St Andrews HCI Research Group


Human-Data Interaction wins best paper award at DE 2013

Our paper introducing the new field of what we term “Human-Data Interaction” won the best paper award at DE2013: Open Digital – The Fourth Annual Digital Economy All Hands Meeting. We are currently building a research agenda and community around this topic; if you are interested then please visit the HDI website.

IJHCS Special Issue on Privacy Methodologies in HCI

The special issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies on Privacy Methodologies in HCI (edited by Mina Vasalou, Tristan Henderson and Adam Joinson) is now available online. Please take a look if you are interested in conducting studies about privacy.

MobiSys 2014 call for workshops

Tristan Henderson is serving as workshop co-chair for ACM MobiSys 2014. MobiSys is the premier conference for researchers working in mobile systems, with a particular focus on actual deployed implementations rather than analytical or simulation results. 2014 sees the twelfth instance of the MobiSys conference, to be held in historic Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, USA.

The call for workshops is available on the MobiSys website. We are particularly interested in reaching out to the HCI community, since there is a long tradition of implementing and deploying real systems for usability and interface studies that might not be known to the traditional MobiSys community. So if anyone reading this is interested in running a workshop, please get in touch!

Masterclass in mobile user studies

Dr Apu Kapadia is a Distinguished SICSA Visitor in August 2012. As part of his visit we are organising a pair of masterclasses in running mobile user studies. These masterclasses are open to all SICSA PhD students. Students will be need to be available to attend both masterclasses:

  • Thursday 2 August, University of Glasgow
  • Thursday 9 August, University of St Andrews

The classes will cover how to design and run a mobile user study using smartphones, and in particularly cover the use of the experience sampling method (ESM), a currently popular methodology for collecting rich data from real-world participants. In the first class, attendees will learn about the methodology and be given a smartphone. Attendees will then carry the smartphone and participate in a small study, and we will cover data analysis in the second class in St Andrews. The organisers have experience in running ESM studies which have looked at mobility, social networking, security and privacy, but the methodology should be of interest to PhD students in both the NGI and MMI themes.

If you have any questions or would like to attend, please e-mail Tristan Henderson ( before the 16th of July.

Biography of Dr Apu Kapadia:

Apu Kapadia is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Informatics at the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in October 2005.

Dr Kapadia has published over thirty peer-reviewed conference papers and journal articles focused on privacy, with several of these at top-tier venues such as ACM TISSEC, IEEE TDSC, PMC, CCS, NDSS, Pervasive, and SOUPS. For his work on accountable anonymity, two of his papers were named as “Runners-up for PET Award 2009: Outstanding Research in Privacy Enhancing Technologies”, a prestigious award in the privacy community. His work on usable metaphors for controlling privacy was given the “Honorable Mention Award (Runner-up for Best Paper)” at Pervasive. Dr Kapadia’s recent work on smartphone “sensory” malware that make use of onboard sensors was published at NDSS and received widespread media coverage. His work on analyzing privacy leaks on Twitter also received media attention naming his work as one of the “7 Must-Read Twitter Studies from 2011”, and one of “The 10 Most Interesting Social Media Studies of 2011”.

Dr Kapadia is interested in topics related to systems’ security and privacy. He is particularly interested in security and privacy issues related to mobile sensing, privacy-enhancing technologies to facilitate anonymous access to services with some degree of accountability, usable mechanisms to improve security and privacy, and security in decentralized and mobile environments.

Special Issue on Privacy Methodologies in HCI

Tristan Henderson is co-editing a special issue of the International Journal of Human-Computer Studies on Privacy Methodologies in HCI.


Privacy has become one of the most contested social issues of the information age. For researchers and practitioners of human-computer interaction (HCI), interest in privacy is not only sparked by these changes in the scale and scope of personal information collected and stored about people, but also because of the increasing ubiquity, sociability and mobility of personal technology. However, privacy has proven to be a particularly difficult construct to study. As a construct, privacy is also open to investigation from multiple perspectives and ontological approaches, with key research coming from law, psychology, computer science and economics.
The special issue on privacy methodologies in HCI invites high quality research papers that use a variety of methods where the author(s) reflect on and evaluate the method itself, both as applied in their specific context, and more widely, as well as the privacy aspect under consideration.

Authors are asked to consider these key questions in their papers:

  • What was the privacy context being researched?
  • Why was the particular methodology chosen for a given context?
  • What selection criteria were used? What were the advantages and disadvantages of the methodology?
  • How was bias and priming avoided? Was there evidence of a ‘measurement problem’?
  • How did the researcher ensure the sample was representative, avoiding sample-based biases?
  • What were the results? How could this method be used to study other aspects of HCI and privacy?

Submission instructions:

Manuscripts should generally not exceed 8000 words. Papers should be prepared according to the IJHCS Guide for authors, and should be submitted online according to the journal’s instructions. The IJHCS Guide for authors and online submission are available at

Important dates:

  • Submission deadline: October 15, 2012
  • Notify authors: January 5, 2013
  • Publication date: late 2013

Guest Editors:

  • Dr. Asimina Vasalou (University of Birmingham)
  • Dr. Tristan Henderson (University of St Andrews)
  • Dr. Adam Joinson (University of Bath)

New Android mobile phone testbed

HTC Desire testbed
Our new Android phone testbed, comprising 20 HTC Desire smartphones, has arrived. This equipment comes courtesy of Tristan’s Privacy Value Networks grant and will be used, amongst others, by Iain for his work on privacy-aware interfaces and systems for mobile opportunistic networks.