Category: English (Page 1 of 3)

On the responsibility of putting on a show

Taking the stage for the first time as a PhD-student.

It’s been a mere three weeks since I started my PhD position in Uppsala and I’m in Swansea, Wales. The occasion is the conference ECCE (short for European Conference on Cognitive Ergonomics). Oscar Bjurling at RISE ( and I got a paper accepted based on a project we did last year, when I was in the Cognitive Science masters program at Linköping University. “Human-Swarm Interaction in Semi-voluntary Search and Rescue Operations: Opportunities and Challenges” is what we’ve named our paper, and it’s a workshop-based study where we had discussions with experts about potential consequences of drone swarm implementation on search and rescue operations.

Having a paper accepted is all well and good, but it should also be presented. Being that this will be my first conference, I don’t really have a clue about the amount of people who will attend each presentation. I feel like it could either be a full stacked audience and bouquets of roses being handed out to every speaker, or just the one half-sleeping audience member glaring disapprovingly at every one of my attempts at arguing for seeing drone swarms as valuable search and rescue team members. With us being 11th in a line of 15 15-minute presentations the opening day, there is a definite risk that the eventual flowers will be saved for the keynote speakers.

Nevertheless, a presentation is due, and I think that we as researchers have a responsibility to make sure that the ones who do show up to see our presentation feels like it was worth it. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned during my brief time as a university-employee is that there’s always something else you could be doing. There will definitely be people there who are stressed about grading papers, writing ethics applications, or other potentially more important stuff than watching our presentation. Now I don’t plan to completely take after the late Hans Rosling and pick up the noble art of sword swallowing for this presentation, partly because of time issues, but also because I couldn’t see the “It [The Sword] is for scientific purposes”-argument going all too well at the security check-in at the airport. However my ambition is to convince at least somebody in the audience that looking into the potential of drone swarms might be a good idea.

Similar thoughts of presentation responsibility struck me when I, in the role of teacher assistant, presented a couple of ethical issues at a seminar last week. Not only could the students probably learn more about the Trolley Problem on Youtube than from me, but I’m actually standing there claiming to know about this subject to the degree that I could be teaching it to university students.

So when preparing for this presentation, I’m being meticulous about representing the thoughts of the experts we talked to correctly, so that I can confidently argue for our analyses and conclusions, while at the same time taking the responsibility of putting on a show seriously. Because if I don’t bother, why should the audience?

E-Coaching for Informal Caregivers: Building Resilience and Well-being

Closeup of a support hands

As we navigate through the complex experience of caregiving, it is often the informal caregivers, such as close friends or relatives, who become the unsung heroes of caregiving at home. These caregivers are the ones who provide the much-needed support and assistance that patients require to live life with some semblance of normalcy.

For informal caregivers, providing care for a loved one can be emotionally, physically, and mentally challenging. They often have to adapt to a new role as the primary caregiver, while also managing their own lives and responsibilities. Consequently, caregiving can take a toll on these caregivers’ well-being, with many experiencing stress and burnout. Interventions designed to provide support to these caregivers are thus crucial. To this end, our recent study identified important unmet needs of informal caregivers and provided design suggestions for a persuasive e-coaching application using the persuasive system design (PSD) model. The PSD model offers a systematic approach to designing IT interventions.

Using a qualitative research approach, we interviewed 13 informal caregivers and conducted a thematic analysis of the data. From this analysis, six needs were identified: monitoring and guidance, assistance in navigating formal care services, access to practical information without feeling overwhelmed, a sense of community, access to informal support, and the ability to accept grief. These needs formed the basis for suggested design features in an e-coaching application, using the PSD model.

However, we found that some needs could not be mapped using the existing PSD model. As such, we adapted the model to better address the needs of informal caregivers.

By identifying the needs of informal caregivers and providing design suggestions for an e-coaching application, this study offers support and hope for those navigating the challenging role of caregiving. The suggestions for e-coaching applications using the PSD model have the potential to ease the caregiving burden, as well as provide caregivers access to the support and resources they need to provide better care, which is an essential factor in improving both the caregiver’s well-being and the overall quality of care provided to patients. This study highlights the importance of providing support to informal caregivers and demonstrates the potential of technology-based interventions to improve caregivers’ lives. With further development and refinement, e-coaching applications designed based on the PSD model could become valuable tools for supporting and empowering informal caregivers.

Exciting News: Our Book Chapter on User-Centered Design and Software Development Processes Is Now Published!

We’re thrilled to share some exciting academic news with our community! Marta Larusdottir, Åsa Cajander, and Virpi Roto have authored a new book chapter titled “User-Centered Design Approaches and Software Development Processes.” This chapter has been published in the ‘Handbook of Human Computer Interaction,’ edited by Vanderdonckt, J., Palanque, P., and Winckler, M., and brought to you by Springer in 2023. You find it here. The chapter spans pages 1-24 and is part of the Springer Reference Computer Sciences series.

The focus of this chapter is to shed light on the complexities and opportunities that lie at the intersection of User-Centered Design (UCD) and software development. The authors delve into how IT professionals can better manage the ever-evolving software development landscape by seamlessly incorporating UCD approaches. Topics covered range from traditional software development processes like the Waterfall method to more agile approaches, design sprints and user experience design.

This chapter is particularly valuable for professionals, researchers, and students in the Human-Computer Interaction domain. It offers a robust guide for integrating UCD approaches into software development processes, aiming to significantly improve the overall user experience.

We’re incredibly proud of this academic contribution and believe it will be a pivotal resource in the ongoing discussions and practices related to Human-Computer Interaction and software development.


Larusdottir, M., Cajander, Å., Roto, V. (2023). User-Centered Design Approaches and Software Development Processes. In: Vanderdonckt, J., Palanque, P., Winckler, M. (eds) Handbook of Human Computer Interaction. Springer, Cham.

Welcome Back After Summer: New PhD Students and Upcoming Internal Retreat

Summer has drawn to a close, and as the autumn leaves start to fall, we are back to the academic grind. We hope you had a wonderful and refreshing break, soaking up the sun and spending time with loved ones.

We’re thrilled to announce two new PhD students joining the HTO team after the summer break—Jonathan Källbäcker and Andreas Bergqvist. We warmly welcome both and are eager to follow their PhD journey.

Jonathan and Andreas will be deeply involved in two of our most forward-thinking projects—AROA and TARA. These projects are instrumental in shaping the future of our research domain.

  • TARA Project about work environment and AI, robots and automation for ground staff at airports: You can read the detailed post here for more information on the TARA project.
  • AROA Project about work engagement and AI, robots and automation: Please follow this link to learn more about the AROA project.

This week, we are organizing an internal retreat focused on the TARA and AROA projects to integrate our new colleagues and get everyone on the same page. This retreat will span over two days, filled with intensive planning and collaborative work on the studies involved in these projects. And of course, we will have Fika—those beloved coffee breaks that are a cornerstone of Swedish work culture.

From Milestones to Moments of Relaxation: HTO Research Group Unwinds on Summer Vacation

As the summer breeze carries us into a well-deserved vacation, the HTO Research Group looks back at a spring semester filled with inspiring work and remarkable successes. Our team has been tirelessly dedicated to advancing the fields of AI, automation, and work environment, resulting in exciting developments and achievements that we are proud to share. Although we will be momentarily away, we eagerly anticipate returning in late August, recharged and ready to continue our journey towards groundbreaking discoveries.

We are thrilled to announce that Sofia, one of our esteemed researchers, has recently had her application for Docent approved. This significant achievement is a testament to Sofia’s exceptional expertise and contributions to her field. While some minor course requirements are remaining, we have no doubt that she will surpass them effortlessly, solidifying her position as a leading expert in her area of research.

Securing funding is a crucial aspect of advancing research, and we are delighted to have received support for two new projects focused on AI, automation, and the work environment. This exciting development will allow us to delve deeper into these domains, exploring innovative solutions and generating valuable insights that can positively impact industries and society. AFA’s trust in us to pursue these projects fuels our motivation and drives us forward.

We are proud to highlight the success of the NIVA course on AI, automation, and robots at work. This specialized course offered an invaluable opportunity for professionals to expand their knowledge and understanding of the emerging technologies shaping the future workplace.

Additionally, the spring semester has been marked by significant achievements in terms of publications and the dedicated effort put into writing applications for funding. Our researchers have diligently worked on disseminating their findings through high-impact journal articles, conference papers, and book chapters. These publications showcase the depth of our research and contribute to the broader academic community by sharing valuable insights and advancements.

Furthermore, our team has invested substantial time and effort in crafting compelling and competitive funding applications. Securing funding is vital to driving our research forward, allowing us to explore new avenues of inquiry, acquire cutting-edge resources, and collaborate with experts from diverse fields. The diligent work put into these applications is a testament to our unwavering commitment to advancing knowledge and making a tangible impact in our focus areas.

Welcoming New PhD Students: As we gear up for the fall semester, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of our new PhD students, Andreas Bergqvist and Jonathan Källbäcker. Their fresh perspectives, curiosity, and dedication to research will undoubtedly enrich our team and contribute to our collective pursuit of knowledge. We look forward to supporting and guiding them in their academic journeys, and we have no doubt that their contributions will be instrumental in our continued success.

The HTO Research Group is immensely grateful for the fruitful spring semester we leave behind, marked by inspiring accomplishments and the pursuit of excellence. As we embark on our summer break, we encourage everyone to take time for rest and rejuvenation, knowing that it is through such periods that creativity and productivity find fertile ground. We will return in late August, eager to share our latest insights, breakthroughs, and updates with our esteemed readers and followers.

Wishing you all a rejuvenating summer filled with joy, relaxation, and inspiration!

Feedback – the key to success in higher education?

I recently took a pedagogical course in Assessment, grading and feedback in relation to teaching in higher education, and one topic that stood out to me as particularly interesting was the role of feedback for learning. Did you know that research shows that receiving feedback is essential for learning and considered the most powerful means of enhancing student achievements? Still, many teachers experience challenges in their feedback practice such as students not recognizing the value of feedback or students exhibiting defensive responses to feedback. In relation to these challenges, feedback literacy has been introduced by the research arena of higher education studies as a concept describing the ability to interpret and to make productive use of feedback.

A well-cited paper by Carless and Boud describes how many students struggle with understanding, interpreting, and using feedback effectively and the authors emphasize that we as teachers need to help them develop this skill of feedback literacy. To support us in this, they provide a framework suggesting that a set of three interrelated features underpin students’ ability to take action in response to feedback. The three features are:

  • Appreciating feedback: understanding and appreciating that feedback aims at improving the work
  • Making judgments: developing self-evaluative capacities to make sound judgments about one’s own work as well as the work of others
  • Managing affect: avoiding defensiveness when receiving critical feedback and developing habits of striving for continuous improvement based on internal and external feedback.

This leaves the important question of how teachers, such as myself and my colleagues in the HTO group, can support the development of these skills in our students. In the paper, the authors highlight for example the use of peer feedback as a learning activity which explicitly aims towards the development of students’ feedback literacy. The idea is that to provide peer feedback exposes the students to the work of others which helps them compare between their own work and the work of their peers. Which, in turn, benefits the ability to self-evaluate their own production. Providing feedback to peers could also be helpful for students to see that feedback aims to help and suggest solutions and improvements.

Another strategy, and something I believe is important, is to model the uptake of feedback in front of our students. This could be done, for example, by discussing how we as academics are constantly exposed to feedback in the form of peer review. We could also make sure to continuously ask for feedback on our teaching, and then (preferably) handle the comments in an exemplary manner and model how to receive and use feedback as a tool for learning and growth. 

To receive feedback is something I think not only students struggle with from time to time. However, thinking about this in the terms of ‘feedback literacy’ can be helpful as it makes it less static by highlighting this as an ability – and abilities can be improved. So next time you either provide or receive feedback, see it as a possibility for individual skill development.

How do you work with feedback processes and activities? 

Reference: Carless, D. & Boud, D. (2018). The development of student feedback literacy: enabling uptake of feedback. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 43(8), 1315—1325.

Join Our ‘Collective Collaboration Mapping’ Workshop at CHIWork

Are you passionate about driving change through collaboration and innovation? Do you want to enhance your skills in designing inclusive research or design projects? We have an exciting opportunity for you! Introducing the workshop ‘Collective Collaboration Mapping,’ a transformative experience that will empower you to navigate the complexities of collaboration and unlock the full potential of collective knowledge.

This interactive and immersive workshop offers practical guidance and tools to co-create inclusive and transdisciplinary collaboration processes, led by renowned experts in the field, Catharina (Karin) van den Driesche and professor Åsa Cajander. Whether you’re involved in participatory action research, citizen initiatives, or community-driven design, this workshop will equip you with the skills you need to effectively address complex challenges.

Taking place on Tuesday, June 13th, 2023, as part of the CHIWORK conference in Oldenburg, Germany, this workshop is a must-attend event for professionals in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) who are committed to making a positive impact on society.

During the workshop, you will delve into the ‘Collective Collaboration Mapping’ (CCM) Framework, which emphasizes the importance of exchanging and combining different perspectives and types of knowledge. Through hands-on activities and discussions, you will explore touchpoints within the framework, enabling the monitoring of emerging intermediate-level knowledge. By incorporating diverse viewpoints, you’ll create a knowledge network that fosters inclusivity and engagement among all participants.

By the end of the workshop, you will understand the intricacies and opportunities of collaboration within an inclusive and transdisciplinary approach. Armed with the insights and practical tools provided, you’ll be ready to apply the principles of the CCM Framework to your own design or research projects, driving innovation and achieving remarkable results.

For more information and registration, visit the CHIWORK 2023 website:

We look forward to welcoming you to this dynamic and inspiring workshop!

Workshop Details:

NIVA Education’s Online Course on the Work Environment, Digitalisation, Automation, and AI

NIVA Education hosted a state-of-the-art digital course titled ‘Digitalisation, Automation, AI, and the Future Sustainable Work Environment,’ which was conducted online. The course was led by Magdalena Stadin, Bengt Sandblad, and Åsa Cajander from the HTO group. The purpose of this transformative course was to equip academicians with the necessary skills and knowledge to adeptly navigate the ever-evolving sphere of digital systems in the workplace.”

By having interesting talks and insightful presentations, attendees delved into the difficulties and advantages of digital transformation, automation, and artificial intelligence. Topics covered included user-centered design methods, the impact of AI and robotics in various sectors, and the design, deployment, and evaluation of digital systems from a work environment perspective.

The course was carefully planned and organised by the NIVA Education team and Bengt Sandblad to make sure the participants could learn easily. We worked hard to schedule sessions and pick the course material to ensure the program’s overall success.

In conclusion, NIVA Education’s state-of-the-art digital course on “Digitalisation, Automation, AI, and the Future Sustainable Work Environment” was a success! Through engaging discussions and insightful presentations, attendees explored the challenges and advantages of digital transformation.

Exploring the Future of Healthcare: Insights from MIE’2023 and VITALIS 2023

The Medical Informatics Europe 2023 (MIE’2023) conference, held under the theme “Caring is Sharing – Exploiting Value in Data for Health and Innovation,” alongside the renowned VITALIS 2023, Scandinavia’s largest eHealth conference, created a stage where experts gathered to delve into the latest advancements and challenges in healthcare. The buzz around AI in healthcare was undeniable, emphasizing the need for regulation while recognizing its immense potential. Striking the delicate balance between innovation and patient safety became a key focal point, highlighting the importance of establishing robust frameworks and guidelines for AI deployment in healthcare settings.

Sweden, with its world-class healthcare and research institutions, thriving industry, and vibrant startup scene, served as the perfect backdrop for MIE’2023 and VITALIS 2023. Drawing decision makers, IT managers, researchers, and care administrators from various sectors, VITALIS provided a fertile ground for networking and collaboration among the different stakeholders in the field. This convergence of industry professionals from healthcare organizations, municipalities, county councils, and authorities facilitated invaluable connections and knowledge exchange.

The opening keynote at VITALIS was a highlight of the event, featuring influential speakers who offered compelling insights into the future of healthcare. Jakob Forssmed, Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, stressed the significance of leveraging data and digital solutions to transform healthcare. David Novillo Ortiz from the World Health Organization shared noteworthy initiatives utilizing data and digital technologies. Tom Lawry, an AI expert, captivated the audience with his exploration of AI’s transformative potential in healthcare. The discussions revolved around the need for responsible implementation and regulation, keeping patient welfare at the forefront.

Innovative research on patients’ use of medical records online took center stage during the conferences, shedding light on the impact of patient-accessible electronic health records (PAEHR). A notable session led by Prof. Åsa Cajander focused on the effects of PAEHR on diverse patient groups, particularly in psychiatric and somatic care. The session underscored the necessity for further research on user experiences and perceptions, highlighting the complexities and considerations surrounding the implementation and impact of PAEHR in different healthcare contexts.

MIE’2023 and VITALIS 2023 emphasized the pivotal role of data, AI, and patient access in reshaping the healthcare landscape. These conferences provided an engaging platform for decision-makers, IT managers, researchers, and care administrators to collaborate, fostering innovation and knowledge-sharing. The seminars on AI adoption in healthcare emphasized the importance of responsible implementation, while presentations on patient access to medical records illuminated the benefits and challenges associated with PAEHR. The collective efforts of the healthcare community, as highlighted during these events, hold the potential to revolutionize patient outcomes and shape a future where innovation and compassion go hand in hand.

The benefit of the so called 3rd duty

Recently, I have been invited as a presenter and panel member the Riks-P conference in Stockholm, as well as online, presenting for employees working at the Swedish Work Environment Authority. The topic for these presentations has been AI, robotization and the work environment.

In academia, we refer to these kind of job duties as ‘the 3rd duty’. For those of you that are not familiar with this concept, I’ll try to explain it briefly. Typically, it is stated that academians have three job duties; 1) Research; 2) Teaching; 3) Academic service.

The 3rd duty – Academic service encompasses various responsibilities that contribute to the functioning and development of the academic community and society at large. This can include serving on committees within the institution, participating in academic governance, reviewing manuscripts for journals, organizing conferences or workshops, engaging in community outreach and public engagement activities, and providing expert advice to policymakers or industry professionals etc.

So, what is the benefit of the 3rd duty? Actually, the 3rd duty offers several benefits at both individual and institutional levels. These involve e.g. professional networking, reputation, recognition, personal and professional growth, as well as institutional development and the fulfilling of social responsibility. In other words, it is a good idea to not forget about the 3rd duty!


Magdalena Stadin, PhD

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