Ehsan’s Research Agenda

No matter the research topic or the approach, my ultimate goal is to add values to people’s “everyday life”.

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 Uls.

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.

These selected research projects illustrate some aspects of my research agenda.

Find more on my portfolio

featured works in human-computer interaction, user experience, and user-centered industrial design

Media Richness and User Experience

This study investigated the relationships between directed attention and the user experience, as well as attention and sense of presence in the virtual environments. Two experiments with a fully immersive head-mounted display and 2.5D desktop virtual reality were deployed to test the hypotheses of study. Regression analysis and Sobel test were conducted to test the hypotheses of the study.

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The Potentials of MR and AR in Advertising

The project investigates the potentials to use the rapidly advancing technologies of mixed reality and 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. The research project was funded by UMN Institute on Environment.

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Multi-display Navigation Analysis

As a UX Researcher/Designer at UPMC Enterprises + GE Healthcare (NGI: Next Generation Imaging team), I conducted a comprehensive eye-tracking research experiment on underdevelopment GE Healthcare Imaging Product (Centricity System) to improve the Radiologists’ performance and experience with both imaging software and EMR.

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Cognitive and Affective Responses in the VR

This study examined the influence of product design and environment congruence on users’ cognitive and affective responses in the virtual environment. These factors were systematically manipulated in a 2×2 full-factorial experiment. A sample of 90 participants was used to test the study hypotheses. This study employed a between-subject design and participants were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions. The results from statistical analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) confirmed the hypotheses of this experiment.

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Participatory Design and Rapid Prototyping

During a one-week design hackathon, we conducted a collective design project in which three teams of participants conducted autoethnography research, shared their findings by an idea crowdsourcing platform, and tested their 3D printed prototypes with potential users. Although qualitative analysis of data showed efficiency of rapid design and informed participation strategy, we did not find knowledge sharing effective.

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