Research Themes

Our research falls under the following themes:

Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Education and research in developing countries: Under this theme, we study how to effectively teach HCI in the Uganda and or Africa context, and carry out research on local HCI problems. This is motivated by the fact that HCI education and practice in most developing countries including Uganda is still based on the experiences and practices of developed countries despite the fact that HCI needs in developed countries are different from those of developed countries due to several differences such as level of Literacy (general and technology, level of ICT and Internet development, level of institutionalization of HCI and level of Socio-economic Development. Additionally, research on local HCI problems is still limited due to limited human resource.

Usability and User Experience (UX) design and evaluation: Under this theme, we study the design, testing and evaluation of computer/Web/mobile applications/systems for usability & user experience in developing countries & specifically Africa/Uganda context. This is motivated by the fact that the value of a technology is never about the technology itself but rather what the technology enables the user and business to do. Therefore, research under this theme is focused on how information systems for developing countries/Africa/Uganda can be designed  to meet user and business goals  and in a way that users can use them to meet their needs effectively and efficiently (Usability), and also provide a positive experience for users on emotional, social, cultural, psychological and physiological levels (User Experience). 

Co-Design/Participatory Design: This theme focuses on actively engaging with potential technology users using collaborative design tools and techniques and in the process contribute to usable/relevant technologies that meet the priority needs of communities and address key problems within the given contexts. This is motivated by the fact that when introducing technologies to communities or people with less experiences or exposure to technology, we navigate a space that is different from our own as technologists.

Digital inclusion: One of the key principles of an equitable Knowledge Society is universal access to information for all. However, many low and middle income countries including Uganda still have different forms of digital divides such as between rural and urban dwellers, men and women, those with disabilities and those without, etc. Under this theme, we study how to make ICTs and ICT enabled services more accessible to the most marginalized groups in society namely: Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), women and girls, and people living in rural areas.

E-Services: ICTs and more particularly mobile technology is emerging as the single most powerful way to extend social services and economic opportunities to millions of people in developing countries, and more particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. The wide ownership of mobile phones in Sub Saharan Africa (over 400 million people) is an opportunity for the use of this platform for more efficient and effective public administration (e-Governance) as well as delivery of key public services namely health and education. Under this theme, we investigate how to use ICTs and mobile technology in particular to improve public administration (e-Governance) as well as delivery of key public services namely health (e-Health) and education (e-Learning) services in the context of Uganda and developing countries in general. Additionally, this theme is used as an application area for research in the first four themes.