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Interfaces for life logging mood and affect

Topic Description

Logging health activities is becoming increasingly mainstream as people seek to use technology to support clinicians. For example, Fitbits and other activity tracking systems can help surgeons determine whether patients are moving enough over surgery.

To date, much of the focus of health-related logging has been on physical health. However, emotional wellbeing can have a significant impact on a persons' quality of life as well as being linked to physical health. This PhD will focus on the development of novel interfaces that will allow a variety of demographics to log their emotional wellbeing and act on it. Potential avenues of exploration include:

  • The development of tangible interfaces
  • The use of wearables and other Internet of Things technologies
  • Visualisation to promote reflection and behaviour change
  • Focussing on particular demographics or contexts, e.g. workplaces or older adults
  • Privacy implications of logging emotion and how to make best use of the data collected

Skills Required:

Candidates will benefit from having some experience and skill in UX/UI development, programming and having an interest in the domain.

Having experience of undertaking qualitative research and analysis would be ideal.

It would be useful if candidates had experience of undertaking Participatory Design activities and had experience of working in multidisciplinary teams.

Background Reading:

Data monitoring for health:

Desmet, P. M., Vastenburg, M. H., & Romero, N. (2016). Mood measurement with Pick-A-Mood: review of current methods and design of a pictorial self-report scale. Journal of Design Research, 14(3), 241-279.

Price, Blaine A.; Kelly, Ryan; Mehta, Vikram; McCormick; Ciaran; Ahmed, Hanad; Pearce, Oliver (2018). Feel My Pain: Design and Evaluation of Painpad, a Tangible Device for Supporting Inpatient Self-Logging of Pain. To be presented at CHI 2018. (Access from

Katz, Dmitri; Price, Blaine A.; Holland, Simon; Dalton, Nicholas (2018). Data, Data Everywhere, and Still Too Hard to Link: Insights from User Interactions with Diabetes Apps. To be presented at CHI 2018. (Access from

Supporting mental health:

Naomi Yamashita, Hideaki Kuzuoka, Keiji Hirata, Takashi Kudo, Eiji Aramaki, and Kazuki Hattori. 2017. Changing Moods: How Manual Tracking by Family Caregivers Improves Caring and Family Communication. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 158-169. DOI:

Novel uses of haptic technology:

Daniel Gooch and Leon Watts. 2012. YourGloves, hothands and hotmits: devices to hold hands at a distance. In Proceedings of the 25th annual ACM symposium on User interface software and technology (UIST '12). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 157-166. DOI:

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