Gary Marsden

Gary Marsden
University of Cape Town | UCT · Department of Computer Science

PhD

About

154
Publications
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Publications

Publications (154)
Chapter
This Problem chapter, and the two Opportunity chapters that follow, argue for user experiences that let us become performers as we interact with our devices. We see how mobiles can be used both as props for socializing, and as stages for extravagant computing. We also look at how to ensure our designs accommodate the performances of everyday life,...
Chapter
Many mobile apps seem to be aimed at solving people’s problems by giving them certain, explicit guidance and answers to smooth out everyday frictions. But, perhaps life’s joy is in the ambiguities, the gaps and the uncertainties. In this Opportunity chapter, we survey uncertainty as a design resource, with special emphasis on navigation.
Chapter
Instead of mobiles getting in the way of performance, what if they can be props to enhance together-interaction? In this Opportunity chapter, we begin by thinking about how successful a mobile is in the simple “selfie” performance, and then move on to consider more advanced prop cases. What about using a set of mobiles as an ensemble to tell a grou...
Chapter
While the other Opportunity chapters about touch and feeling are centered on human activities, this chapter takes a distinct turn to the techie. We review a range of interaction technologies from tangible user interfaces to ultrahaptics to illustrate what advanced and emerging digital-physical materials might enable.
Chapter
What if apps installed and uninstalled themselves on our phones depending on who and what we encountered—the phone itself becoming mindful of the moment? What about building phones as “physical browsers” rather than digitally focused devices? Or, more radically still, why not jettison apps all together and design around the notion of a “person” and...
Chapter
In this Opportunity chapter, instead of putting technology at the centre of a user’s awareness, we first consider more peripheral approaches. How could you make your apps glanceable, or apply minimal interaction thinking? Then, we explore the usefulness of physical pointers, or wands, to allow people to remain in the physical world while accessing...
Chapter
While there are many fitness apps, this Opportunity chapter asks you to step back and think about how physical activity and sport inform UX design. How do current apps accommodate being mobile rather than just being on a mobile? What about “hard to use” as a design principle, the effort being like a difficult run, the reward like the post race sati...
Chapter
The first set of approaches we look at to provide face on interaction are heads-up displays and conversational interfaces. In this Opportunity chapter, we analyze the pros and cons of technologies such as Glass and Siri. While there are uses for these input/output styles we argue they can draw people deeper into the digital, or make them feel less...
Chapter
This Problem chapter, and the two Opportunity chapters that follow, argue for a move away from heads-down, screen-focused interactions to more human, world-focused experiences. We begin by exploring how heads-up displays and speech could support us in more face on ways, but these approaches are ultimately not solutions. Instead, we see how glanceab...
Chapter
This Opportunity chapter stands alone as a focus on the great and rich possibilities for innovation in developing regions worldwide. There is a vast untapped market for effective apps and services that truly fit the diverse contexts in which they are actually used. While many of the issues in this chapter are focused around resource constraints, we...
Chapter
In this chapter we draw together the thoughts, arguments, and examples we’ve looked at throughout the book to highlight how you can take these ideas and put them into practice in your own work. We begin by summarizing how some of the key design techniques that we’ve explored can be used right now. Then, we look at how some of the more far-out think...
Chapter
Fabrics and clothes protect us and express who we are. They can be stretched, tugged, patted, smoothed. They wear and tear and develop a patina of use over time. They provide, then, a much broader set of affordances and displays than today’s touch screens. In this Opportunity chapter, we explore how we might redesign apps, visualizations and gestur...
Chapter
Mess in the physical world has lots of advantages—it platforms personal expression, enables personalized and effective organization and search, can spark creative interaction and exploration, and so on. In this Opportunity chapter, we illustrate how relaxing your over-tidy, clinical designs can enhance app designs and services.
Chapter
This Problem chapter, and the four Opportunity chapters that follow, explore and argue for mobile user experiences that truly recruit our human senses and abilities. Through the focus areas of food, fashion, fitness, and materials, we challenge you to reconsider apps that simply focus on glassy touch screens. Instead, we demonstrate how more engagi...
Chapter
In other chapters, we’ve encouraged you to think of others and being together. In this Opportunity chapter, we begin by unpacking what being together means, considering notions of space and identity. Then, using a framework that makes you think about the receiver as well as the sender of any communication, you’ll be challenged to think of alternati...
Chapter
In this Opportunity chapter, we consider what food—its form, preparation, eating and effects can teach us about experience design. Studying food and eating is a useful way to inspire UX as it involves the whole spectrum of behavioral, intellectual and emotional responses.
Chapter
This Problem chapter, and the two Opportunity chapters that follow, argue for new forms of interaction that take a more mindful perspective toward day-to-day life. We discuss how our phones—originally designed for distance communication—are unfortunately still oriented in this way, despite this not being appropriate. We explore how taking a fresh l...
Chapter
This Problem chapter, and the two Opportunity chapters that follow, explore the benefit of supporting clutter in mobile interaction. We argue for designs that are less rigid, allowing for messiness and creative, personal expression. We also look at how experimentation and uncertainty can free users from their reliance on their devices, and in the p...
Chapter
In this Opportunity chapter, we take performance to the next level, looking at how users and their mobiles might be deployed in highly visible, audible ways in public. Would users be embarrassed? What sorts of the new experiences are possible? In addition we present a detailed case-study from our own work concerned with engaging the public in herit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We reflect on long trials of two prototype social media systems in rural South Africa and their biases towards certain communication practices on information sharing. We designed the systems to assist people in low-income communities to share locally relevant information. Both involve communal displays, to record, store and share media, and users c...
Article
This paper reports on a digital storytelling project which seeks to create interactive storytelling of personal experience narratives. We begin with an ethnographic study of two resident storytellers at the District Six Museum, Cape Town, Noor Ebrahim and Joe Schaffers, who tell audience their personal Apartheid-era narratives. An analysis of their...
Conference Paper
This paper reports on a digital storytelling project which seeks to create interactive storytelling of personal experience narratives. We begin with an ethnographic study of two resident storytellers at the District Six Museum, Cape Town, Noor Ebrahim and Joe Schaffers, who tell audience their personal Apartheid-era narratives. An analysis of their...
Conference Paper
Many in the developing world have little to no experience with computers - they have never used software as part of their daily lives and jobs, so there is always a challenge for how this class of users can be engaged in Participatory Design in a manner that the value of their participation is not limited by their computing experience. This paper l...
Article
We consider practices that sustain social and physical environments beyond those dominating sustainable HCI discourse. We describe links between walking, sociality, and using resources in a case study of community-based, solar, cellphone charging in villages in South Africa's Eastern Cape. Like 360 million rural Africans, inhabitants of these villa...
Article
Purpose ‐ This paper aims to present findings of a study that was carried out to identify strategies of enabling learners in developing countries to fully exploit the potential of learning management systems (LMSs). The study set out to: identify the services of learning management systems that are most needed and desired by university learners in...
Article
We consider practices that sustain social and physical environments beyond those dominating sustainable HCI. We describe links between walking, sociality and using resources in a case -study of community-based, solar, cellphone charging in villages in South Africa’s Eastern Cape. Like 360 million rural Africans, inhabitants of these villages are po...
Conference Paper
This paper gives an interwoven account of the theoretical and practical work we undertook in pursuit of designing co-located interactions. We show how we sensitized ourselves to theory from diverse intellectual disciplines, to develop an analytical lens to better think about co-located interactions. By critiquing current systems and their conceptua...
Conference Paper
In this paper, we show how results of data collected on the survival tactics of day-labour workers with regard to the cost of using mobile phone services played a role in software systems design. The paper uses findings from Nairobi Kenya. The results showed that workers, depending on the choice of available network tariffs adopt different survival...
Article
Full-text available
This paper explores the phone and mobile media sharing relationships of a group of young mobile phone users in Khayelitsha, South Africa. Intensive sharing took place within peer and intimate relationships, while resource sharing characterized relationships with a more extensive circle, including members of the older generation. Phones were kept op...
Article
Mobile phones constitute the most ubiquitous computing platform in the developing world, and for the past decade it has been focus of many research efforts within Human Computer Interaction for Development (HCI4D). HCI4D has matured through a series of previous HCI related conferences and workshops and a growing body of work have established it as...
Article
The requirements for funding for HCI research are changing globally. In this SIG meeting, we will review with panel members and high-level grant decision makers from different continents and countries how the requirements are changing and discuss how this affects HCI research and its impact.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We describe designing an asynchronous, oral repository and sharing system that we intend to suit the needs and practices of rural residents in South Africa. We aim to enable users without access to personal computers to record, store, and share information within their Xhosa community using cellphones and a tablet PC combined with their existing fa...
Article
To be a catalyst for social development, the ubiquitous cell phone must be able to access locally relevant and freely available data. The featured Web extra is a video of Computer's Invisible Computing column editor Albrecht Schmidt discussing the lessons learned from his research project on using mobile phones for education in rural Panama.
Article
Full-text available
Although podcasting is popular in higher education, there is limited research on podcasting in developing institutions or resource constrained environments. There are fragmented implementations of podcasting projects by enthusiastic faculty but the tools used are often proprietary, imported from the West by administrators without any consultation w...
Article
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In this study, we examine Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D) technology interventions that have been developed over the last decade. The purpose is to provide a snapshot of the trends that have characterized ICT4D technology interventions from the period starting 1995 to 2010. This paper presents three general dimensio...
Article
Full-text available
Drinking water quality, in many parts of South Africa, is far below acceptable standards. With a high number of illnesses and deaths in the country due to diarrheal diseases, the impact is critical. This research addresses the challenge of reporting complex and critical water quality information in a way that is accessible to all South Africans. Hi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In this article we describe a novel approach to collaborative video authoring using handheld projectors. PicoTales are created by sketching story elements on a projector+phone prototype, and then animated by moving the projected image. Movements are captured using motion sensor data, rather than visual or other tracking methods, allowing interactio...
Conference Paper
In CSCW, how much do we need to know about another domain/culture before we observe, intersect and intervene with designs. What optimally would that other culture need to know about us? Is this a "how long is a piece of string" question, or an inquiry where we can consider a variety of contexts and to explicate best practice. The goal of this panel...
Conference Paper
Mobile phones constitute the most ubiquitous computing platform across Africa and in many rural areas it is the only computer available. Through rapid technological development a new wave of "low-end smartphones" are becoming available and affordable, and in this work we investigate how to use the new features of these devices to enable more natura...
Conference Paper
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In this paper, a day-labour Mobile Electronic Data Capture and Browsing (MEDCB) system is presented. In building and evaluating this system, the primary aim was to evaluate the possibility of applying mobile data capture and browsing to the day-labour market with a view to improving data capture and verification accuracy and efficiency. The MEDCB s...
Conference Paper
In this paper we design and evaluate a system that allows users to download media over Bluetooth in a public transport situation in the developing world. Our work examines how the benefits of previous successful desktop systems can be ported to an entirely mobile platform which allows it to be deployed in a moving vehicle. We explore and test the p...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Despite the potential of learning management systems to support both blended learning and learning that is entirely delivered online, the majority of LMS-supported e-learning initiatives in developing countries do not fulfill their potential; they fail, either totally or partially. To identify the underlying causes of failure, a survey was conducte...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We describe an ongoing collaboration with the District Six Museum, in Cape Town, aimed at designing a storytelling prototype for preserving personal experience narratives. We detail the design of an interactive virtual environment (VE) which was inspired by a three month ethnography of real-life oral storytelling. The VE places the user as an audie...
Article
In this paper we investigate the media needs of low-income mobile users in a South African township. We develop and deploy a system that allows users to download media at no costs to themselves, in order to probe future media requirements for similar user groups. We discover that not only are the community interested in developmental information, b...
Article
We reflect on the methods, activities and perspectives we used to situate digital storytelling in two rural African communities in South Africa and Kenya. We demonstrate how in-depth ethnography in a village in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and a design workshop involving participants from that village allowed us to design a prototype mobile dig...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on podcasting experience by faculty and students in a South African higher education institution (HEI), identify issues, limitations and discuss implications for the design of future tools. Design/methodology/approach – This work consisted of two parts: semi-structured interviews with lecturers, cont...
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Full-text available
In this paper we report findings generated during the early phase of a research project that aims to design and develop social media sharing systems to benefit marginalized communities. Studies of cell-phone network users in the developing world have shown that the relatively high tariffs for network access have resulted in new and innovate uses of...
Article
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The bulk of the research community’s work to date has been focussed on the so-called ‘developed’ world— contexts where there are already well-established technical infrastructures and digital resources. These contexts have users who have relatively high level of computer literacy, typically have a high degree of textual literacy and have undergone...
Conference Paper
Drinking water quality, especially in many parts of South Africa, is far below acceptable standards. With an annual estimate of 43,000 deaths from diarrheal diseases, 3 million cases of illness, and treatment costs of over half a billion US dollars, the impact is critical [4]. This research addresses the challenge of reporting complex and critical...
Article
Full-text available
Using an ethnographic action research approach, the study explores the challenges, practices, and emergent framings of mobile-only Internet use in a resource-constrained setting. We trained eight women in a nongovernmental organization's collective in South Africa, none of whom had used a personal computer, how to access the Internet on mobile hand...
Article
Success famously has many parents, and SIGCHI is no exception. A strong paternity claim can be made by Bill Curtis, who garnered funding and organized ACM's sponsorship for the Gaithersburg conference in 1982, during which plans to form SIGCHI were announced. ...
Conference Paper
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This study reports results of an ethnographic action research study, exploring mobile-centric internet use. Over the course of 13 weeks, eight women, each a member of a livelihoods collective in urban Cape Town, South Africa, received training to make use of the data (internet) features on the phones they already owned. None of the women had previo...
Chapter
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In this presentation we will explore designs that move from the developing world to the developed.
Article
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In this paper we examine how digital technology can be used to inspire, record and present oral stories in an African context. In particular we explore how to create technologies that are sympathetic to the cultures of the storytellers, both in the capture of stories and their retelling. Specifically, we look at: inspiring stories in District Six i...
Conference Paper
Mobile devices with wireless network capabilities can be associated to form ad hoc networks to share resources; however, such an association of devices requires authentication. At present, PIN is the common authentication method, but in many cases, small devices may not have input interfaces to accommodate PIN entry. We therefore design a gesture-b...
Conference Paper
We describe and reflect on a method we used to evaluate usability and give insights on situated use of a mobile digital storytelling prototype. We report on rich data we gained by implementing this method and argue that we were able to learn more about our prototype, users, their needs, and their context, than we would have through other evaluation...
Conference Paper
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Building on the successes of prior workshops at CHI and other HCI conferences on computing in international development, we propose a panel to engage with the broader CHI community. Topics to be discussed include why international development is important to HCI as a discipline, and how CHI researchers and practitioners who are not already involved...
Conference Paper
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We reflect on activities to design a mobile application to enable rural people in South Africa's Eastern Cape to record and share their stories, which have implications for 'cross-cultural design,' and the wider use of stories in design. We based our initial concept for generating stories with audio and photos on cell-phones on a scenario informed...
Conference Paper
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Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), especially those based at the community level, have been identified as pivotal tools in the field of social economic development. They are known to have structured frameworks through which they dispense their programs to achieve desired results. However, ICT4D practitioners (researchers and technologist) have...
Chapter
This chapter explores possibilities of mobile interactions, looking at a range of activities in which children are involved that might be supported by mobile technologies. Students in human-computer interaction courses learn early (and often) about how important it is to understand one's users. “User-centered design” is a well-known process involvi...
Conference Paper
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Mobile learning is currently receiving a lot of attention in the education arena, particularly within electronic learning. This is attributed to the increasing mobile penetration rates and the subsequent increases in university student enrolments. Mobile Learning environments are supported by a number of crucial services such as content creation wh...
Article
Editor's Note: This month's cover story describes how designers and policy makers alike developed a voting system that is useful, useable, and---above all else---fair. We are pleased to offer not only the following article by Jessica Friedman Hewitt, ...
Conference Paper
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This paper highlights how Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) can be utilized during the design of Information Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D). We use the design process of a voter education system as a case study, which incorporated three NGOs from two African countries. Of key interest to us are the ways in which we can avoid...
Conference Paper
Technology has changed the way in which people tell their stories. This paper introduces digital storytelling and looks at why the mobile is an ideal platform for creating digital stories. The iterative design approach chosen for our Mobile Digital Storytelling system is discussed. Results of a final experiment, comparing our system to an existing...
Conference Paper
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While health records are increasingly stored electronically, we, as citizens, have little access to this data about ourselves. We are not used to thinking of these official records either as ours or as useful to us. We increasingly turn to the Web, however, to query any ache, pain or health goal we may have before consulting with health care profes...
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This paper proposes a new design notation to improve communication between members of teams creating virtual environments (VEs). Commonly, programmers and designers creating VEs do not use the same formalisms or design techniques. Consequently, ambiguity and misunderstandings can bedevil VE design and production processes. After teaching a selectio...
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This paper reports on a system for browsing and searching image collections on small-screen devices. The system design was informed by our studies of how people organize and access image collections on desktop computers. The final system was evaluated in a user study where users had to search for images with varying degrees of precision about what...
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Contextual inquiry (CI) is a method developed by Beyer and Holtzblatt for grounding design in the context of work being performed by user(s). This paper is about identify ways of improving the usability of Java integrated development environments (IDEs) for developing mobile applications. We also describe our approach of this method to support mobi...
Chapter
This chapter investigates how to create ad hoc audience response systems using nonspecialist devices. The chapter revolves around two case studies: one involving the use of mobile phones, and the other based on PDAs. Both case studies are carried out in tertiary education institutions, showing how these devices can be used to facilitate audience pa...
Chapter
This chapter investigates how to create ad hoc audience response systems using nonspecialist devices. The chapter revolves around two case studies: one involving the use of mobile phones, and the other based on PDAs. Both case studies are carried out in tertiary education institutions, showing how these devices can be used to facilitate audience pa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper explores novel interfaces for First Person Shooting (FPS) games on Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) devices. We describe a new approach inspired by a study of the interaction patterns used in desktop FPS games. Intelligent gesture recognition, based on these patterns, is used to create an optimal implementation of basic game functions (i...
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Ubiquitous computing is about more than having multiple computers in our environment; it is also about computers venturing into completely new environments. In this paper, we examine the impact of computers in the developing world and look at why most interventions to date have failed to address the key needs of the users and their context. Through...
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Cecil Rhodes wanted to build a railroad from Cape Town to Cairo in order to subjugate the continent. Now we want to build an information super-highway from Cape to Cairo which will liberate the continent. (Jay Naidoo)
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Because technology becomes cheaper and more powerful over time, digital device designers assume they will be able to overcome any limitations eventually, as the technology will ultimately become small enough, fast enough, or cheap enough to let developers do what they want. So, from fairly unpromising beginnings, the "tool" of Moore's law can creat...
Article
Advanced and effective alternatives to work and research towards how to conduct ethical Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research within a developing-world context are discussed. HCI is primarily concerned about the large group of people who had access to the advanced technology, such as office workers. This type of users had very clearly defined t...
Conference Paper
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In this paper we describe a novel interaction technique that allows users to access and share rich multi-media content via a large, situated public display and their own Bluetooth enabled camera phone. The proposed system differs from other solutions in that it does not require any client software to be installed on the user's device. We believe th...
Article
In this paper we report on efforts to create a virtual environment authoring tool for novices. In particular we set out to eliminate separate design and execute behaviors from these tools. We present two alternative prototypes for achieving this and report on the results of a usability experiments comparing each environment.