Introduction to Global Challenge Research Fund (GCRF) and the Newton Fund
This session will start by providing an overview of the GCRF and Newton Fund, you will learn all about these funding streams and how they can support and fund your research projects. The session will also include details on any current open opportunities for funding. The session will also include some details on what Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) means and how to best demonstrate compliance when putting together funding applications. The session will conclude with a presentation from Susan Dray
Contrasting academia and industry as contexts for research - What is rigour?
Product development needs the leadership in critical thinking that HCI researchers should provide, and which is in short supply. However, the transition from academia to industry requires a shift in mindset for which some are unprepared. As in many applied fields, many who become practitioners say they have to relearn everything. Mutual stereotyping between academics and practitioners doesn't help. This talk describes the kinds of intellectual challenges product development presents that demand researchers' skills in evidence based critical thinking.
Founding the Foundry: Who we are and what we do
For the ambitious and inspiring goals for the Computational Foundry to be met, the role of the human in technology design, use and impact is critical. As the Foundry is literally growing in front of our eyes and these goals are still fresh and inspiring, it seems fitting to remind ourselves of the important things that make us HCI/UX people, so that we can hold onto and amplify these going forward into this exciting collaborative space. This talk describes 5 things we do and 5 values we hold, and then demonstrates how the two intersect with examples from many years as a consultant.
Networking, talk and workshop
It is a rare product team that doesn't see itself as user centered. But often the results don't look that way. Blaming decision-makers who "don't get it," development processes that don't allow for it, or "inmates running the asylum," does not help researchers become more influential and useful. To be effective, researchers need to understand their audience, just like their audience needs to understand their users and customers. This talk will help both researchers and product leadership understand common dilemmas that arise at key points in the development process that can compromise user-centeredness, and recognize opportunities for research to become a stronger and more valuable partner in product development.
Understanding dynamics of product lifecycle
Working as a professional UX researcher in industry requires adapting methodology to fit within product development processes, getting buy in, and establishing collaborative relationships. There can be a fine line between adaptation and compromising away core aspects of research quality. This talk will examine pressures in the product development process. It will also point out some research practices that have become the norm as the field has matured and been integrated in industry can undermine professionalism and quality.
Susan Dray is a founding member of the ACM Special Interest Group in Computer-Human Interaction (SIGCHI), and has been a leader in the field of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) [now known as User Experience (UX)] research since beginning her career in a Human Factors group at Honeywell in 1979. Early in her career, she was one of the first to make contextual research a core part of UX. At American Express, she established the first dedicated corporate usability lab in a non-tech company. She was among the first to conduct international user research. As a consultant since 1993, Susan has worked with a long list of clients, including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Xerox, LG, Autodesk, IBM, SAP, and many others. She has also partnered with design firms such as IDEO.
Through her consulting and courses that she offered for many years at CHI, BCS-HCI, UXPA, Interact, and other venues, Susan inspired a generation of academics and practitioners to move beyond a focus on usability to UX more broadly, and to bring cross-cultural understanding of users into product development. Susan has trained and mentored many researchers who now occupy faculty positions in leading computer science programs, as well as leadership positions in industry. In recent years, she has devoted energy to her passion of promoting the development of UX communities globally, most recently by leading a SIGCHI-sponsored effort, SIGCHI Across Borders. As the first step, she recently led symposia in Alexandria, Egypt, focusing on HCI in the Arabic-speaking world, and in Guatemala City, focusing on Spanish-speaking Central and South America.
A Fellow of both the ACM and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Susan has been honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards from both SIGCHI and the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA). She also a member of the CHI Academy, and serves on the SIGCHI Executive Committee as Vice President At-Large, focusing on HCI in the so-called “Developing World” as well as Global HCI Education She was on the UXPA Board of Directors for 6 years as Director of Publications, overseeing the move from print to online only of the organization’s UX magazine. She has also served as both a Column and a Forum editor for SIGCHI’s Interactions Magazine. Susan has a Ph.D in psychology from UCLA, where she studied neuroscience and behaviour.
I transitioned into UX from a career as a clinical psychologist bringing skills that have served me well, in research design and statistics, neuro-psychology, perception and cognition, as well as skills in talking with people in depth about absolutely anything.
For most of my career in UX, I have worked as a consultant, carrying out projects for companies like Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, eBay, SAP, Medtronic, Toyota, and many others. These have covered the gamut from tactical usability work to helping set the direction for entire families of products, and transforming companies’ product development practices. Intentionally remaining a generalist has resulted in my having experience in a wide variety of technical domains, and in settings ranging from thatched-roof cottages in India, to the accounting departments of Chinese banks, to surgery suites.
I recently took a break from consulting to spend 4 years at Google, as a member of a UX team focused on Google’s internal systems for sales, marketing, and support. For much of that time, I was Lead Researcher for the company’s internal CRM, an extremely powerful system supporting Google’s world-wide sales force. As an interviewer for 80-100 UX candidates at Google, I developed a sense of the gap between academic preparation and work in industry. The opportunity to share these insights is one of the things that makes coming to Swansea University exciting for me.
I have also been active in teaching and publishing, much of which has focused on contextual field research, international research, and the challenges facing UX in the world of product development. Over the years, I have increasingly functioned as a mentor and coach, helping UXer’s be more effective in their organizations.
Some of my specific areas of interest, which may be of interest to Swansea, include:
• Practice of UX Research in the World of Product Development
• Design thinking versus Design Thinking, and the role of Conceptual Design
• Conducting and analyzing qualitative research rigorously and impactfuly
• Demystifying (and de-throning) Quantitative User Research Methods, from Basic to Advanced
• UX aspects of AI