Modelling users’ experience in human-computer interaction – University of Copenhagen

Modelling users’ experience in human-computer interaction

- talk by Paul van Schaik, professor of psychology at Teesside University

The lecture is open and free – no registration is required. For further information, please contact Kasper Rasmussen.


Parallel to the spread of personal computing, user-experience (UX) has become a major area in human-computer interaction (HCI) research. UX stresses that interactive products do not only deliver functional benefits – they promote experiences too – and users’ intention to (re)live positive experiences is an important driver of technology use. Because most modern interactive products can be used for both work and leisure, utilitarian aspects (e.g., ease of use and learnability) remain widely regarded as important, but are insufficient by themselves to give a complete account for people’s use and the success of these technologies.  The presentation will address an important aspect of UX research: modelling UX.

Models of UX describe determinants of positive experiences with a wide range of interactive devices and technologies.  UX modelling is important for understanding how characteristics of artefacts, users and tasks influence UX.  Empirically tested models can help in informing the continual improvement of artefacts (Martensen & Grønholdt, 2003).  Two broad approaches to UX modelling can be distinguished: specific to general and general to specific.  The presentation will illustrate both approaches with empirical research studies.  More generally, the argument will be made that flexibility in modelling is essential: it is important to select or develop UX models based on the outcome variables that are of interest in terms of explanation or prediction, instead of using a single ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.


Paul van Schaik is a Professor of Psychology at Teesside University since 2007, where he previously was a senior lecturer (1997-2003) and reader (2003-2007). He was awarded the status of National Teaching Fellow in 2008 for integrating his teaching of research methods and his research in human-computer interaction.  His research interests are mainly in the psychology of human-computer interaction.  Examples of recent research include the modelling of interaction experience, psychological design parameters web-based systems, design parameters of online psychometrics, navigation of 3-D interactive environments, and the psychology of judgement and decision-making.  He has held research grants from, among others, ESRC, HEFCE, NHS, the Health Foundation, the British Academy and CODEWORKS. He is an editor for International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Interacting with Computers, and Behaviour and Information Technology.  He was an editor for special issues of Frontiers in Cognition, Interacting with Computers, and Behaviour and Information Technology.  He has supervised 15 PhD students to completion.