I've contributed towards several other research projects during my time at Open Lab as a Research Associate and PhD candidate.
Since joining Open Lab in late 2014 as a Research Associate and joining the Digital Civics CDT in 2015, I have been involved in a multitude of other researchers’ projects. This page will give a brief overview of the other projects that I’ve contributed to.
Speeching was a mobile application, designed to assist in speech and language therapy (SLT). The application gave participants several different SLT exercises and recorded their speech. The speech recordings were then given to online crowd workers, who attempted to correctly identify the words in the recordings and gave feedback to how clear they found different aspects of the recording. The participants could then use this feedback to gain a better understanding of which elements of their speech others struggled to understand, and update their therapy sessions accordingly. The findings of the study were published at CHI 2016.
I produced the client and server-side logic for VoiceBoard, a Raspberry Pi-powered peer support platform for people experiencing homelessness. Participants living in shelters were given a technology probe, which allowed participants to send voice communications to each other anonymously. The physical device was designed to fit unobtrusively into a the shelters’ bedrooms, appearing to be little more than a cork noticeboard with some buttons, which could be used to select options in a narrated menu.
I worked in the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley as a visiting student researcher during September–November 2017. In this time I assisted with the Mooqita project, which aims to give users of massive online learning courses (MOOCs) opportunities to solve real-world challenges created by potential employers. During this period I worked within a small team to ideate, design and develop a prototype student onboarding experience for Mooqita. We also planned and tested a series of participant research workshops designed to evaluate the prototype and explore how it could be improved.
As a Research Associate at Culture Lab, I produced a technology probe called ‘Coaching’: a video capture application designed for use by caregivers, parents or other gatekeepers. The application users record video and tag sections of their captured footage with metadata, before uploading it for feedback or discussion. Practitioners could create “schemes” on the Coaching website and enrol users into them. Each scheme can have “tags” created for it, which enrolled users could then use to highlight sections of their footage. Footage collected and tagged in the application can be uploaded for review by the practitioner on the website. A simple chat client between the app and website has been implemented, allowing practitioners to send feedback.
Let’s Talk Parks
I helped design and run a series of workshop activities in the ‘Let’s Talk Parks’ project, which involved a series of engagements with members of the public, park rangers and city council officials. These workshops explored how Newcastle’s parks should be run in the future, having to cope increasingly limited public funding. These engagements eventually led into ParkLearn (later renamed to OurPlace), my main PhD research project.
One of the Let’s Talk Parks workshop activities