PhD Topics of Interest to Me

My broad area of work is human-computer interaction (HCI) and interaction design. I teach user studies, interaction design, interface and information detailing and usability evaluation. I have research interests in two main areas that I specialise in: Interaction design for Indian needs and integrating HCI with software engineering.

Interaction design for Indian needs

This title covers several topics that my colleagues within IDC and outside and I have been working. Here is a list of related papers. Several of our projects have been about developing interactive products and services for those with less education, including those with low or no literacy. We have been working on strategies to improve interaction and communication with the help of visual, audio, and audio-visual interfaces. The applications that we have tried to apply these strategies include navigation and way-finding system, phone books, train ticket booking, banking, healthcare management, and agricultural prices. Two of my PhD students (Abhishek and Sanjay) are working on audio-visual interfaces and multi-modal interaction. One of my PhD students (Devanuj) is working on developing a technology adoption model for those with low literacy.

Other applications for less educated that we have dabbled in include voice-based social networking, usable security and better localisation of interfaces. These areas have many future research problems hidden in them that I would like to explore in future.

Text input for Indian languages is an area that we have been active in for over a decade. Today this unsolved problem seems to be the last barrier that prevents millions of Indians from the benefits of information technology. Our focus has been to develop interfaces that take advantage of the logical structure of Indic scripts both in hardware as well as virtual keyboards. We have also done some preliminary work related to script learning for adult illiterates and for children. Again, a lot remains to be done in terms of research in this space.

Integrating HCI with software engineering

This is my other area of work and has been something that I have worked on for my PhD thesis. Here are some papers that emerged from this work. My research involved developing a framework for HCI design process bringing together design activities, methods, deliverables and skills and integrating these activities with mainstream software engineering processes of the waterfall process model, the agile process models and the Rational Unified Process. I also worked on creating and validating a usability goal setting tool, a usability goals achievement metric (a metric that measures usability goal achievement) and index of integration (a process metric that evaluates fidelity of the process with a prescribed process model). I used these tools to empirically validate my proposal for integration of HCI with software engineering processes by using data from the industry projects.

A lot remains to be done. Metrics help us prove what is happening. However, they are not very good at explaining how or why something happens. Ethnographic methods are better at answering these questions. My student (Shalaka) is working on using ethnographic methods to create a rich description of what happens in software development with an HCI lens.

In February 2013, we had a workshop for PhD aspirants in IDC. I made a brief presentation about potential topics that interest me and I would like to be associated with. Here are the slides from that talk...

If you have any specific questions, please feel to drop me an email on anirudha[at the rate]

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