St Andrews HCI Research Group


Welcome to the website for SACHI which aims to act a focal point for human computer interaction research across the University of St Andrews and beyond.
SACHI is the St Andrews Computer Human Interaction research group (a HCI Group) based in the School of Computer Science. Members of SACHI co-supervise research students, collaborate on various projects and activities, share access to research equipment and our HCI laboratory. Established in 2011, we now have a regular seminar series, social activities, summer schools and organise workshops and conferences together. Along with the above links, you can find more news about us here.

News and Events

User Troubles during “Shoot St Andrews to Green”!

A map shows missing images from the OpenStreetMap for St Andrews

A map shows missing images from the OpenStreetMap for St Andrews

Many photos of St Andrews are missing from open-access maps. WikiShootMe allows anyone to add an image to places on Wikimedia and Wikipedia that doesn’t already have one. So we took the initiative to take photos of St Andrews’ historic buildings and upload them to Wikicommons using WikiShootMe. However, WikiShootMe is currently only a desktop website and is difficult to use when out and about. Many usability challenges emerged, leading us to turn this into a User-Centred Interaction Design project.


WikiShootMe is a tool to show Wikidata items, Wikipedia articles, and WikiCommons images with coordinates, all on the same map. One of the IDEA network activities involves inviting participants to use this tool, only available though the website, to add an image to places on the shown map that doesn’t already have one. At a recent event, the IDEA network collaborated with Abd Alsattar Ardati, SACHI researcher and Postgraduate Development Officer at the Postgraduate Society, on hosting a pilot event to celebrate the town of St Andrews. St Andrews is well recognised globally for its history and over 600 years old University, but most photos of places are missing from open-access maps! Abd invited students and locals to a one-hour “Shoot St Andrews to Green” event on Saturday, the 20th of August 2022. This event aimed to spark a discussion and encourage attendees to become “open knowledge activists” and contribute as part of a network of others doing the same at the University. The session showcased different opportunities to develop skills in photography and team collaboration while filling information gaps about our town.


On a recent Shoot St Andrews to Green event, six participants used their phones’ browsers to take pictures and upload them to the WikiShootMe website.

At the start, the organiser demonstrated how to create an account, and then the participants go “hunting” for photos. With roughly six students walking with their phones around the town, it can be challenging to track the progress of participants; some participants might upload the same photos. There was little to no error prevention measures in place, and recovering from an error can be daunting. For example, some participants uploaded photos by mistake and to delete the photo, they have to go through a lengthy process, which has a low discoverability. Other participants had issues uploading the photos which were subsequently lost when the page was refreshed.

This led Abd to collaborate with Xu Zhu and Kenneth Boyd to collaborate on translating these challenges into a project for CS students taking the CS5042: User-Centred Interaction Design module to develop interfaces for a mobile app that could support future similar activities in a more user-friendly way.


In this project, we are looking for innovative and creative ways to present the relevant information about the process, available help and documentation that would allow participants to help navigate the space. For example, if someone organised an event, who would be responsible for what images are asked for? If someone wanted to see who had uploaded the largest amount of photos at the event, how would they find this information without losing focus on their main task? Can we gamify the process of uploading pictures? Can we develop interfaces to prevent losing picture features in case the pictures were not uploaded for any reason (e.g. offline working mode)?

The current focus will be on developing an innovative and user-friendly visual interface to navigate the list of photos to be covered, what has been covered, and potential ways to get help from the organiser. It should also be easy to use for potential organisers who would like to add, amend or remove an event from the system. In addition, the organiser should be able to moderate, approve, and bulk upload images to Wikimedia Commons.

An awareness of technologies that could be leveraged for future implementation (for example, suggesting adding the image to a Wikipedia article, if it has one) would make a design more connected to the wider Wikimedia community. Involvement and building connections with the tool’s developers, Wikimedia community and design team are highly desirable and recommended for ensuring that the design fits the community norms and expectations.

There will be posting another blog about the project’s results soon.

Measuring heart rate and blood oxygen remotely in the home

Pireh Pirzada has developed and validated a first rPPG system (Automated Remote Pulse Oximetry System, or ARPOS) that measures both heart rate and blood oxygenation levels remotely within participants’ home environments (real-life scenarios).

The research shares the first data set collected from real life scenarios which includes various factors such as skin pigmentations, illuminations, beard, makeup, and glasses. The research also shares its experiment protocol and source code used to collect and analyse the data.



Current methods of measuring heart rate (HR) and oxygen levels (SPO2) require physical contact, are individualised, and for accurate oxygen levels may also require a blood test. No-touch or non-invasive technologies are not currently commercially available for use in healthcare settings. To date, there has been no assessment of a system that measures HR and SPO2 using commercial off-the-shelf camera technology that utilises R, G, B, and IR data. Moreover, no formal remote photoplethysmography studies have been performed in real-life scenarios with participants at home with different demographic characteristics. This novel study addresses all these objectives by developing, optimising, and evaluating a system that measures the HR and SPO2 of 40 participants. HR and SPO2 are determined by measuring the frequencies from different wavelength band regions using FFT and radiometric measurements after pre-processing face regions of interest (forehead, lips, and cheeks) from colour, IR, and depth data. Detrending, interpolating, hamming, and normalising the signal with FastICA produced the lowest RMSE of 7.8 for HR with the r-correlation value of 0.85 and RMSE 2.3 for SPO2. This novel system could be used in several critical care settings, including in care homes and in hospitals and prompt clinical intervention as required.

Keywords: remote health monitoring; heart rate measurement; blood oxygenation level measurement; rPPG system


The research outputs also include:


Experiment protocol:




Pireh Pirzada

Collaborate and Celebrate the First Female Alumni

Collaborate and celebrate event poster

Students were invited to collaborate on researching digitised archival information about St Andrew’s first female alumni and thus expand the limited amount of information we have about these front-running women.


The Postgraduate Development Officer collaborated with Tomas Vancisin, a SACHI Group researcher focusing on visualising historical university records, and the Inclusion Diversity Equity Accessibility (IDEA) network to host a pilot event to raise awareness about the University’s first female students.

The University of St Andrews is over 600 years old, but women have only been allowed to study here for the past 145 years. In 1877, 15 years before women were officially allowed to study at universities around Scotland, St Andrews started offering women the Lady Literate in Arts qualification, which was equivalent to an MA degree. Despite the significance of this qualification for gender equality and beyond, the amount of information we have about these pioneering women is sparse. The event aimed to spark a discussion and encourage attendees to become “knowledge activists” by looking for additional information about these women. In addition to filling information gaps about underrepresented women, the session also showcased opportunities to develop skills in digital media, research, public engagement, and team collaboration

The long-term goal is to run Wikipedia training as a means to encourage writing Wikipedia Biographical articles about LLA’s we identify as notable.

Here is what one of the attendees said about their experience: 

“I really enjoyed searching for information about the LLA graduates. It was exciting to try and uncover what information is out there, and it was good fun. I also enjoyed hearing more about the IDEA network, and I am keen to get involved as a ‘knowledge activist.”

More information: