Posted: 13/12/18

User Engagement is the goal for many researchers in computer science, including the fields of human-computer interaction, graphics, and e-learning. But what exactly do we mean by "engagement"? There are many ways of defining and measuring the concept and Associate Professor Gavin Doherty and ADAPT PhD student Kevin Doherty have just published a systematic review of the different conceptions of engagement in the computing literature titled ‘Engagement in HCI: Conception, Theory and Measurement’. The paper is published in ACM Computing Surveys, the highest impact journal in Computer Science.

The paper presents a systematic review of engagement spanning a corpus of 351 articles and 102 definitions. The authors map the current state of engagement research, including the diverse interpretation, theory, and measurement of the concept. The ecology of engagement and strategies for the design of engaging experiences are described, the value of the concept and its relationship to other terms is discussed, and a set of guidelines and opportunities for future research is presented.  

Gavin is an Associate Professor in the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin. He has led a number of research projects in the area of Human Computer Interaction with a focus on the issues surrounding design within specific application areas. Application areas he has worked in include mental healthcare, healthcare, translation, and manufacturing. A major focus of Gavin’s work over the last decade has been on the design of technologies for mental health.

Kevin is an ADAPT PhD student at Trinity College Dublin. His current research focuses on the design of technologies to support mental health assessment and intervention.

Their work examines the processes of design with respect to engagement, motivation, adoption, therapeutic adherence and connectedness all of which are key features of successful positive technologies.  In addition they deal with questions of universal relevance to Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research in the present era.

Full research paper (PDF).

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