Informatics, TU Vienna

Antrittsvorlesung / Inaugural Lecture Geraldine Fitzpatrick

Designing technology that works - putting people first

Abstract

Since the 1940s when ‘human factors’ experts were first called upon to help redesign an airline cockpit, the field of human computer interaction (HCI) has continued to expand its concerns, methods, and theories to meet new technological challenges. Today, HCI is no longer just focused on widgets in an interface but more importantly on what is being designed and built in the first place.

This presentation will chart a number of issues that emerge out of recent technological developments, issues that have both technical and social implications. It starts with support for collaborative work, illustrated in a number of tools and domains, and highlight the importance of context for designing systems that facilitate rather then hinder work. A second layer of issues arises with the move beyond the desktop into outdoor mobile environments, with the embedding of technologies into physical spaces, devices and practices; this is illustrated through a learning activity with children.

The issues become even more complicated when we consider the further integration of technologies into everyday life, such as in the home and for healthcare. This highlights the need for a more integrated and holistic approach since we are no longer designing for efficiency but for quality of life.

Biography

Geraldine Fitzpatrick is Professor of Design and Assessment of Technology and Head of the Human Computer Interaction Group (HCI) at the Faculty of Informatics of TU Vienna. Previously she held the position of a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Informatics at Sussex University UK and Director of the Interact Lab. Prior to joining Sussex, she worked as a Senior Manager of User Experience at Sapient in London and as a Senior Research Fellow at the Distributed Systems Technology Centre and Centre for Online Health in Australia. She also has a clinical background. Geraldine has a published monograph as well as over 80 refereed journal articles, conference papers and book chapters.

Her research lies at the intersection of computer science and the human sciences and is concerned with theoretical, methodological and technical approaches to better supporting social interaction and collaboration in context. Broad topic areas include: Pervasive Computing, Computer Supported Cooperative Work, User Centred Design, Human Computer Interaction as well as Health Informatics and Telehealth.