UCLIC Research Seminar Series

UCLIC Research Seminar 2nd of October: Dorian Peters (University of Cambridge) on "Wellbeing-supportive design: Designing technologies to support psychological needs"
Dorian Peters, University of Cambridge

Title

UCLIC Research Seminar 2nd of October: Dorian Peters (University of Cambridge) on "Wellbeing-supportive design: Designing technologies to support psychological needs"

Abstract

Research in psychology has shown that both motivation and wellbeing are contingent on the satisfaction of three basic psychological needs. Fulfillment of these needs also predicts positive domain-specific outcomes, such as positive health or educational outcomes. Moreover, the fact that they have been validated cross- culturally, are measurable, and offer safe targets for design because you cannot "overfill" on them, makes them uniquely suitable targets for design. Yet these basic psychological needs are rarely considered within technology development. I propose that a productive way forward for practitioners interested in improving digital wellbeing is to leverage basic psychological needs theory. The model for Motivation, Engagement and Thriving in User Experience (METUX) integrates basic psychological needs with six spheres of technology experience to provide a framework for the design and evaluation of wellbeing-supportive technologies. In this talk, I will summarise the model in the context of a number of case studies to show how it can help HCI researchers and practitioners to form actionable insights with respect to designing for user wellbeing.

Biography

Dorian is an author, technology designer, and design researcher. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at the University of Cambridge. Her books include Positive Computing: Technology for Wellbeing and Human Potential (MIT Press), and Interface Design for Learning: Design Strategies for Learning Experiences (New Riders). With over 20 years' experience in digital design, she works with engineers, social scientists and users to co-create human-centred and research-driven technologies in ways that respect psychological needs. She has designed and consulted for educational, non-profit and corporate institutions including Carnegie Mellon, University of Cambridge, Movember Foundation, Asthma Australia, Google, Sony Music and Phillips. Her research in human-computer interaction includes development of the METUX model for evaluating the wellbeing impact of technologies on motivation, engagement and wellbeing. She often acts as a bridge between research and practice by translating academic discoveries into actionable knowledge for professionals.