Human-Computer Interaction

Welcome!

Welcome to the webpage of the human-computer interaction (HCI) research group at the University of St. Gallen. We design, develop and evaluate mobile and ubiquitous user interfaces that demonstrably enhance users’ lives.

Our research mission is to fit human and technological needs and empower users when using novel interfaces. We want to gain a deeper understanding of the interplay between rapidly advancing technologies and how digital interfaces can empower users in their rich set of activities. We focus on a broad range of use cases from geographic information science, public health, and medical contexts, as well as extreme conditions such as space missions.

We love to work in interdisciplinary teams to create novel insights. For doing so, we use rigorous methods from AI, computer graphics and cognitive psychology and have a commitment to both theoretical and practice-based inquiry, and we have a particular interest in the application of user-centred design methodologies as well as mixed methods approaches.

Prof. Dr. Johannes Schöning leads the group.

Teaching

The Chair of Human-Computer Interaction offers a rich set of human-centered courses, including introductory courses to human-computer interaction as well as advanced hands-on courses around the planning, development, and evaluation of user-centered software and hardware prototypes

In Spring 2024, we offer the following courses:

Research

Our website showcases a few of our HCI projects spanning various domains, from sustainable development and societal impact assessment to assistive technologies and navigation systems. At the heart of our approach is a passion for interdisciplinary collaboration, as we thrive in teams comprising partners from academia, industry, and beyond. Our work is made possible through funding from institutions like the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) and through collaborations with industry partners.  

This research project investigates the social and environmental impacts of navigation systems. The project, funded by SNF investigates the broader societal consequences of reliance on navigation technologies. 

On a societal level, the project explores how navigation systems affect urban and transport planning. Notably, it addresses the issue of traffic being rerouted through residential areas to avoid congestion, optimizing individual journey times at the expense of the overall traffic system. 

On an individual level, the project looks at the potential loss of human orientation skills due to over-reliance on GPS technology. Throughout this project, we are working on developing navigation algorithms that prioritize personal preferences over merely optimizing journey times, mindful of the potential unintended societal consequences, such as increased economic disparity and impacts on urban planning. 

Ultimately, the goal of the project is to create novel navigation algorithms that take into account the negative externalities of their decision-making processes, aiming for solutions that benefit a larger society rather than individual users. 

 

Contact: Dr. Gian-Luca Savino (gian-luca.savinounisg.ch)

Challenge Space

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), ''almost everyone will temporarily or permanently experience disability at some point in their life''1, with around 1.8 million people with special needs living in Switzerland. In 2021, the ''Swiss Federation of Deaf People'' and the ''Swiss Federation of Blind and Partially Sighted People'' re-emphasised that people with special needs must ''receive the appropriate human and technical resources to participate fully and auton-omously in society''2, highlighting the need for technical resources that facilitate and empower people.

Proposed Research

In a 3-year long research effort at the University of St. Gallen, funded by the HSG - Uni SG - International Postdoctoral Fellowships, we investigate the use of assistive mixed reality technology to improve how people live, work, navigate, and interact in reality and with fellow humans, moving to a new era of human-computer interfaces. We will explore the design space of assistive mixed reality technology to speed up development, help economic growth and bring people closer together.

This project will contribute towards an inclusive future reality where people with and without disabilities receive appropriate technical resources and are empowered to participate fully and autonomously in society.

 

Contact: Dr. Florian Mathis (florian.mathisunisg.ch)

Team

Johannes Schöning

Prof. Dr.

Full Professor in Human-Computer Interaction

School of Computer Science
Büro 64-210
Torstrasse 25
9000 St Gallen

Gian-Luca Savino

Dr.

Senior Researcher

School of Computer Science
Torstrasse 25
Büro 64-218
9000 St Gallen

Florian Mathis

Dr.

Senior Researcher

Institute of Computer Science (ICS-HSG)
Büro 64-216
Torstrasse 25
9000 St Gallen

Eve Schade

M.Sc.

Research Assistant

Institute of Computer Science (ICS-HSG)
Torstrasse 25

9000 St Gallen

Annika Kaltenhauser

M.Sc.

Research Assistant

Institut für Informatik (ICS-HSG)
Torstrasse 25

9000 St Gallen

Adrian Preussner

M.Sc.

Research Assistant

Institute of Computer Science (ICS-HSG)
Torstrasse 25
64-214
9000 St Gallen

Yu Sun

Research Assistant

Institut für Informatik (ICS-HSG)
Torstrasse 25

9000 St Gallen

Publications

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