I’m a Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) researcher, currently working as an Assistant Professor in the School of Design at Northumbria University. My research interests relate to how technology can support people’s physical and mental health and wellbeing. To this end, I have worked on a wide variety of related projects.
My PhD research focused on the long-term use of commercial activity tracking devices (e.g. Fitbit, Jawbone) and how this changed over time. Specifically, my approach was to run ethnographic studies, mostly focusing on qualitative data from interviews and diary studies supplemented with quantitative measures of activity. Insights gained from my research have helped inform the design of future activity tracking systems and aid users in participating in heightened levels of physical activity.
Update 31/10/22: I am interested in supervising students funded through the Northern Bridge Consortium Open Studentship Competition, which is currently open for applications. The deadline for this opportunity is 10/01/23, but I recommend you getting in contact with me as soon as possible.
Remote exercise platforms (2020-)
Connected remote exercise platforms (such as Zwift, Peloton and TrainerRoad) offer a virtual space for people to exercise, alongside others, from the comfort of their own homes. There is potential for these platforms to increase participation in exerise by providing novel, accessible and inclusive settings. However, many users experience significant barriers to entry to these platforms (beyond just the monetary cost), or otherwise feel like they don’t “fit”, and so don’t engage with them.
This project looks at use of these platforms and creates a better understanding of what works more or less well, with an aim to better design them to be more engaging, inclusive and motivational.
Exercise tracking challenges and “abandonment” (2022-)
Over time we have witnessed increased negative sentiment towards the current notion of tracking sports and leisure exercise, particularly within non-competitive environments. This project, which falls under a larger umbrella of research critically examining use of “quantified self” and personal informatics systems, examines this sentiment and explores ways in which exercise tracking can be reframed to better suit the needs and requirements of a broader range of non-competitive athletes.
Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in cycling communities (2022-)
There are a growing number of online communities tackling EDI issues and lack of participation in sports and leisure cycling. This project is looking at these communities to more broadly understand how online technologies and social media are being utilised by grassroots groups to tackle EDI challenges, by supporting individuals and promoting inclusive environments.
Bicycle Craft (2020-)
This research aims to better understand the impact of new technology and social media on craftspeople, by examining the custom bicycle industry.
I am interested in how craftspeople are responding to increased use of social media for sharing bespoke crafted products: how creators and craftspeople share their work and are inspired by others on social media; how consumer consumption of such media drives trends and demand; how newcomers are inspired to become crafters and how established crafters are adapting to the changes; and, any tensions that have arisen because of these changes.
Harrison, D., Rowland, S., Wood, G., Bakewell, L., Petridis, I., Long, K., Vasileiou, K., Barnett, J., Barreto, M., Wilson, M., Lawson, S. & Vines, J. (2022). Designing Technology-Mediated Peer Support for Postgraduate Research Students at Risk of Loneliness and Isolation. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction.
Dylan, T., Harrison, D., & Durrant, A. (2022). Communicative Openness within Adoptive Families: The Role of Photos and Visual Communication. In Designing Interactive Systems Conference (pp. 807-820). [23% acceptance rate].
De La Vega, J. C. A., Cecchinato, M. E., Lambton-Howard, D., & Harrison, D. (2021). Active and Passive Research through Social Media: The Case for Repurposing Reddit, Instagram and WhatsApp Features in HCI Research Practices.
Fleck, R., Cecchinato, M. E., Cox, A. L., Harrison, D., Marshall, P., Na, J. H., & Skatova, A. (2020). Life-swap: how discussions around personal data can motivate desire for change. Personal and Ubiquitous Computing, 24(5), 669-681.
Cecchinato, M. E., Rooksby, J., Hiniker, A., Munson, S., Lukoff, K., Ciolfi, L., Thieme, A. and Harrison, D. (2019). Designing for Digital Wellbeing: A Research & Practice Agenda. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA ’19).
- 2024 Funded PhD Opportunity: School of Design, Northumbria UniversityA new PhD opportunity has recently opened, funded by the Northumbria University Research Development Fund. If you are interested in working with me, this is a great opportunity that provides 3-years of funded study: applications … Read more
- Dagstuhl Seminar on SportsHCIEarlier this month, I was fortunate to be invited to attend and present at the Dagstuhl Seminar on “SportsHCI” in Wadern, Germany. This was an exciting opportunity to connect with other researchers interested in the … Read more
- Reflections on CHI 2023 in Hamburg & Presenting “Pears”I recently had the opportunity to attend and present at the CHI 2023 conference in Hamburg, Germany. This was my first time attending an in-person CHI conference since 2019 in Glasgow, and it was fantastic … Read more
- Internship Opportunity: Research into EDI, Social Media and Broadening Participation in Outdoors Activities (current Northumbria students only)I currently have an opportunity for a current Northumbria student to work with me on a funded 100-hour research internship on a project related to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), social media and on/ offline … Read more
- New Funded PhD Opportunity: School of Design, Northumbria UniversityA new PhD opportunity has recently opened, funded by the Northumbria University Research Development Fund. If you are interested in working with me, this is a great opportunity that provides 3-years of funded study: applications … Read more