Suggested Research Topic: Influence of Response Times on Perceived Trustworthiness

Long, unexpected waiting times can damage the trust a user has placed in a system. This is particularly important in the context of online banking and electronic payment systems, where long waiting times leave users uncertain about the success of a transaction.

One specific research idea is to evaluate and quantify the influence of a payment system’s response time on the users’ perceived trustworthiness of the system. Multiple studies can be conducted based on this research idea by varying the design elements (i.e., UI elements that set expectations regarding waiting time), the risk involved (e.g., the sum involved in a transaction), and the domain (e-banking, p2p payment, e-commerce).

This specific topic is not available anymore. Nonetheless, students who wish to work in the more general area of trust and HCI, please apply via email to with a short statement about your background and interest related to HCI and this research topic.

Suggested Research Topic: Influence of Branding + GUI Design on Perceived Trustworthiness in the Domain of Online Banking

User interface design and branding is known to have a strong influence on how trustworthy a system is perceived by users. This is particularly important in the domain of online banking and electronic payment systems because of the high risk of financial fraud.

Influence of design factors on the perceived trustworthiness of online banking or payment systems.

One specific, suggested research goal is to evaluate and quantify the influence of design factors (e.g., user interface styling and consistency, branding, shopping seals etc.) on the perceived trustworthiness of an online banking or e-payment system. This topic is not available anymore.

Navigation in long, form-based UIs on Smartphones: Paper accepted at the INTERACT’15 conference

Mobile applications provide increasingly complex functionality through form-based user interfaces. Given the small screen sizes of many mobile devices, this requires effective solutions for navigation. Our recent paper about navigation in long, form-based UIs on mobile devices [1], which will be published at the INTERACT’15 conference, compared four navigation design patterns on mobile devices. Results indicate that Scrolling should be avoided in favor of other designs that provide a better overview, possibly using tabs, menus, or collapsible fieldsets.

Read More

Gamification of Online Surveys – New Paper accepted at INTERACT’15

Our study “Gamification of Online Surveys: Design Process, Case Study, and Evaluation” [1] was accepted for publication at the Interact 2015 conference.

Gamification has been proposed to make online surveys more pleasant to fill and, consequently, to improve the quality of survey results. We applied our gamification design process [2] to an existing survey targeted at teenagers and young adults. This allowed to formulate lessons learned regarding our design process; results strongly support the process’s usefulness and applicability. The gamified survey was evaluated in a study with 60 participants regarding the psychological and behavioral outcomes of gamification.

Read More

Gamification of Online Surveys – new paper presented at NordiCHI 2014

We presented a new paper [1] at the NordiCHI 2014 conference in Helsinki. In the paper, we put forth a well-structured process for gamifying online surveys. You can download the full PDF from our website

Prior work on gamified surveys has been unclear about design methods and best practices, but has instead focused on evaluating psychological and behavioral outcomes. In contrast and addition, our paper provides a well-structured design process:

Conceptual Foundations and a Unified Design Process for Gamifying Online Surveys
The proposed unified design process combines gamification (MDA game elements [2]) and form design (Jarret’s three layers of form design [3]) and applies the combined, iterative process to the survey areas to be gamified. Graphic based on [1, Fig.1].

Read More

Focus+Context Navigation in Long Web Forms

Our paper “Design Space for Focus + Context Navigation in Long Web Forms” [1] was accepted at the EICS 2014 conference. In the paper, we put forth a design space (i.e., a space of possible design options) for how form design can dynamically adapt to the user’s (ever changing) focus of interest in order to improve navigation and understanding.

The `form’ user interface metaphor is employed in many UIs to allow for viewing, editing, and communication of semi-structured data [2]. Given large amounts of data, the corresponding form-based UIs are likely to also grow in size and to require navigation. The problem we are addressing is that common navigation patterns in web form design such as scrolling, tabs, and wizard steps hide contextual form fields outside the viewport or behind other tabs or pages. To provide a finer balance (between either fully showing or fully hiding form elements), we propose to apply the focus+context principle from information visualization to form design. In focus+context form design, the elements of a form are shown in various levels of detail, depending on the user’s focus of interest.

The same fieldset shown in different levels of detail

The above figure shows the same fieldset designed in different levels of detail (LODs). In focus+context form design, the levels of detail in which each fieldset is rendered is dynamically computed based on the user’s degree of interest (DOI) and the available display space.

To support usability engineering of focus+context form navigation (as illustrated in the above figure), the paper systematically describes the design space of possible design options. The resulting design space has fostered creativity, and has provided vocabulary for discussing, making, and documenting design decisions.

Future work shall further investigate the usefulness of the design space in real-world design projects and the benefits of employing focus+context form design on desktop and mobile devices.

[1] Harms, J., Wimmer, C., Kappel, K., and Grechenig, T. (2014). Design space for focus+context navigation in web forms. In Proc. EICS ’14. ACM. PDF, DOI

[2] Harms, J. (2013). Research goals for evolving the ‘form’ user interface metaphor towards more interactivity. In Holzinger, A., Ziefle, M., Hitz, M., and Debevc, M., editors, Human Factors in Computing and Informatics, volume 7946 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, pages 819–822. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. PDF, DOI.