Ehsan’s Research Agenda

No matter the research topic or the approach, my ultimate goal is to benefit people “by making the world a better place”

I hope to expand my understanding in the field of User-Centered Design as it applies to products, environments and user interfaces. The inconsistent interaction and workflow between hardware/tactile and screen-based user interfaces is a significant challenge. This problem also becomes more complicated with emerging technologies that shift interactions from screen-based user interfaces (UI) to spatial and augmented overlaid types of UIs.

The user interface is seen differently by researchers and designers and there is a lack of communication or misunderstanding between people from these two areas of expertise. By taking the advantage of both my design and research expertise, I cover the entire spectrum from the early stages of research to design and testing to help bridge the gap that exists between these disciplines.

To acquire a comprehensive understanding of user perception, performance, and behavioral responses, and also to reveal the poorly-understood dimensions that exist in the user-centered design, I employ a multi-faceted experimental research design approach. This goal is accomplished by taking advantage of traditional methods of user experience research, as well as state-of-the-art technologies such as eye-tracking and biofeedback tools for behavioral analysis.

As a multi-faceted designer, I can undertake different design projects.  From the earliest stages of problem identification, product planning, needs analysis, concept development/ selection and prototyping to the design of experiments, data gathering, and analysis as well as interpretation and providing practical recommendations for system improvement.

The following research projects illustrate the different aspects of my research agenda as an Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota, Research Assistant at MU Immersive Visualization Lab, and UX researcher/designer at UPMC+GE Healthcare.

Multi-display Navigation Analysis of Radiologist Desktop User Interface

UX Research/Design Project at UPMC Enterprises + GE Healthcare

At Next Generation Imaging team (NGI), Ehsan conducted an eye-tracking research experiment on a GE Healthcare Imaging Product (Centricity System) to improve the Radiologists’ performance and experience with both imaging software and EMR. Radiology Specialist MDs –(with different backgrounds in the abdomen, nuclear medicine, musculoskeletal, and Neuroradiology, performed the assigned tasks. The data was analyzed with different statistical tests. Finally, results, practical recommendations and/or redesign were provided.

The Impact of Media on Attitude Toward the Product Design

This study is part of Ehsan’s dissertation.

This study investigates users’ responses in the virtual shopping context that eventually lead to purchase behavior. This research contributes to multiple disciplines including product design, marketing and consumer behavior, and communication. It brings together variables that are not usually considered together. The interdisciplinary approach of this research can help shape the retail shopping experience, especially for online stores.

The Potentials of Emerging Technologies to Influence Sustainable Consumption

The project is supported by University of Minnesota’s Institute on the Environment.

The project investigates the potential to use the rapidly advancing technology of augmented reality to encourage more environmentally-conscious purchasing behavior by significantly enhancing people’s understanding of the environmental impact of the products and services that they consume. Previous research has shown that purchasing decisions can be influenced by accompanying media that elicits emotional responses (Adelaar, Chang, Lancendorfer, Lee, & Morimoto, 2003)…

Envisioning media of the future in 3D

This project is supported by the Reynolds Journalism Institute and Mizzou Advantage.

This project demonstrates how a viable use of 3D techniques is governed by basic communication, human-computer interaction, and theories about psychology and technology affordance. As a co-investigator of project I work closely with PI (Dr. Bimal Balakrishnan) to develop a database and platform to analyze as well as to create a roadmap of emerging technologies in the field of 3D, VR, and AR. This project also provides a proof of concept by creating and testing prototypes in controlled experiments based on media affordances.

Stereoscopic Interactive VR Product Advertisement

Certain conditions of stereoscopic 3D advertisements are tested in controlled experiment environment to measure the effectiveness and viability of interactive 3D advertisement for different types of consumer products on different platforms.

Driver Behavior Analysis, Using Virtual Reality Simulation

This project is funded by Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT)

As a part of an interdisciplinary collaborative study with the transportation research group (ZouSim) at Civil Engineering Department, this project synthesizes the advantages of virtual reality and driving simulators to assess and analyze the driver behavior and J turn design configurations. Based on road design documentation and real traffic data from US 63 stimulus for different driving scenarios were developed using Autodesk and Unity software. Then, those conditions are tested in a lab installed Toyota Corolla in front of three angled big screens.