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: MB265H

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.

  • 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

I oversee and coordinate all HCI-related teaching here at Aston, having designed all HCI-related modules across all programmes/levels to integrate and thus provide a cohesive learning experience.  Modules include:

  • CS2260: Human Computer Interaction (10-credit, second-year module, designed the module which I taught and now assist in the teaching of with Dr Lilit Hakobyan) 

  • DC2260: Human Computer Interaction (10-credit, degree apprenticeship, distance learning module, designed the module which I taught and now assist in the teaching of with Dr Lilit Hakobyan)
  • CS3040: Mobile Design & Development (20-credit, final-year module, designed and co-taught with Dr Beaumont)

  • CS4040: Mobile Design & Development (15-credit, MSc module, designed and co-taught with Dr Beaumont)

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

  • DC3410: Interaction Design (10-credit, degree apprenticeship distance learning module, designed and co-teach with Dr Lilit Hakobyan)
  • CS4650: Interaction Design (15-credit, MSc module, designed and teach)

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

  • CS4665: Human Computer Interaction (15-credit, MSc module, designed and teach for both CS and Product Design programmes)

  • GGE6800: User Centred Design (PhD module, Univeristy of New Brunswick, Canada, designed and teach on demand)

My research activities cover many aspects of human computer interaction.  Most recently I have been focussing on trust in e-Commerce and on mobile human computer interaction design and associated evaluation techniques. I have been investigating novel approaches to participatory design involving users who are vulnerable or who have special needs.  I have a keen interest in using mobile technologies in novel capacities (e.g., as assistive devices) and in designing novel interaction techniques for mobile technologies.  I have an ongoing research interest in 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).  I have an interest in decision support systems.  My research is very practical in nature, and can be applied across a range of domains, including but not limited to motorsport, healthcare, education, smart cities, etc. 

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).

  • Nicholas Powell: Performance-Based Audio Feedback for Accelerated Skills Acquisition in Motorsport/Driver Training (associate supervisor, Harry Goldingay) 
  • 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)
  • Lilit Hakobyan (2016): 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.

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.


  • VeggieMaths: this collaborative project, involving researchers from Psychology at both Aston and external universities, is looking to develop an engaging app that combines exposure to vegetables and maths skills acquisition to improve children's vegetable consumption whilst having the benefit of also engaging their maths skills.
  • JobLogic (KEEN): this project is working with JobLogic - a local SME - to enhance the user experience of their product offering.
  •  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.

Recently Completed 

  • 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.
  • 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. 
  • Making Bid Data Exploration WorkTraceability & 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. 
  • 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


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 Lilit Hakobyan (Teaching Fellow), Victoria Lush (post doc research associate), Nicholas Powell (PhD student), and Semiu Sawalu (part-time PhD student).

  • Member of the British Computer Society 
  • Professional Member of the ACM
  • 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