The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA researcher presents TechNovation at the UN Headquarters

14 January 2020

Mengdie Zhuang at UN

Mengdie Zhuang (Research Fellow at CASA) presented a recent TechNovation Talk at the United Nations HQ, entitled "User Engagement in Interactive Information Retrieval", illustrating human-in-the-loop system design – how integrating user feedback and needs into every step of the design process for information systems is an essential and often overlooked principle. The Office of Information and Communications Technology hosted the event.

The talk highlighted the current trends in information system design and the rift created between the needs of developers, that often get incorporated, and the needs of users, that not fully probed during the design process. On the other hand, emerging theoretical breakthroughs in understanding user engagement supported by empirical results provide insight into the methods that might help solve this problem and deliver transferable general understanding of positive human-computer interaction.

“User engagement serves a a common denominator in many types of interaction”, Mengdie commented, “and the insight for how to leverage engagement in terms of system design is only recently taking the spotlight. It represents a transferable tool in understanding users and serves as a bridge between the functionality of the system and the types of behaviours it elicits from users. Our research focuses on this connection and tries to achieve a positive impact on system usability and endurability where these attributes matter most - in the context of visualisation for digital health and wellbeing.”

Mengdie Zhuang is currently working on the i-sense project, developing user-adaptive visualisation information systems for disease monitoring, prevention and control in critical outbreak areas.  Find out more about Mengdie Zhuang’s research profile here.