Ehsan’s Research Agenda

My ultimate objective is to enhance the human experience by consistently delivering research that improves the daily lives of people, regardless of the topic or approach.

As a designer and researcher in User-Centered Design, I am driven by the desire to understand how products, environments, and user interfaces can be designed to meet the needs of users. One significant challenge in this field is the inconsistent interaction and workflow between hardware and screen-based interfaces, which is further complicated by emerging technologies such as spatial and augmented overlaid interfaces.

My expertise in both design and research can play a crucial role in addressing this challenge. By taking a multi-faceted experimental research approach, I aim to gain a comprehensive understanding of user perception, performance, and behavior. My goal is not only to uncover the poorly understood dimensions of User-Centered Design, but also to bridge the gap between the perspectives of designers and researchers.

To achieve this goal, I use conventional methods of UX research (eg, usability), statistical analysis, and state-of-the-art technologies such as eye-tracking and biofeedback tools for behavioral analysis. By taking advantage of both my design and research skills, I can cover the entire spectrum from the early stages of research to design and testing, and provide practical recommendations for system improvement.

As a multi-faceted designer, I am able to take on a wide range of design projects, from identifying problems and needs, to concept development, prototyping, and experimentation, data gathering and analysis, and providing recommendations for system improvement. I am determined to make a meaningful impact in the field of User-Centered Design and to design products that truly meet the needs of users.

The research projects featured in my portfolio provide a glimpse into the key areas of my research agenda, highlighting my focus on key topics and the use of advanced research methods.

Media Richness and User Experience

This research aimed to explore the relationship between attention and user experience, as well as attention and sense of presence in virtual environments. To test these hypotheses, two experiments were conducted using a fully immersive head-mounted display with a sample size of 90 participants and a 2.5D desktop virtual reality with a sample size of 91 participants. Results from regression analysis and Sobel test supported the hypothesis that sense of presence plays a mediating role in the effect of attention on user experience. These findings have practical applications for various industries, including entertainment, consumer behavior, design and construction, as well as serious games and training.

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The Potentials of MR and AR in Advertising

The research project, funded by the UMN Institute on Environment, aims to explore the use of mixed reality and augmented reality technologies to promote more environmentally-conscious purchasing behavior. The goal is to enhance people’s understanding of the environmental impact of the products and services they consume, by leveraging the advancements in mixed and augmented reality technologies. The research will investigate the potential of these technologies in encouraging more sustainable purchasing decisions, by providing consumers with an immersive and informative experience.

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Multi-display Navigation Behavior

As a UX researcher at UPMC Enterprises and GE Healthcare’s Next Generation Imaging team, I conducted a comprehensive eye-tracking research study on the underdevelopment Centricity System, a GE Healthcare Imaging Product. The purpose of this study was to improve the performance and user experience of radiologists by minimizing human errors and optimizing the use of both the imaging software and electronic medical record systems on multi-display platforms.

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Cognitive and Affective Responses in the VR

This research aimed to investigate how product design and environment congruence affect cognitive and emotional responses of users in virtual environments. The study employed a 2×2 full-factorial design, where both factors were systematically manipulated. A sample of 90 participants were randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions and the study was conducted using a between-subject design. The hypotheses were tested using statistical analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) and the results confirmed the hypotheses. The experiment was then replicated in a 2.5D VR environment.

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Participatory Design and Rapid Prototyping

Our one-week design hackathon involved a collective design project in which three teams of participants engaged in autoethnography research. The findings were shared through an idea crowdsourcing platform and 3D printed prototypes were tested with potential users. Our qualitative analysis indicated that the rapid design approach and informed participation strategy were effective. However, we did not find the knowledge sharing among teams to be effective.

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