Research Themes


Designers of e-commerce applications need to create usable and efficient sites that allow users to find the products they are looking for with ease and with minimum effort. At the same time e-commerce systems need to convey an organisations' brand identity and build user trust. Our research on e-commerce is focused on the potential trade-off decisions that are required in pursuing these goals.


Usability is crucial to e-government. Government is trusted by the public to provide high-quality public services and to make it as easy as possible for citizens to carry out their civic obligations. On the other hand, poor public perception of services may detract from the achievement of policy outcomes. However, usability has not been prominent in the theory or practice of public policy-making.

Intelligent Interfaces

The Focus-Metaphor Approach is a novel concept for the design of adaptive and user-centric virtual environments which seeks to use a form of associativity to adapt the interface to the user whilst keeping one primary focus element and many secondary and peripheral focus elements.

Mobile Systems

To provide enjoyable experiences in mobile TV services researchers need to understand the user requirements that apply in these constrained environments. The limited resources like the display, the available bandwidth of the delivery networks and the available consumption time of the audience push the boundaries of content that was made for other platforms. We focussed our research on user needs and expectations of mobile multimeida systems, resolution requirements of different content types made for TV, the effect of miniturization on the different shot types used in content production, the effects of text and potential benefits of zooming.


The way information is presented through multimedia can affect human perception and decision making in many ways. We have looked at user requirements for optimal presentation of multimodal content from different angles and found out for example about how user trust depends on multimedia content. What to do in order to improve speech perception when you you are stuck with low video frame rates. We have trialled a new assessment scheme called acceptability that has low overhead and the results of which can easily be translated into utility curves.


Security can only be effective if people follow policies and use security tools. Many current security policies are unrealistic, and many security tools place unrealistic demands on users (e.g. superhuman memory ability). The HCS group has a long-standing research activity in establishing a human-centred perspective on security, trust and privacy - how do develop policies and mechanisms that fit into human activity and business processes.

Social Systems

Social systems have seen various definitions and different types of applications fall into this category, such as online communities, social networking applications and lately also recommender systems. Research challenges in area include encouraging trust worthy behaviour, sustaining long term viability and usage, enhancing user experience and effective usability design.

This page was last modified on 07 Feb 2015.

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