Dr Jo Lumsden

Reader & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab

Phone number: +44 (0)121 204 3470

Email: j.lumsden@aston.ac.uk

Room number: MB211D

Jo Lumsden Photo


I joined the Computer Science department at Aston University as a lecturer and designer/director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab in June, 2009.  I am also an Adjunct Professor with the Faculty of Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of New Brunswick, Canada.  For almost 7 years prior to moving to Aston University, I worked as a Research Officer with the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) where I designed and managed a state-of-the-art mobile human computer interaction evaluation lab within the NRC facility.

I obtained a B.Sc. (1st Class Hons) in Software Engineering from Glasgow University in 1996, from where I also later graduated with a Ph.D. in HCI in 2001.  Both during and subsequent to my Ph.D. term, I worked as a research assistant within the Department of Computer Science at Glasgow University.

Qualifications & Education

  • B.Sc. with First Class Honours in Software Engineering, Glasgow University, Scotland, 1996

  • Ph.D. in Human Computer Interaction, Glasgow University, Scotland, 2001

  • Diploma in University Teaching, University of New Brunswick, Canada, 2006


  • 2015 – current: Reader & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University

  • 2012 – 2015: Senior Lecturer & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University

  • 2009 – 2012: Lecturer & Director of the Aston Interactive Media (AIM) Lab, School of Engineering & Applied Science, Aston University

  • 2002 – 2009: Research Officer and Mobile HCI Lab Manager, National Research Council of Canada

  • 1996 – 2002: Research Assistant, Department of Computer Science, Glasgow University

Current Teaching Activity

Aside from supervision of final year undergrad and Masters-level individual projects, I am responsible for all HCI teaching at Aston:

  • CS2260: Human Computer Interaction (10-credit, second-year module)

  • CS3040: Mobile Design & Development (20-credit, final-year module)

  • CS4040: Mobile Design & Development (15-credit, MSc module)

  • CS3410: Interaction Design (10-credit, final-year module)

  • CS4650: Interaction Design (15-credit, MSc module)

  • CS4655: Advanced HCI (15-credit, MSc module)

  • DC2260: Human Computer Interaction (10-credit, second-year, degree apprenticeship module)

  • DC3410: Interaction Design (10-credit, final-year, degree apprenticeship module)

  • Various bespoke graduate level modules (University of New Brunswick)

Research Interests

My research activities cover a number of aspects of human computer interaction.  Most recently I have been focusing on: design and evaluation of mobile assistive technologies for individuals with special needs and disabilities; audio feedback design and how we can use audio feedback to enhance or completely replace visual-based I/O, especially in non-standard contexts of use (e.g., motor racing); mobile human computer interaction design and associated evaluation techniques; and on trust in e-Commerce/m-Commerce.  I also have an interest in decision support systems. The majority of my research is multi-disciplinary in nature, representing collaborations across many different domains including pharmacy, ophthalmology, GIS, and geodesy and geomatics.  I am actively involved with ARCHA (Aston Research Centre in Health Ageing). I am also on the steering committee for ARCHY (Aston Research Centre for Children's & Young People's Health).

Current Ph.D. Supervision 

  • Nicholas Powell: Performance-Based Audio Feedback for Accelerated Skills Acquisition in Motorsport/Driver Training (associate supervisor, Harry Goldingay)
  • Kimrendeep Basi: Self-Monitoring Mobile Technology for Medication Adherence in Elderly People with Dementia (co-supervisor, Ian Maidment (LHS))

  • Semui Salawu: Detection and Prevention of Cyberbullying on Online Social Networks (co-supervisor, Yulan He)

  • Maria Dolores Arteaga Revert: Big Data Analytics (supervisory committee member, University of New Brunswick)

Completed Ph.D. Students

  • Lilit Hakobyan (2015): Engaging Older Adults with Age-Related Macular Degeneration in the Design and Evaluation of Mobile Assistive Technologies [Aston University, UK; associate supervisors R. Shaw (LHS, Aston University) & D. O’Sullivan (City University, London)]

  • Victoria Lush (2014): Visualisation of Quality Information for GIS Data [Aston University, UK; associate supervisor L. Bastin]

  • Will Plant (2013): Effective Search for Colour Images [Aston University, UK; co-supervisor I. Nabney]

  • Linda Duffett-Leger (2011): Developing a Web-Based Approach for Promoting Cervical Health in Young Women [University of New Brunswick, Canada; co-supervisor B. Paterson]

I am always interested to hear from well-qualified students who are dedicated to pursuing a Ph.D. or Masters by Research in a research area aligned with my interests.  Students with strong backgrounds in computer science, human-computer interaction, and/or psychology and who have empathy with users and excellent communication skills are encouraged to contact me.  In particular, I would be very keen to hear from prospective students or post-docs who have an interest in all aspects of research associated with the design, delivery, and evaluation of mobile assistive technologies.

Externally-Funded Research Projects

Aside from foundational-level research and that which is funded via PhD studentships (see above), I am currently engaged in a number of externally-funded projects.


  • SWiFT: this Innovate UK-funded project is a collaboration between Aston University, Lincoln University, Bestway Cash & Carry, and project lead RNF Digital Innovation Ltd.This project aims to deliver market-leading navigation technology that combines pre-existing lists of items (points of interest), known item (point of interest) locations, positioning systems, and user preferences to generate navigational pathways which both enhance and streamline environmental negotiation and, where applicable, primary task completion. This interdisciplinary project links expertise in computer vision and human computer interaction as well as academia and industry to deliver innovation in location-based services, and enhanced user access to such services, especially for users with sensory or age-related impairments. At Aston our objectives are to design and evaluate novel user interaction techniques whereby navigational cues and indicators of points of interest can be delivered to users, and attended to by users, without the need for users to visually and solely focus on a graphical user interface, allowing users to remain more engaged with (and safe within) the physical environment in which they are navigating. These techniques will be multimodal and enhance service accessibility for users with sensory or age-related impairments.

  •  ALIVE (Aston Lab for Immersive Virtual Environments): this project aims to develop a state-of-the art research environment to support interdisciplinary and innovative research.  In progress, this project has already received infrastructure support from a variety of sources including the Wolfson Trust and HEFCE.

  • Making Bid Data Exploration Work: Traceability & Usability: this TSB-funded project is a collaboration between Aston University, IGI Ltd., and Daden Ltd.  The project aims to develop prototype tools to support extraction of valuable information from big data where the prototypes will (a) maximise the efficiency of data import, cleansing and annotation, (b) integrate novel 2D and 3D visualisation methods ensuring fidelity, and (c) maximise usability and capture workflows and interpretations for the exploration of big data in a generic manner which can be readily customised to specific applications.

Recently Completed

  • Touch Digital: Touch Digital was an ERDF-funded project in partnership with Coventry University Enterprises Ltd.  The goal of the project was to contribute to innovation and regeneration across the West Midlands region by providing research and development support in the area of human interactive technologies to SMEs via no-cost business assists.  
  • Multiple Source Decision Making: this Ministry of Defence DHCSTC-funded project was a collaboration between Aston University and Daden Ltd. It aimed to examine methods and tools to assist in the integration and visualisation of multiple sources of information so as to support more effective decision-making by military personnel.  The "lens" through which we were approaching this is that of 3D immersive visualistion environments. 
  • GeoViQua - QUAlity aware VIsualisation for the Global Earth Observation system of systems: GeoViQua is an FP7 focused on adding rigorous quality specifications to the Global Earth Observations System of Systems (GEOSS).  Have led the HCI-related research associated with user-centred design and development of a GEO label to represent availability of dataset metadata according to key facets of information.  More about the project can be found at the official project websitewww.geoviqua.org.

Research Team

I established and lead the AIM Team - a team of enthusiastic, skilled researchers based in the AIM Lab working in the field of human computer interaction.  Current team members include Kimrendeep Basi (PhD student), Lilit Hakobyan (post doc researchers/teaching fellow), Victoria Lush (post doc research associate), Nicholas Powell (PhD student), and Semiu Sawalu (part-time PhD student).

Member of Professional Bodies

  • Member of the British Computer Society 

External Responsibilities/Engagement
  • Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Mobile HCI (IJMHCI)the only journal dedicated to the design and evaluation of the user interface aspects of mobile technologies

  • Reviewer for NSERC (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada)

  • Reviewer for NIHR (National Institute for Health Research)

  • Adjunct Professor, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of New Brunswick, Canada

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