My thesis in 3 minutes – Understanding and designing human data relations

In this video, my entry for the Three Minute Thesis competition, I explain some of the insights I've gained through my research with people about the handling and use of their personal data. I summarise how people think about their data, what we need from our data to really take control and value from it, … Continue reading My thesis in 3 minutes – Understanding and designing human data relations


The two purposes of Human-Data Interaction

I have just published this short position paper for the Human-Data Interaction through Design workshop which I will be attending at the CHI '21 conference. In the paper I outline the two very different reasons why people need to interact with data - Personal Data Control and Life Information Exploration. Click the image to read more.

Human-Data Interaction in the Context of Care: Co-designing Family Civic Data Interfaces and Practices

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By storing data about citizens for the purposes of service provision, private and public organizations have disempowered the people they serve, shifting the balance of power toward themselves as data holders.

Through three co-production engagements involving families receiving "early help" support from their local authority and support workers involved in supplying this care, we have identified existing data usage practices, explored the impact of those practices upon the supported families, and co-designed new and improved approaches - both technological and practice-based - that are perceived to offer families fairer treatment, greater influence, and to benefit from better decision-making.

Our findings show that by applying Human-Data Interaction and giving supported families direct access to see and manipulate their own data, both during and outside of the support engagement, the locus of decision-making could be shifted towards the data subject.

Understanding Family Civic Data

Across social care, healthcare and public policy, there are moves to “join up” citizen databases to provide care workers with holistic views of families they support. In this context, questions of personal data privacy, security, access, control and disempowerment are critical considerations for system designers and policy makers alike. We worked with four families to explore their views on this landscape. To read more about our findings, click the image to read the paper.

Designing for Human Autonomy

Today I’m going to talk about designing for human autonomy. I believe this is the biggest civic challenge facing HCI today.
First, I’ll talk about two key trends that have shaped the current technology landscape - simplification and commercialisation. Then I’ll look at how users can be better empowered by adapting their products and exploring their own data. change the status quo. And finally I’ll look at the challenges involved - how to approach what is essentially a hidden problem for users, and how we might actually change the status quo. Click the image to read the presentation.

Empowering Users in a Fragmented World of Opinionated Technology

The smartphone revolution promised us that whatever you want to do, "there's an app for that". We do carry a vastly powerful portfolio of possibilities in our pockets, but we are limited. Our data is locked into different formats and apps, only usable in permitted ways. Computers should be general purpose tools you can use to achieve your goals, not constrained, walled-garden user experiences. Click the image to read more.

We Deserve the Time and Space to Be Human

As a species, we have begun a transformation as far-reaching as the industrial revolution or the invention of the printing press. We are now a digital society, living in two worlds - the physical world and the digital world that exists online, in our phones and PCs. Every human activity, from news and socializing to … Continue reading We Deserve the Time and Space to Be Human