UCLIC Research Seminar Series

UCLIC Research Seminar 26 April: Abigail Durrant, Northumbria University – Design for Being Online through Life Transitions
Abigail Durrant, School of Design at Northumbria University


UCLIC Research Seminar 26 April: Abigail Durrant, Northumbria University – Design for Being Online through Life Transitions


The proliferation of pervasive computing, including online platforms like social media, means that being online is for many now a feature of everyday life. Whilst offering new forms of personal expression, such platforms raise new challenges: for managing separate identities in different life domains, for self-presentation (and self-publishing) to different audiences, and for managing personal privacy and legacy. The idea of creating a 'digital footprint' gains new significance when we consider the life course, and how our individual lives develop and change. In the Human-computer Interaction (HCI) field, there is growing interest in lifespan-oriented research perspectives that consider this developmental aspect; and life transitions arguably provide a valuable context for the study of dynamic and complex lives. I will present design research from a recent EPSRC project that studied online identity management at three major life transitions. I will describe our 'research through design' approach that was interdisciplinary and practice-based, and how our team used novel interface designs to engage research participants in reflection on the subject of 'being online'. A discussion will follow about the role of design practice in interdisciplinary inquiry, and methodological considerations for conducting lifespan-oriented research in HCI.


Abigail is Associate Professor and Leverhulme Fellow in the School of Design at Northumbria University, UK. Her research is based in the field of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and focuses on digital support to identity management and expressions of selfhood, in different contexts and cultures and across the life course. This includes work in sensitive settings and with vulnerable populations. Abigail's background is in design and the social sciences, and her fellowship is delivering methodological insight about the transformational value of design within multi-disciplinary research teams. She has published extensively on HCI and Interaction Design, and is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and the Research through Design Conference Steering Committee.


Abigail Durrant is being hosted by Aneesha Singh. If you would like to meet Abigail please contact Aneesha.