I am willing to supervise projects in areas such as Usability/HCI, Networking, UNIX, groupware, multimedia. You are welcome to approach me with any ideas which you may have. Alternatively, some project ideas are listed below.
Transmedia storytelling involves integrating various elements of narrative across multiple types of platform. This project will involve developing transmedia storytelling to encourage learning. The exact nature of the platforms used is up to the person undertaking the project, as is the educational focus. The project will involve the development of software on different platforms and so is particularly suited to IT students.
This project focuses on how UX in Social Networks is affected by a user’s personality traits. The project is very research-based, involving user studies, and would not necessarily involve programming, and so would be suitable for an MIT student.
It is well documented that, in the current climate of social network use, information overload can be a problem. This project can take on two different forms:
This project is related to the above two projects in that it aims to examine how our daily use of social networks affects our cognitive functioning. The project will involve user studies to determine whether a correlation can be found between social network use and reduced cognitive function (concentration, thought patterns, etc.).
Different smartphones can have quite different interfaces, for example, iPhones have touch screens and glossy interfaces, whereas most Blackberries use a traditional style tactile keyboard and an interface that has been historically aimed at business users. This project involves undertaking a study into what motivates some users to use one style of interface (e.g. the iPhone) and some a different interface (e.g. the Blackberry). The aim of the project is to try and identify what it is about the user’s experience with their smartphone that gives that user the experience they want and what it is about users that makes them differ in the UX they are looking for.
This project involves a study of the factors affecting engagement in online communities and Social Networks. The study aims to determine whether a correlation can be found between our level of engagement in face-to-face communities and our level of engagement in online communities. Do users who are naturally sociable face-to-face have more motivation to engage in online communities than those who are more introverted? Or do those who are introverted engage more online due to the lack of face-to-face contact?
Queuing is a modern day fact of life. We queue in shops, post offices, theme parks, restaurants, etc. Some queues are exceedingly long and companies sometimes offer devices that inform the user when they have "reached the front of the queue". Examples of this are QueueBots at theme parks and devices given out in restaurants which vibrate and light up when a user's table/food is ready.
This project involves the development of QueueBot software that uses a user's mobile phone to inform them of their position in a queue and when they've reached the front of the queue. When a user joins a queue they can use their mobile phone to register with the QueueBot system (using, for example, Bluetooth) and then the QueueBot system will send them texts updating them as to their progress through the queue.
One advantage of the system is that very little additional hardware is required. However, other issues may emerge, for example charging users for the service.
This project will aim to represent awareness of a remote situation or remote user activity using a tangible interface. The interface will use one or more widgets (for example, Java programmable actuators with a USB connector) to provide a physical device that sits on a user's desk and moves according to the remote activity. The aim of the project is to come up with a novel idea for presenting this information to the user without causing excessive intrusion into their work environment. The project will involve programming in Java.
An application which runs on the desktop providing the current user with an awareness of remote activity. The goal of this project is to develop a piece of software which tries to find a balance between giving the user a level of awareness of some activity which they wish to monitor whilst minimising intrusion (both to the user and to others, where applicable) and distraction. Examples of activities to be monitored might be, for example, the activity and availability of other users or it might be applied to situations such as monitoring share prices online. Anyone choosing to take on this project can choose how it will be applied.
A network and host profiler/monitor which monitors network segments and the hosts attached to determine resources available on each host. The tool will use shell scripts to probe each machine to find out about the machine in terms of, for example, total memory, disk size, operating system and perhaps also parameters such as current load, number of users logged on, processes currently running, available disk space, etc. The tool will keep a check on available resources and will illustrate this graphically. The tool will present information in real-time and provide a simple and straightforward interface to the user. A user could then use the tool to determine which host(s) to use should they need to run, for example, a CPU intensive program, or the tool could be used just to keep track of resources.
The project will profile the use of social networking in the population and provide an evaluation as to the suitability of such applications to the business domain. The project will also involve an implementation of an example social networking site tailored for business use.