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Post Doc Mark Matthews Receives Honorable Mention for Best Paper Award CHI 2014

Congrats to InfoSci Post Doc Mark Matthews and co-authors Geri Gay and Gavin Doherty, who received an Honorable Mention for Best Paper Award at CHI 2014 for their paper, "Taking Part: Role-play in the Design of Therapeutic Systems."

Here is the abstract of the paper:

Gaining an understanding of user needs is a central component of HCI design approaches such as user-centred design and participatory design. In some settings, such as mental health care, access to end-users is often constrained. This is a particular difficulty given that the experience of those with mental illness can be difficult for researchers to understand, and is further complicated by its associated stigma. In addition, the therapeutic setting is outside the common experience of most people and protected from outside intrusion. Although role-play has been used in varied ways in HCI, rarely has it been defined with sufficient clarity to enable others to deploy it in a nuanced manner. We argue that role-play is particularly suited for use in mental healthcare settings and, when used judiciously, can address some of the difficulties associated with working in this setting. This paper details a range of role-play formats appropriated from therapeutic role-play, drawing upon the HCI and mental health literature, therapist input and our experience of using role-play for a number of purposes at different stages of the development process. We consider how and why role-play can be used to generate empathy, gain understanding of therapy, provide feedback on designs before clinical use and help train therapists in using technology in the treatment room.