteria) can help designers generate ideas, select among alternatives, re-frame a design project and iteratively refine a design. We purposefully include technology, design and social science dimensions to frame design spaces from a multi-disciplinary perspective.

My research on emotional reactions aims to provide users with an effective way to communicate their emotional experiences, in the context of system evaluation. Today’s standards of likert scale items with common labels (happy, angry) do not provide enough granularity for an account of continuous interactive experiences. I created several prototypes to report emotional responses: including tangible components and dynamic animations on a touch screen. The prototypes are based on the two-dimensional psychological model of emotion: valence (positive-negative) and arousal (excited-calm). I recently completed a study with 12 participants to assess correlations with psychological measures, reliability and cognitive load. I plan to use the results to iterate for an improved design. This work aims to contribute a rigorous, continuous method of measuring self-reported emotion as a valuable addition to traditional HCI evaluation methods such as response time, accuracy, usability, satisfaction, and workload.

1. Lottridge, D., and Mackay, W. 2008. Sketching Design Spaces (Interactive Poster). CSCW’08

2. Lottridge, D. 2008. Emotional response as a measure of human performance. In CHI '08 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. CHI '08. ACM, New York, NY, 2617-2620.

What are Danielle’s plans after graduation?

I love exploring questions from multiple viewpoints: theoretically, empirically and through design and practice. Universities are great places to engage with other people in pursuing this type of multi- and trans-disciplinary research. The next step after my PhD is to do a post-doc. After that, I plan to pursue a tenure track-faculty position.

Want to learn more about Danielle?

Check my website for my contact information and a list of my publications: www.imedia.mie.utoronto.ca/~danielle

A summary of my thesis, presented at the CHI 2008 Doctoral Consortium, can be found here: http://portal.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1358628.1358728

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