CHItaly 2019

Congratulations to our researchers Valentina Nisi, Mara Dionísio, Cláudia Silva and Nuno Nunes for receiving an Honorable Mention for the Best Paper Award at CHItaly 2019 with the paper “A participatory platform supporting awareness and empathy building between tourists and locals: the Há-Vita case study.

The article focuses on the content which was selected to raise awareness towards environmental sustainability-related, and envisioned to foster interaction between tourists and locals. The strategy with tourists revealed itself to be a research challenge on its own. Nevertheless, results shed light on content creation and design choices of the platform, as well as reflecting on the methodological challenges of conducting HCI research with real tourists in situ.

Interact 2019

The 17th IFIP TC.13 International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2019 was held last 2 – 6 September, 2019 in Paphos, Cyprus.

Mara Dionísio, presented a full paper entitled “Fostering interaction between locals and visitors by designing a community-based tourism platform on a Touristic Island” co-authored with Cláudia Silva, and Valentina Nisi.

This paper explores the full design and evaluation of Há-vita, consisting of a combination of different research methods: the user studies conducted with tourists in hotel lobbies and 3 focus groups with residents and visitors.

Protocol Testing

M-ITI premises got a visit from the Erasmus+ Training for Teachers, a great opportunity to advertise Fragments Beta Release and gather some newcomers for a first trial of the protocol and potential user testers.

We gathered a group of 6 volunteers: among them Belgian, Spanish, Estonian and Slovak teachers.

The protocol runs as follows:

Participants meet researchers at the starting point @Miradouro das Cruzes. Researchers introduce themselves and give a brief overview of the activity and how they ate going to interact with the mobile application provided in our devices. It is given to them a consent form describing purposes of the study. Participants are then attributed with ID code’s and asked to fill a small questionnaire to gather demographic data. Before starting, it is proposed to them whether they wish to do the tour alone or in pairs. They start the activity whenever they feel ready.
Users are “followed” by a researcher who conducts the study to observe and take notes of their interaction (shadowing) without intervening with their actions. During the experience, it’s taken pictures for documentation purposes.
At the end and to register feedback concerning the experience the experimenter asks to fill out an after tour questionnaire taking around 15minutes, followed by a semi-structured interview.

Beta Release

A Beta Testing period is approaching. Spring is coming, which makes it the perfect time for some outdoor user tests. As FOL experience ( App + Website ) is almost fully developed, it’s time to test it as a whole with foreign visitors. The team is taking the first steps in designing the complete protocol for these final testing sessions, consisting of the following structure:

    • Consent Forms
    • Demographic Questionnaires
    • After FOL Tour Questionnaires
    • After FOL Website & Overall Experience
    • Semi-structured Interview

Hypermedia Usertest

In the last couple of weeks, the team has been planning and conducting a new study. To use the case study of Há-Vita, to be measured as if a hypermedia storytelling platform, works better or worse than traditional media (means such a linear video) in informing, creating awareness and interest in the local cultural and natural heritage.

The study focuses on evaluating the impact of the content on users; the website graphical and usability user interface; and the potential of the platform as to create empathy and awareness about several issues related to the Island. This study takes a mixed study design approach by drawing on field notes, observation, and questionnaires.

The sessions took around 30 minutes, where half of the sampling explored the content of Há-Vita in the web platform, and the other half watched a linear video with the same content. We got a total sampling of 28 participants, 19 males and 9 females.

Usertesting Sessions

“Angra com Futuro: Mostra de Projetos Empreendedores e Capacitação”

Mara Dionísio and Dina Dionísio exhibited Fragments of Laura at the IV Fair Angra com Futuro: Mostra de Projetos Empreendedores e Capacitação held in Angra do Heroísmo, Azores, on October 26-28.

This event aimed to promote and exchange new entrepreneurship practices, mainly in terms of valorization of local products through creativity, innovation, and competitivity. It gathered projects from Portugal mainland, Madeira, Azores and Canary Islands.

Mara Dionísio @ Pitch Presentation

European Researchers’ Night 2018

On the last Friday of the month, initiatives in the scope of this special night were organized all across Europe. M-ITI researchers joined the event, to demo Fragments of Laura to all the interested visitors. During the event, the Secretary of Education Jorge Carvalho and the councillor of science Idalina Perestrelo met the researchers and got to know more about the research project.