Shape-changing tangible artifacts for behaviour change

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    Cardiff University
    United Kingdom
    Applications accepted all year round
    Professions and applied sciences



Static and dynamic data sculptures have proven to be effective in self-reflection, awareness, engagement and hedonic aspects of behaviour change in the context of physical activity with adults and youths. This project builds on the existing work in the School and the literature on youths’ awareness of physical activity and expands the work to youths’ and adults’ awareness of privacy online, gambling and climate change in households.

The methodology will be based on agile development methodology and iterative design thinking process. These will allow the project to enhance understanding of issues from stakeholders’ point of view, to identify solution(s) to address these societal challenges with stakeholders, to ideate with stakeholders, to create low- and mid- fidelity prototypes, to test with users and to repeat this process until satisfactory solution(s) are achieved. Core to the project, the PhD candidate will be to develop multi-modal solutions on ubiquitous computers (e.g. smartphones, Arduino, Pi, Teensy, TouchBoard), allowing users to identify potentially privacy-threatening scenarios, exposure to gambling Online or fake news about climate change Online. The multi-modal solution(s) as visual, audio, haptic or, smell will provide an overview of the threat severity.

An agile development methodology will be used that incorporates parallel ‘dual tracks’ to support co-design alongside development. This will be completed through via scoping multi-modal design solutions and evaluation methods “in the wild” based on which form user requirements into increasing fidelity designs; low - prototyping with Play-Doh, sketching and/or drawings; medium fidelity with wireframes and mock-ups with ubiquitous computers and to initial high-fidelity design on smartphones, desktops, tablets or ubiquitous computers, which will be revised through an iterative co-design. Finally, processes and software for data set capture and open-sourcing will be specified and engineered (complying with RCUK data policies and ethical approval). The developed approach will be evaluated with stakeholders through tailored evaluation methods. The PhD candidate will tailor ubiquitous evaluation methods to support evaluation of key aspects of usability and multi-modal enhancement. The candidate will use an appropriate mix of qualitative and quantitative methods inspired by our multidisciplinary team to triangulate findings. The conclusion of this project will be one usable and fully functional open-source software product to represent one of the issues identified above on a ubiquitous platform for either youths or adults (or both). A pilot study will be required to test and validate.

What is funded

Self-Funded Students Only.


Academic Criteria:

A 2:1 Honours undergraduate degree or a master's degree, in computing or a related subject. Applicants with appropriate professional experience are also considered. Degree-level mathematics (or equivalent) is required for research in some project areas.

Applicants for whom English is not their first language must demonstrate proficiency by obtaining an IELTS score of at least 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in each skills component.

How to Apply

To apply please complete the online application - https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/program..., select the ‘self-funding’ option, and state the project title and supervisor name.


The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.