April 19-20, at the UNB Wu Centre:

NextGen UX.

Watch the recorded sessions here. 



Thursday, April 19 - WU Centre - Room 204

A full day of tutorials with hands-on exercises. Please bring your laptop and advise us of any dietary requirements (food and beverages provided).

8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Registration.

9.00 - 11.00 a.m. User-Centred Design and Stakeholder Engagement: A Practical Perspective. Dr Cosmin Munteanu - University of Toronto

11:00 - 11:15 a.m. Break.

11:15 - 12.15 p.m. User Interface Design Principles. Dr. Anthony Tang - University of Calgary

12.15 - 1.15 p.m. Lunch.

1:15 – 2:15 p.m. Prototyping Methods. Dr. Scott Batement - University of New Brunswick

2:15 - 2:30 p.m.

2:30 - 4:30 p.m. Usability Testing Basics. Dr. Jules Maitland - Accreon Inc.

Friday, April 20 - WU Centre - Chancellor's room

7:00 - 8:00 a.m. Registration

8:00 - 8:15 a.m. Setting the Scene - Opportunities for User-Centred Design and Innovation. Dr. Jules Maitland - Accreon Inc.

New Brunswick has a long and proud tradition of innovation. Today, we have a vibrant ecosystem of academic, industrial, governmental, and community organisations all striving to make a difference in a world of rapidly changing demographics, technology, and resources. Laying the foundation for what promises to be an inspirational day of presentations and conversations, I will explain what we mean when we talk about UX, and how user-centred design and the field of human-computer interaction can inspire innovation and increase economic and social impact.

8:15 - 8:35 a.m. Welcome from some of our sponsors.

  • Dr. Bill McIver, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Mobile & Ubiquitous Computing, New Brunswick Community College
  • Professor David MaGee, Vice President of Research, University of New Brunswick

  • Dr. Luigi Benedicenti, Dean of Faculty of Computer Science, University of New Brunswick

  • Colleen Boldon, Director of Digital Lab and Digital ID Programs, Service New Brunswick

8:35 - 9:20 a.m. Interaction Design for 2020. Dr. Anthony Tang - University of Calgary

Interaction design will be harder tomorrow than it is today, because wireless connectivity, distributed devices and sensors, and AI obfuscate the function of the “system.” Ignoring these challenges will not only create unusable systems, but fundamentally dangerous ones. In this talk, I outline the real social dangers of neglecting interaction design until "the last part" of system construction, suggesting we consider three philosophical questions that we need to answer as system designers.

9:20 - 10:05 a.m. Designing Natural, Social, and Safe User Interfaces to Reduce the Digital Marginalization of Older Adults. Dr. Cosmin Munteanu - University of Toronto

Traditional user interfaces are continuously being replaced by mobile, touch, and speech-based interaction paradigms. These have helped us and empowered us; yet have also marginalized many vulnerable user groups. For some, such as older adults, even simple tasks (reading a book, understanding a user manual, comprehending a health pamphlet, or playing a video game with their family) can be a struggle despite the potential for assistance afforded by smart, portable, and personal interfaces. This is even more evident when lack of technology savviness exposes them to additional risks, such as online scams and phishing. At the same time, older adults who live socially isolated could benefit from a greater digital participation; yet, the current ecosystem of design paradigms, interfaces, services, and knowledge excludes many of them from fully benefiting from online resources. I have previously shown that natural, intelligent, and multimodal user interfaces can empower marginalized users despite the inherent lack of accuracy exhibited by such computationally-demanding technologies. In this talk, I will discuss how such technologies can be made more social and more adoptable by older adults. I will then argue that such interfaces can be particularly useful in improving older adults' interaction with assistive technologies and in reducing their social isolation and digital marginalization. To support this, I will present several examples of multimodal/social assistive technologies under research at TAGlab that support older adults in their daily lives.

10:05 - 10:20 a.m. Break

10:20 – 11:05 a.m. Personalizing Persuasive Technologies For Behaviour Change. Dr. Rita Orji - Dalhousie University

Interactive systems can be designed to aid and motivate people for actions and causes that are beneficial for them and their communities. Avoiding risky behavior, living a healthy lifestyle, promoting safety and security-conscious behaviors online and offline, acting to preserve the environment and reduce climate change, and volunteering to contribute to a team or community, can all be influenced by Persuasive Technologies (PTs). PTs are interactive systems designed to motivate desired behavior and attitude change.  This talk presents recent findings on tailoring PTs to increase their efficacy in motivating healthy behavior change. By comparing the efficacy of a tailored, contra-tailored, and one-size-fits-all versions of a PT, the talk shows the importance of tailoring PTs in the context of a persuasive game for health.

11:05 - 11:50 a.m. Unleash Wearable Interactions from the Disappearing Touchscreens. Dr. Xing-Dong Yang - Dartmouth College.

The ubiquitous touchscreen has become the primary mechanism with which users interact with small personal computing devices. While there is a trend showing that personal computing devices may become smaller and smaller, a primary constraint on device miniaturization is the user interface (e.g. touchscreen). Screens need to be large enough to be seen, and keyboards need enough physical space to facilitate typing. Arbitrary hardware miniaturization may lead to devices that are not usable. In this talk, I will present my work in extending the interaction space of wearable devices from the touchscreens to several new dimensions through 1) new sensing techniques, 2) novel device form factors, and 3) new input mechanisms. I will show you a couple of examples of new sensing techniques we developed, including a finger-worn device which allows touch input to be carried out on any surface available to the users and a smartphone capable of ‘seeing’ user’s input in the surrounding environment using the front-facing camera augmented by an omni-directional lens. I will also show you how tangible interactions can be performed on the small wearable form factor using a dual-display smartwatch. Additionally, I will demonstrate a few new smartwatch interactions enabled by an actuated watch face. Finally, I will talk about one-handed input on smartwatches and give you an example to demonstrate that common touchscreen input on a smartwatch can be carried out using only one hand by whirling the wrist of the hand wearing the smartwatch. I will conclude my talk by presenting my vision of how future wearable devices can be developed to improve people’s daily activities.

11:50 - 12:35 p.m. Interaction Design for Virtual Reality and Public Displays. Dr. Julie Williamson - University of Glasgow

Unusual displays, such as spherical displays or head-mounted virtual reality, open up the possibilities for social immersive experiences. My research focuses on how to design and evaluate interactions for these displays in public and social contexts.  In this talk, I will discuss two recent projects with these displays; how a playful interactive sphere changes pedestrian traffic in a public walkway and how we can encourage whole-body interaction in a public room-scale VR experience.

12:35 – 1:30 p.m. Lunch

1:30 - 2:15 p.m. User-Tailored Privacy Decision Support. Dr. Bart Knijnenburg - Clemson University

Privacy issues are an undying obstacle to the real-world implementation of personalized information systems. While there exist several technical privacy-preserving solutions (e.g. client-side personalization, homomorphic encryption, k-anonymity), the concept of privacy is an inherently human attitude associated with the collection, distribution and use of disclosed data, and this disclosure itself is also a human behavior. This talk discusses one particular human-centric solution to reduce users’ privacy concerns: User-Tailored Privacy. User-Tailored Privacy is an approach to privacy that measures users’ privacy-related characteristics and behaviors, uses this as input to model their privacy preferences, and then provides them with adaptive privacy decision support. In effect, it applies data science as a means to support users’ privacy decisions.

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 - 2:45 p.m  Promoting collaborations between academia and industry: Springboard and NSERC funding opportunities and how to apply. Katrin Sommerfeld, Springboard Atlantic.

2:45 - 3:00 p.m Additional funding opportunitiesValerie Bonnardel-Vacque, MITACS and Lindsay Bowman, NBIF.

3:00 - 4:30 p.m. What next for user-centred design and innovation in New Brunswick? Breakout working session.









invited talks



Six world-class researchers will share their findings on the latest in interactive technology. Speakers include..

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Nextgen ux

Fostering collaboration between academia, industry, and government to raise the profile of user experience and increase capacity to engage in user-centred design and innovation.  

Dr. Jules Maitland / User Experience Lead, Accreon Inc.



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