SIAT - Theses, Dissertations, and other Required Graduate Degree Essays

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Towards a multimedia simulation for interprofessional learning: Using activity theory to inform design

Author: 
Date created: 
2005
Abstract: 

This thesis reports on a pilot case study that used activity theory in a pre-experimental phase of design-based research. The purpose of this study was to inform the initial design of a multimedia simulation for interprofessional education in the field of health and social care. Five subjects from five different health science disciplines participated in an observational study. Data collection focused on interactions between participants over three problem-based learning (PBL) sessions. Modified grounded theory coding techniques were applied within an activity theory analytic framework to illuminate structural tensions in PBL activity. Interviews with six participants were used to illuminate and corroborate findings. The results suggest three sets of structural tensions that affected interprofessional learning. These tensions suggest opportunities for instructional design improvement in which multimedia simulation could play a key supportive role. Simulation-based design alternatives are presented to resolve these tensions and to suggest new approaches to facilitating interprofessional learning.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Mental map preservation principles and related measurements for quantitative evaluation of force-directed graph layout algorithm behaviour

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Users working with graph layouts form mental maps of the layout’s parts and relative structure. When a graph layout is changed, the user’s mental map should be preserved. In the field of graph drawing, there is a need for quantitative and objective measurements to describe and compare layout algorithm behaviour as it pertains to maintenance of the mental map. This thesis presents several mental map preservation principles gathered from the literature, and generates related measurements that can be used to statistically characterize and test for significant differences between layout algorithm behaviour. Two well-known and similar Force-Directed layout algorithms (Kamada-Kawai and Fruchterman-Reingold) are compared, and the results show statistically significant differences. The measurements, statistics, and methodology presented in this thesis may be helpful to layout algorithm designers and graph layout system designers who want to be able to quantitatively and objectively test the algorithms on which they depend.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
J
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Visual sensitivity analysis of parametric design models: improving agility in design

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

Increasing complexity of parametric design models challenges the abilities of the human-visual perception system, and creates challenges to their effective utilization for sensitivity analysis. In this prototyping study, we propose a method for visual sensitivity analysis that aims to make the effects of change within a parametric model measurable and apparent for designers, thereby improving the potential of these tools for design analysis and improve agility in design process. The approach aims to improve visually analysing the sensitivity of a design model to planned parametric changes. The method adapts the Model-View-Controller paradigm from software engineering to decouple customizable control and visualization features in the model, while providing interfaces between them through parametric associations. We present findings from our case studies in addition to the results of a user study demonstrating the applicability and limitations of the proposed method.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Transcoding place

Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This thesis explores a cultural phenomenon called Crude Awakening, which brings to attention a global crisis - our dependence on oil. The case study analyzes a communicative ecology between a live performance and it’s video documentation. The research combines close reading and semantic differentials methods as a means of understanding the relationships between what people posted to YouTube, the system design and the live performance. The goal is to define the dynamics of this communicative ecology as a means of interpreting semantic space, sometimes defined as aesthetics, for understanding how people interpret - meaning. The findings are to provide a framework for designing software architecture that can contextualize information, and define a broader context for discussing the hybridization of technology and culture in today’s digital world. I argue that digital social architecture, unlike traditional architecture, is a fluid system that evolves and changes along side social movements.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Design intentions and outcomes in museums

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This study explores the value of constructivist theory in the field of interaction design in museums by investigating the relationship of constructivist design intentions to their outcomes. As the design of technologies has shifted from instrumental aspects of interactive systems to the design of experience, there has become an increasing need to develop frameworks and evaluation techniques grounded in theory to support this change. Current approaches to understanding the user experience are underdeveloped and this study of intentions and outcomes aims to address this shortcoming through an exploratory multiple-case study approach. Museums were selected as a context to investigate these relationships since designers often take a constructivist approach in the development of interactive technology towards the design of experiences. The findings of this study point to an emerging constructivist framework by providing a series of themes, guidelines and evaluation techniques based on constructivist principles.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
R
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.A.)

Designing a wearable social network

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

This thesis explores the design of a nonverbal communication system for a circle of friends. An exploratory design process helps to gain insight into designing a Wearable Social Network (WSN). The WSN is rooted in concepts of social interaction in HCI augmented by traditions of sociology to create more human-centric systems. Patches applies this framework to develop a wearable system that allows users to physically ‘feel’ a friend’s online expression (like a virtual poke) and respond through natural interaction with clothing. My studies show that the WSN creates a tactile experience that extends current social networking applications to be more interesting, entertaining, and fun. The WSN is a “warm network” that is comforting and intimate for communicating with close friends and family. This research creates a new design space for examining virtual expression and interaction. This framework can also be applied to a broader range of social networking applications.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
T
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Remembering design

Author: 
Date created: 
2010
Abstract: 

The increasing availability of web based collaboration tools fuels design conversation between heterogeneous stakeholders across organizational boundaries, underscoring the need for new designers to get to the heart of conversations that might include huge numbers of entries. The goal of this work is to show that linkography is a viable candidate to help make that kind of discovery possible. A linkograph links design moves with prior moves, resulting in a model of the design episode. The research methods were mixed, though primarily qualitative. The primary data comprised records of a series of eleven two to three hour design meetings over a six month duration, with five participants. A model for predicting the location of topic shifts was developed on the first two exploratory meetings, and tested on the remaining nine design meetings. The model used a finer-than-topic-shift granularity linkograph of the nine meetings to predict topic shifts. It combined a measure of both backward and forward links, plus a threshold, in order to segment the design discourse on topic shifts. An additional threshold comprising a number of segments was used to filter transitive links to retrieve contextualizing information from the discourse. The test included quantitative comparison of model segmentation with human segmentation, and qualitative evaluation of relevant contextual information drawn (using the model, the segmentation, and the linkograph) from previous design conversations. The results suggest that employment of linkography is a viable and pragmatic addition to design rationale.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
D
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts and Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (Ph.D.)

An analysis of the current and future state of 3D facial animation techniques and systems

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Computer facial animation is now being used in a multitude of important fields. It brings a more human, social and dramatic reality to computer games, films and interactive multimedia, and is growing in use and importance. Authoring computer facial animation with complex and subtle expressions is still difficult and fraught with problems. It is currently mostly authored using generalized computer animation techniques, which often limit the quality and quantity of facial animation production. Given additional computer power, facial understanding and software sophistication, new face-centric methods are emerging but typically are immature in nature. This research attempts to define and organizationally categorize current and emerging methods, including surveying facial animation experts to define the current state of the field, perceived bottlenecks and emerging techniques. The thesis culminates in documenting this shared knowledge and making recommendations based on the data gathered, on possible new techniques for next generation, face-centric, computer animation systems.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
S
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Meaning from motion: exploring the affective properties of simple animation

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Recent work has shown the potential of basic perceptual properties of motion for notification, association and visual search. Yet evidence from fields as diverse as perceptual science, social psychology, and the performing arts suggests that motion has a much richer communication potential in its interpretative scope. A long history of research in the affective properties of motion has resulted in a bewildering plethora of potentially rich communicative attributes. However, we have little empirical evidence on how and whether these perceptual effects can be computationally manipulated in a display environment as variables of affective communication. In this research we explore how attributes of simple motion contribute to emotional interpretation. Our results show that even small abstract motions can reliably evoke affective interpretations given particular motion attributes. In particular, speed and trajectory strongly influence motion interpretation. These results have implications for the design of affective user interfaces and information visualizations.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
L
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Thesis (M.Sc.)

Satisfaction with web-based meetings for idea generation and selection: the role of instrumentality, enjoyment, and interface design

Author: 
Peer reviewed: 
No, item is not peer reviewed.
Date created: 
2009
Abstract: 

Despite the potential of group support systems (GSS) to increase productivity in virtual teamwork, most organizations still rely on email and teleconferencing for their distributed meetings. Low satisfaction with GSS use has been identified as one reason behind the sluggish adoption of such groupware. To better understand what constitutes an affective response from GSS-based meetings, this thesis aims to unravel the individual, social, as well as utilitarian and hedonic motives in completing a creativity and decision-making task. An extended research model based on the Satisfaction Attainment Theory is proposed and tested with an experimental study. Twenty ad hoc student teams each met online in distributed and synchronous sessions, supported by an original interface designed for the study. The 126 participants were also given a post-test questionnaire. Factor analysis first verified the survey measures, including a scale for a construct called perceived instrumentality of performance. A structural equation model then examined the correlations between reported outcome and process satisfaction and various task and system perceptions. Satisfaction was most significantly predicted by task enjoyment, which in turn was positively influenced by perceived instrumentality and interface aesthetics. GSS scholars are thus advised to include an hedonic construct in their research models. From a managerial perspective, the study demonstrated how intra-group evaluability can facilitate positive affective responses within the majority of team members. For system designers, it was shown how using lightweight social proxies and basic spatial partitioning in the design of a GSS interface can contribute to increased satisfaction with process.

Document type: 
Thesis
File(s): 
Supervisor(s): 
T
Department: 
School of Interactive Arts & Technology - Simon Fraser University
Thesis type: 
Dissertation (Ph.D.)