Research

Academic papers can be downloaded at here.

Count on me: Belief system and the materiality of trust established in a sports watch.

User Experience, Heart Rate Monitors & Sports Wearables
2013-2015

Technology has long been used to establish trust between individuals, not just a
medium over which sociality or a group identity is based on. This is true especially
within retail and logistics, where sports suppliers, logistics, the warehouse and the
retailers keep stock movements and levels accurate by constant digital audits using
a variety of tracking devices.

This research looks at ways in which trust is established between a user and a
sports watch device, and how the trust could potentially be redefined, or broken.
Because of sport’s strong identification with habitus (Bourdieu, 1984) and rituals
(Gell, 1998), we examine not just trust, but the belief system of a user and how this
shapes his or her relationship with the sports watch.Insight into the belief system of a sports watch user is developed on two methods
of observation:

Data gathered throughout a two-year period of

  • Training as a triathlete, and participating in races between 2012 and 2014.
  • Onsite survey: Feedback on customer’s watch brands, gained on the
    shopfloor during sales transactions or immediately after the purchase,
    between 28 November 2014 and 15 December 2014

Data was gathered at various sites, most prominently at two locations: a retail store
based in Fulham – a catchment area of SW residents who indulge in running, rugby,
cycling, rowing and triathlon – and a running club based in Hyde Park. Additional
observations were also made at training sites at Battersea track and field stadium,
during swimming sessions at Imperial College and Fulham Pools, as well as during
club runs and club rides at Richmond Park.

https://www.academia.edu/38009782/Count_on_me_Belief_system_and_the_materiality_of_trust_established_in_a_sports_watch

Samsung “Gulong”: The Interactive, Foldable Placemat For The Elderly

Design Entry, Keeping Connected Challenge Competition
Technology Strategy Board & The Design Council
2012

The ageing population of the UK is growing in number, and with it, the cost of care for elderly. As people advance with age, they fall into a ‘pattern’ of doing things.

The device that my team and I proposed for the Assisted Living Innovation Platform (ALIP) was to be one that socially intervene the loneliness in the elderly person. Due to regulatory constraints, it was not envisioned as a medical device at the initial stage, but as a social product that mediates the presence of the elderly user through web connectivity, as an adjunct for talk therapy where medical intervention is not deemed necessary in offsetting the loneliness and also as a reliable and simple personal digital assistant.

The device proposed is an interactive placemat which can perform several functions:

  • Displays moving and still images like that of a tablet screen
  • Displays big icons for buttons and apps
  • Emits sounds such as alarms, signals and telephony
  • Indicates the presence of wireless connectivity
  • Indicates the level of battery power
  • Allows touch screen interactivity
  • Can be wiped clean
  • Switches on automatically when weight of an object, such as a cup of tea, is place on it
  • Switches off automatically when idle for 10 minutes
  • Launches internet connection and wifi as soon as it is switched on without user having to locate a wifi and visit a web browser

The proposed functions:

  • Communications: Telephony device
  • Mental health: Adjunct for talk therapy treatment such as computerised cognitive behaviour therapy (CCBT)
  • Remote monitoring: Assisting workflows of remote doctors, or carers, nurses and social workers at home or at care homes
  • E-compliance: Personal digital assistance for information, call-outs and reminders
  • Sociality: Through remote connectivity, Gulong mediates and increases social presence. Also helps to expand the elderly user’s social networks if the patient’s mobility is reduced

The idea of Gulong, a flexible electronic display placemat, is derived from the anthropological observation of the Oriental and Malayo-Polynesian custom of ‘rolling’ and ‘folding’ traditional artefacts made of paper or woven pandana-type mats, containers and food wrappers. While socialising in the UK can be done over a cup of tea placed on a table, the East and Southeast Asians would roll a mat out to invite guests to sit down and have a cup a tea. Rolling, weaving, pleating and folding are techniques appropriated around their traditional artefacts – a piece of paper, a piece of rug, a woven pandana mat or a bamboo roll. Artefacts are unrolled and flattened out on the floor to initiate social interactions, and then rolled up and stored away when the interaction ends to signal the end of a particular ritual.

This proposal was also submitted to Samsung Design Europe (UK) who had sponsored our London Design Festival workshop in September 2010 (topic: medical device / Samsung G-Tab).

https://www.academia.edu/38009710/Samsung_Gulong_The_Interactive_Foldable_Placemat_For_The_Elderly

The Law Society: Find A Solicitor App

User Experience, Feedback Models and Recommended Usability Testing
2014

The Law Society asked me to look at how the feedback models of its directory website, Find A Solicitor, can be improved. I looked at the society accreditation schemes and interviewed a member who was a solicitor before proposing that the website should be used for:

• A “public-facing” customer touchpoint
• An assessment tool that supports an accreditation system focussed on outcomes
• A data point that allows customer engagement to be systematically measured
• An “online hangout” where members and customers interact as a community

Tictrac: Lifestyle Real-Time Tracking Platform

User Experience, Lightspeed Research (Kantar / WPP)
September-December 2013

Tictrac is a real-time tracking and data analytics platform that captures lifestyle,
demographic and behavioural data through an intuitive interface. Data is
captured via:

  • users self-reporting activities
  • through API connections

to over 40 third party services like MyFitnessPal, Facebook, Twitter, Runkeeper, Withings and many more.

The Tictrac platform was designed as a consumer web service, enabling users to
track any aspect of their lives (ex.: fitness, food/drink consumption, email
behaviour, stress, medical conditions, sleep, weight, new baby, productivity, etc)
and learn more about themselves from their own data. As a result, the platform
generates significant amount of consumer lifestyle data, which is complementary
to Kantar Group’s market research business.
Kantar and Tictrac Partnership

As part of a dedicated business partnership between Kantar Group and Tictrac, Tictrac customised its consumer web platform to be used across Kantar
Group’s market research businesses via the Lightspeed Research panel
base.

Benefits of the integration of the Tictrac platform into LSR studies:

  • Enhance respondent profile richness
  • Lifestyle data
  • Behavioural data
  • Demographic data through API syncs offered by Tictrac
  • Validate survey responses (do respondents do what they say they do?)
  • Extend the lifetime value -minimise respondent decay through increased
    engagement
  • Secure higher quality data across segments
  • Increase differentiation in the market research sector

On behalf of Lightspeed Research, I oversaw several integration projects that covered:

1. Redesign of the Tictrac Web User Interface tailored for:
a. The administrative use of LSR Managers
b. The data capture of LSR Panelists
2. Tictrac Lifestyle Tracking Application
3. Mobile App (iOS and Android)
4. Platform Management System
5. Data Reporting Tool
6. User Engagement and Communications
7. Multilingual Engine
8. LSR Unique ID Integration
9. Secure Platform Database and Hosting environment

mC+ Passive Meter: A Survey On User Incentives

User Experience, Lightspeed Research (Kantar / WPP)
13-15 November 2013

To find out how we could retain and encourage prospects and users to download the mC+ passive meter, we sent out the mC+ incentive survey to 2000 panellists on Wednesday,  13 November 2013, followed by another 2000 on Friday, 15 November 2013, due to the low number of completes.

In total, we got 212 completes.

About 51% of the 212 respondents say they prefer cash. Another 21% prefer MySurvey points, and almost the same number of people state that they prefer Amazon gift code.

Sweepstake is not popular among this small number of samples.

We asked, in an open question, if they have any suggestions for rewards. Some 59% say they have no idea, whilst 16% suggested gift cards as a form of token to be  redeemed for goods at departmental stores or restaurants.

I recommended the Lightspeed Research team to spend a bit more time in the next survey crafting an introduction that does not screen out the panellists at the first question.

mC+ Passive Meter: Usability & Effort Score Survey

User Experience, Lightspeed Research (Kantar / WPP)
November 2013

We sent out a survey to a total of 3035 respondents to ask if they find using the mC+ passive meter app easy. The majority of respondents said they would not mind using the passive meter app if they were informed beforehand via email or SMS that we were about to roll out a new survey incentive. They also would like to be reassured that their privacy was protected in order to download the app.

Breakdown of respondents I surveyed:

  • Pre-registered: 540 (17.8%)
  • Installed: 712 (23.5%)
  • Registered: 554 (18.3%)
  • Dormant / Inactive: 1182 (38.9%)
  • Wrong batch number: 47 (1.5%)

The use of emails in communicating safety concerns in a neighbourhood watch project in South London.

Digital anthropology
2009-2011

This two-year research looks at how trust and goodwill, as well as effective community policing can be achieved by the community and the local authorities using the simplest means of digital communications, the email. A first-time research of this type of the email done by an anthropologist. It is partly inspired by Hedberg’s proposal (2011) that the success of an application is not down to the sophistication of the application but rather, on what the community wants to achieve with it. The research began way before the riots happened in August 2011. The research examines the various strategies used by the community and the local authorities in negotiating successful tactics to be deployed against antisocial behaviours (ASB). It shows that this modest mode of communication – the email – helps significantly in improving the relationship between the police and the local communities.

http://www.academia.edu/36251032/Surveillance_and_crack_dealings_The_use_of_emails_in_mobilising_neighbourhood_watch_on_a_road_in_Brixton

Courtship strategies using Apple dating apps on iPad and iPhone.

Digital anthropology
2009-2011

In this study, I suggested that the “play” element of the 18 dating and intimate apps examined including Grindr is a tactic that fits the “kiddult” phenomenon in the West, where the passage to adulthood marked by marriage and childbearing is significantly delayed due to socioeconomic reasons. What started as a trip to Erotica in 2009 became a research on “intimate play” apps (Baxter, 1992). Based on Sutton-Smith’s theory on kissing games (1959) and Vanderbleek’s proposal (2005) that “couple play” is a predictor of couple bonding. And here is my blog on the board game that helped me form my theory, “Monogamy”. It is not available digitally.

http://www.academia.edu/4176244/Game_genre_Intimate_play_apps_for_iPhone_and_iPad

The use of cognitive behaviour therapy (CCBT) apps and the internet as adjunct for psychiatric treatment in ‘lonely migrant workers’.

Digital anthropology
2011

This Medical Anthropology research looks at the pros and cons of digital devices including hardware and software that are proposed as psychiatric adjunct for “loneliness intervention strategy”. I also used this the findings of this project to assist former colleagues at Informa Healthcare who are currently developing an app for schizophrenic drugs guide for pyschiatrists to consult while administering medication to mental health patients. This project was done in association with mental hospitals across the United Kingdom. I wrote this piece while doing the research on the CCBT apps.

http://www.academia.edu/4176235/The_internet_and_smartphones_as_adjunct_for_psychiatric_treatments_in_lonely_migrant_workers_in_London

The use of aesthetics as a distancing device in medical device prototypes and software applications that could enable patients to cope with trauma.

Design
2010-2011

Based on Scheff’s work on catharsis (1979), this topic was explored at the London Design Festival event, Aesthetics as a means to heal, which we organised at University College London, featuring mobile health provider 3G Doctor, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, Medicins Sans Frontieres, David White and Being In Rhythm.

The use of PDAs in healthcare and clinical settings.

Medical technology
2010-2011

Research based on our review on the likeliest applications and radio spectrums to be used for mobile health for a paper in support a workshop organised by Informa Telecoms and Media event, “How to build a sports hospital for the Olympics 2012″. The workshop, organised at Canary Wharf, was hosted by partner Barclays Healthcare. The talk was given by Kevin Gavanagh, the inventor of the telephone banking.

Digital media training through situated learning using social media applications.

Design
2010

The British Council’s New Silk Road Programme in Uzbekistan (Central Asia). At this point, Sojournposse put our hypothesis on situated learning into practice at this event.

3D printing, or rapid prototyping, as a disruptive technology, and its potential impact on the future digital labour landscape.

Digital anthropology
2010

This research looks at the use of YouTube as the unlikeliest source of knowledge transfer for CAD workers and rapid prototypers to learn about 3D printing, proving that situated learning – informal and not conveyed via written instructions or at higher education level – within the work settings is crucial in knowledge acquisition of ‘craftmanship’. The workers observed for this research works as modellers in architecture, product design and medical device development. It ended up as a topic Sojournposse talked about in proposing our theory on a “cooperative model” for media workers at the Digital Storytelling 2010 conference at the London South Bank University. This work on 3D printing and CAD workers were informed by our 2009 East Meets West multimedia commission for Nissan Design Europe, part of the promotion for Nissan’s electric car. The talks given by anthropologists and innovators at the launch, as well as the 3D prototypes of cars that we saw at their studio in Paddington, London, inspired us to explore the sociality around the rapid prototyping technology.

http://www.academia.edu/4183448/Disruptive_technology_within_rapid_prototyping_and_the_implication_of_3D_printing_and_designed_materials_for_society

Newspaper Market Perception Study.

Journalism
April-May 1995

Prior to becoming a journalist at Sun Media Group (The Sun Daily Malaysia, Corporate World Magazine), I worked temporarily as a field researcher for its rival, the broadsheet New Straits Times (NST) Press, to understand the market perception of the NST readers and its image. Together with a team of graduates, we surveyed 2500 respondents by covering four major cities including the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. We conducted face-to-face interviews at residential areas in Kuala Lumpur.

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