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Keyword: user experience

Impacting the social presence of virtual agents by scaling the fidelity of their speech and movement – Thesis defense

2015-01-23, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Impacting the social presence of virtual agents by scaling the fidelity of their speech and movement – Thesis defense

Virtual agents are constructs that fulfill human or human-like roles in virtual environments, but are directly controlled by software instead of real humans. They have use cases such as presenting information, demonstrationg actions or simulating a social environment. If a real person perceives them as sufficiently human-like, they may induce social phenomena like empathy, competition or conversational turn taking, even if the real person is consciously aware that the agent is purely virtual.

My master's thesis explores the influence of technical fidelity in terms of their speech and movement. Both of these two variables were assigned different implementations of varying technical sophistication, from text-to-speech output to fully recorded voices and from a completely rigid idle body to a high-quality relaxed idle animation based on motion capturing data. The various combinations were tested in an experiment using a head-mounted virtual reality display in order to measure their influence on perceived social presence. In this talk, I described the experiment and summarized its results.

Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

2014-10-20, HDI 2014, Freiburg

Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

Abstract: In teaching HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), there is the persistent challenge of constructing practical exercises with interesting goals while staying focused on HCI and not getting lost in technical details. In the introductory course "Interaction Design" at the University of Hamburg, students have three weeks to conceptualize and implement prototypical interaction concepts for the game Neverball. In contrast to most other HCI introductory courses, they do not design mock-ups, but produce actual concrete software. To make this possible within the three-week timespan, Neverball has been extended with a TCP-based interface. This renders the costly familiarization with the game's source code unnecessary and the students are able to concentrate on their interaction prototypes. We recount our experiences from several iterations of the project and describe our methods during its execution. The results shall support other teachers and lecturers in the area of HCI in creating similar praxis-oriented exercises with results that "can be touched".

This article was presented at HDI 2014 (6th conference on university didactics of computer science). It is part of the conference proceedings.

Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

2014-09-15, HDI 2014, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Rapid prototyping of interaction concepts in higher HCI education

In teaching HCI (Human-Computer Interaction), there is the persistent challenge of constructing practical exercises with interesting goals while staying focused on HCI and not getting lost in technical details. In the introductory course "Interaction Design" at the University of Hamburg, students have three weeks to conceptualize and implement prototypical interaction concepts for the game Neverball. In contrast to most other HCI introductory courses, they do not design mock-ups, but produce actual concrete software. To make this possible within the three-week timespan, Neverball has been extended with a TCP-based interface. This renders the costly familiarization with the game's source code unnecessary and the students are able to concentrate on their interaction prototypes. We recount our experiences from several iterations of the project and describe our methods during its execution. The results shall support other teachers and lecturers in the area of HCI in creating similar praxis-oriented exercises with results that "can be touched".

These slides were used for the short presentation at HDI 2014 (6th conference on university didactics of computer science).

Developing a software tool for interpreting Gymnasium students' grades

2014-01-13, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Developing a software tool for interpreting Gymnasium students' grades

Abstract: During the final years at the gymnasium – Germany’s highest tier of secondary education – many students become increasingly aware of the extent that their grades (particularly the final Abitur grade) influence their career opportunities. Unfortunately, the laws and regulations concerning the aggregation of all the different grades are complex, sometimes even prohibitively opaque. In particular, it is difficult to interpret the existing grades and detect potential problems while the Abitur is still in progress. In this bachelor’s thesis, an effort is made to support the student consultation at one German school by implementing a system that is capable of assisting students with this task. Relevant information is drawn from partially available grades, processed and presented to the students. To that end, a development process in accordance with User Centered Design takes place.

This thesis constitutes the official end of my studies and awards me the degree Bachelor of Science in Human Computer Interaction. Planning and implementing a practical software project contrasts nicely with my more theoretically focused previous thesis.

Developing a software tool for interpreting Gymnasium students' grades – Thesis defense

2014-01-09, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Developing a software tool for interpreting Gymnasium students' grades – Thesis defense

Students at the Gymnasium (Germany's highest tier of general education) are often eager to get an overview of their scholarly accomplishments to be able to make predictions about their future options, but the system is rather complex.

For my bachelor's thesis in the HCI programme, I have designed and developed an application to support the students and encourage self-assessment. It is capable of calculating average grades and pointing out encouraging as well as dangerous trends.

In this talk in the HCI seminar, I presented my empirical results and development work.

Developing a software tool for interpreting Gymnasium students' grades

2013-06-13, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Developing a software tool for interpreting Gymnasium students' grades

Students at the Gymnasium (Germany's highest tier of general education) are often eager to get an overview of their scholarly accomplishments to be able to make predictions about their future options, but the system is rather complex.

For my bachelor's thesis in the HCI programme, I plan to develop a software system to support the students and encourage self-assessment. To that end, it will calculate average grades and point out encouraging as well as dangerous trends.

In this talk in the HCI seminar, I presented my idea and the project plan for the development.

uxHH: Sebastian Deterding on Gamification

2012-12-04 00:34:37

Today the User Experience Roundtable Hamburg (in cooperation with the local IxDA) hosted a talk by Sebastian Deterding titled "9.5 Theses on Gamification" (Sebastian has information on earlier iterations of the same talk available online). For me it's been the first uxHH Roundtable for a good couple of months, but this topic with this speaker I couldn't pass up.

So I just got back from there and I'm pretty tired, but I have some unfinished thoughts rummaging around my head that I'd risk losing by going to sleep. They might not be excessively polished (or even necessarily cohesive), but I'm going to take the red pill and embrace the now-famous Edmund Snow Carpenter quote: "[C]lear speaking is generally obsolete thinking. Clear statement is like an art object: it is the afterlife of the process which called it into being. The process itself is the significant step and, especially at the beginning, is often incomplete and uncertain." So please bear with me, this blog entry is not an attempt at a scientific paper.

Playful Design

2012-07-27 17:26:51

Last week I was talking to the current professor for HCI at the University of Hamburg in his office, and among the current set of books that he was asked to assess for inclusion in our department's library, something caught my eye. I recognized the cover design of John Ferrara's Playful Design, published very recently by Rosenfeld Media. That was pretty exciting for me, since I had been looking forward to that book for a while, to the extent that I recommended it in a recent talk about gamification, just on the basis of the introductory article at UX Magazine. This occassion presented me with a chance to actually read the whole thing, so here's what came of that.

Interaction Design Project 2012: Neverball

2012-07-20, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Interaction Design Project 2012: Neverball

On July 11th 2012, participants of the Interaction Design course (refer to the HCI group website) at the Department of Computer Science of the University of Hamburg displayed and showcased the results of their projects. They developed concepts and prototypes of input mechanics for the game Neverball. This video is a collection of the results.

Gamification – Where do we stand?

2012-07-02, Dept. of Computer Science, University of Hamburg

Gamification – Where do we stand?

This guest talk took place in the Interaction Design lecture of Prof. Dr. Kindsmüller.

In 15 minutes I gave an overview of the general concept and limitations of gamification. I started out with a general clarification of the term, and continued by showcasing it using a real-world example. Using the Gartner Hype Cycle, I offered a partial explanation for the problems that gamification has been associated with. I concluded with a very brief venture into the area of game design.

Musik: McFarland Beats - Slipped, used under CC-BY

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