Ethical Practices in Interaction Design

Since my last post I started to deepen my topic and reflect on the different approaches I can use in my master’s thesis. However a clear outcome hasn’t been defined and will emerge after some interviews with experts to have a specific problem I want to address in my thesis.

Principles like Eudaimonia-Centered Design contribute to the development and improvement of products for human flourishing. I’m interested in an in depth look on how design elements can support well-being and healthy behaviors in humans. First, I need to understand the human response to esthetics and sensory stimuli in HCI. For this user tests, A/B tests and interviews are necessary. The design elements that will be evaluated in the next step include UI elements, micro interactions and on the other side of the spectrum user-flows. And in combination how can they create better user experience on the outlook of human well-being.

There are multiple frameworks and methods for ethical design. They include cards with question and proposals to improve products and services for people. In the theoretical part they will be examined and verified. Relevant design principles and strategies are openly discussed that could be implemented in the design steps for designers. Interviews with experts in this field who work with ethical design in HCI could give more description on the tool and procedure that are being used to develop products. This would be also the basis for the development of the design elements.

Psychology and Technology are field that overlap in HCI, studies show effects of technology use on the psychological well-being. Personal informatics technology is a way to refelct on positive experiences and emotional well-being. Users can track habits and mood to help build skills and gain knowledge about themselves and create goals they can strive for.


Towards Happiness: Possibility-Driven Design by Pieter Desmet, Marc Hassenzahl

Engagements and Articulations of Ethics in Design Practice by Christian Dindler, Peter Gall Krogh, Kasper Tikær, Peter Nørregård

User Friendly. How the Hidden Rules of Design Are Changing the Way We Live, Work, and Play by Cliff Kuang, Robert Fabricant

Design for Wellbeing: An Applied Approach by Ann Petermans, Rebecca Cain

Designing for Motivation, Engagement and Wellbeing in Digital Experience by Dorian Peters, Rafael A. Calvo, Richard M. Ryan

Things We Could Design: For More than Human-Centered Worlds by Ron Wakkary

Evaluating Hedonic and Eudaimonic Motives in Human-Computer Interaction by Katie Seaborn

Summary on possible focus points for my Master Thesis

| a final summary of the ideations about my first master thesis topic option.

During this third semester of my studies, I researched different aspects of the topic around Trust in In-Vehicle Driver Assistant Systems. I formulated the following first proposal, to summerize the direction:

Working Title: UI design solutions for trust in driver assistance systems
Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) are broadly present in today’s vehicles. Their contribution to driving could possibly increase in the future until reaching full autonomy, but only if the drivers are willing to let them take over control. Trust in such safety-critical automated systems is key to their acceptance and use. The user interface design of ADAS should be intuitive and suitable for all users to ensure comfort and prevent doubting or misinterpreting the system’s actions.
With my master thesis, I am aiming to explore the communication and interaction elements of ADAS user interfaces, how can they be intuitive and individually suitable for different user needs. After a theoretical research and analysis of the existing systems, I want to carry out user tests comparing different design solutions to answer following questions:

  • Which properties of ADAS user interfaces are neccessary for users’ trust?
  • Which UI elements could and should be individualized?
  • How can a framework for individualizing ADAS UIs look like to maximize users’ trust in the system?

Further work was put into formulating the exposé of the thesis. Within the exposé, the following main and sub-questions were defined:

Main question:
What should a framework for individualizing ADAS UIs contain to maximize users’ trust in the system?


  • Which properties of ADAS user interfaces are necessary for users’ trust?
  • Which factors influence the users’ mental models of the system?
  • Which UI elements could and should be individualized?
  • Which control possibilities are necessary in autonomous driving mode for maintaining trust?

After discussions and feedback from an expert in this field, I looked further for a more specific focus points, that could distinguish the master thesis more from the existing research.

I came up with following areas to look into and asked the help of OpenAI [1] to get more insights into the specific topics, with the aim of better understanding the backgrounds and having more foundation to choose the right topic for the thesis.

  • Locus of control / UI control systems design >> which control options are essential in autonomous driving to ensure occupant comfort?

The degree to which a person feels they have influence over how things turn out in their life is referred to as locus of control. [2] The locus of control in the context of autonomous driving refers to the control options available to the passengers and their perception of their level of control over the vehicle’s operation.
It is crucial to offer a variety of control options that give passengers a sense of control over the operation of the vehicle in order to assure occupant comfort in autonomous driving.
This can include controls for changing the vehicle’s speed and direction, regulating the interior environment (such as the entertainment systems and climate control), and giving feedback and information on how the vehicle is operating and the surrounding traffic conditions.
Striking a balance between giving people control and preserving the safety and dependability of the vehicle is an important factor to take into account when designing control options for autonomous vehicles. For instance, having too much control over how the car operates could make it more likely to have accidents or malfunctions, while having too little control could make the occupants feel uncomfortable and powerless.
It’s crucial to take into account the various preferences and expectations of various occupant groups when designing control options in order to guarantee occupant comfort and satisfaction. This can entail offering a variety of control options, letting users customize their control preferences, and giving consumers clear, understandable feedback on how the vehicle is doing.

  • Antropomorphism >> Individualization options when the vehicle becomes “Alexa” and has a personality

Antropomorphism is the process of giving non-human creatures, such as objects, animals, or technology, human-like traits. [3] Antropomorphism can be employed in the context of in-car driver assistance systems to make the vehicle feel more human-like and unique to the driver, which can then improve trust in the technology.
The availability of personalization options can significantly contribute to the antropomorphism of in-car driver assistance systems. For instance, a car can resemble a personal assistant or friend more if its voice and personality can be customized by the driver.
The implementation of AI would be the next step, where the system would learn about the drivers or occupants habits and preferences and adapt itself to their needs.

  • XAI – explainable AI >> UI interfaces and information about the vehicle’s AI system

Explainable AI (XAI) is a field of research that aims to make AI systems more transparent and interpretable, so that their behavior can be understood and trusted by users. If AI systems are applied in vehicles, their understanding by the user would be highly important, supported by the user interface. The UI design therefor can be a crucial challenge from this point of view as well.

After discussing these topics with other experts, questions came up about the influence of cultural differences on the perception and trust in automated systems. There can be factors like cultural norms, values, beliefs and attitudes towards technology that play a role, but also the preferences in receiving information – more shorter and straightforward or more detailed explanations. Cultural psychology would be an area to dig deeper for insights on different perceptions. Besides that, the topic of individualizing the user interfaces appear highly relevant and necessary in this respect as well again.

After these thoughts, I came up with following summarizing problem statement for the thesis:

“How to design anthropomorphic user interfaces for autonomous vehicles that are sensitive to cultural and individual differences in drivers’ preferences and expectations for anthropomorphic design, and support personalization and inclusive user experiences?”

To create a thesis work on this question statement, I applied the steps of Human-Centered Design (HCD): research, ideate, prototype, test – that could be implemented in following way:

  1. Research to understand the cultural and individual differences in drivers’ preferences and expectations for anthropomorphic design
  2. Generate ideas for how to design an anthropomorphic UI that is sensitive to cultural and individual differences
  3. Build a prototype out of the ideated solutions
  4. User testing with drivers from different cultural backgrounds
  5. With the help of the testing results, refine the concept
  6. Ideally, test the refined prototype again to gain insights on the refinement
  7. Document the results

As these steps would not suffice completely as a thesis content, I searched for other methods to combine the HCD approach with. Finally I stumbled upon the Design Science Research method [4], that can complement the HCD steps with the problem definition phase.

By combining the two methods, I could define possible chapters / parts of the thesis in following order:

  1. Introduction: Outlining the research question, discussion of importance and backgrounds.
  2. Literature review: Review of existing literature on the topic of designing anthropomorphic UIs for autonomous vehicles, and the challenges and opportunities involved in designing UIs that are sensitive to cultural differences. Also including relevant design methodologies, such as Human-Centered Design (HCD) and Design Science Research (DSR), as well as specific challenges and considerations related to designing UIs for autonomous vehicles.
  3. Research methods: Description of the research methods used to gather insights into drivers’ preferences and expectations for anthropomorphic design – interviews and surveys.
  4. Results: Presentation of the results and interesting insights from the research.
  5. Design concepts: Description of the design concepts developed based on the research and the principles of HCD and DSR.
  6. Implementation and testing: Process of prototyping and testing the design concepts, including challenges or obstacles and how they were overcome.
  7. Evaluation and refinement: Discussing the results of the testing and evaluation, and description of how this information was used to refine and improve the design.
  8. Conclusions and future work: Summary of key findings, implications of the work. Outline of potential avenues for future research on this topic.

A timetable and preliminary bibliography were also put together for the exposé, but these are not relevant any more for the following reasons, so I won’t include them in this post.

I approached some companies with my master thesis proposal to ask for a collaboration / support / employement with this topic, yet didn’t receive any positive offer. After assessing my possibilities and the necessity of industrial support and insights on the state-of-the-art development to be able to create useful results that are not outdated already, I came to the decision not to continue with this topic as my master thesis.

I found a similarly interesting research project at the university to write my thesis on, so I am not sad about the decision. But still I won’t loose interest in the ADAS UI development and the topic of trust, individualisation, antropomorphism and cultural psychology. I hope to be able to dig into these areas later on during my career as a UX designer and automotive engineer.


[1] ChatGPT by OpenAI –
[2] Locus of control – Wikipedia article. Last opened on 06.02.2023
[3] Antropomorphism – Wikipedia article. Last opened on 06.02.2023
[4] Design Science Research Methodologie –, 09.03.2021. Last opened on 06.02.2023

#9 – Public Community Spaces

Public community spaces play a crucial role in the sustainability and diversity of cities. On the one hand, they serve as gathering places where people can come together to socialize, engage in cultural activities, and participate in community events. On the other hand, these spaces also serve as important infrastructure for a city’s sustainability, providing opportunities for people to engage in healthy and sustainable behaviors, such as cycling and walking. Additionally, public community spaces can help to promote diversity and inclusivity by creating safe and welcoming environments for people from all backgrounds to come together and interact.

One of the key aspects of designing public community spaces for sustainability is to ensure that they are accessible and inclusive for all users. This can be achieved through a variety of design strategies, including the provision of accessible walking and cycling routes, the inclusion of public transportation options, and the use of sustainable materials and technologies in the construction and maintenance of the spaces. For example, the use of green roofs and rain gardens can help to reduce the amount of runoff from the site, while the use of renewable energy sources can help to reduce the carbon footprint of the space.

Another important aspect of designing public community spaces for sustainability is to ensure that they are designed to be flexible and adaptable to changing needs and uses over time. For example, a community park may be designed with multiple areas that can be used for different activities, such as an open green space for recreational activities, a community garden, and a performance stage. This flexibility helps to ensure that the space can be used and enjoyed by a variety of different groups and individuals, promoting social cohesion and community engagement.

However, while public community spaces can play an important role in promoting sustainability and diversity, they can also present challenges. For example, many public community spaces are underfunded and underutilized, which can lead to a lack of maintenance and neglect of the spaces. Additionally, some public community spaces may be designed in a way that is not inclusive or accessible to all users, such as those who are elderly or have disabilities or homeless people. For example many public park benches/seating areas have been redesigned so that there is no room for a person lying on them to prevent homeless people from spending the night there.

In conclusion, public community spaces play a crucial role in the sustainability and diversity of cities, but it is important that they are designed and maintained in a way that promotes accessibility, inclusivity, and sustainability. By prioritizing these values, cities can create spaces that are both functional and enjoyable, while also promoting social cohesion and community engagement.

Future Bloom:

Sources: Creating sense of community: The role of public space

Socio Design: Relevante Projekte: Entworfen für die Gesellschaft.
Bürstmayr, Siegrid. Stocker, Karl. Designing Sustainable Cities: Manageble Approaches to make Urban Spaces better.

_Alphabet of Barriers – A Guide to better Game Design Accessibility

This Blog post is about a preliminary Exposé for my Master’s Thesis in the field game accessibility.


The state of the art of game design accessibility has improved significantly in recent years, with a growing emphasis on making games more inclusive for all players. Techniques such as colour-blindness simulation and the use of text-to-speech technology have been integrated into game design to make games more accessible to a wider range of players. Additionally, game designers have begun to focus on creating game mechanics and controls that are more intuitive and easier to use for players with physical disabilities. Overall, the field of game design accessibility is constantly evolving and improving. But there is little to no easy and compiled way for game designers to check if their game meets certain accessibility standards or where it still could be improved.


The current research regarding game design accessibility is focused on identifying best practices for making games more inclusive and accessible to players with disabilities. This has included studying the specific needs and challenges faced by players with different types of challenges and developing game design techniques and technologies that address these needs and challenges. Furthermore, research in this area has involved studying the impact of accessible game design on player experience and engagement and exploring ways to measure the effectiveness of different accessibility features. Overall, the goal of this research is to improve the accessibility of games and make them more inclusive and enjoyable for players of all abilities.


How can information on accessibility in game design be made more easily accessible to find and help improving game concepts?


The outcome of this thesis will be a book titled “Alphabet of Barriers – A Guide to better Game Design Accessibility” and could potentially be a reference guide for game designers looking to create more accessible games. The book will contain information on best practices for designing games that are accessible to players with a wide range of disabilities, including physical, visual, and auditory impairments. Also, include a glossary of terms related to game design accessibility, organized alphabetically for easy reference. Additionally, the book could feature case studies or examples of successful game design accessibility practices in action. A book of this nature also could help raise awareness and understanding of the importance of game design accessibility. By providing detailed information on the challenges faced by players with disabilities and the ways in which game design can address these challenges, it could help educate game designers and other stakeholders about the need for accessible game design. This could in turn lead to more games being designed with accessibility in mind, making the gaming industry more inclusive and accessible overall.


There are a lot of good references to this topic, but this thesis will draw upon various game studies, known design principles and on the modern insights of state-of-the-art accessibility.  


There are several methods that will be used for writing and researching this thesis. One approach will be to conduct a literature review of existing research on game design accessibility. This involves reading and summarizing relevant academic articles and other sources and identifying key themes and ideas that could potentially be included in the completed book. Another possible approach is to conduct interviews or surveys with game designers and players with disabilities to gather first-hand information and insights about the challenges and opportunities in game design accessibility. These interviews and surveys could provide valuable first-person perspectives on the issues at hand and could be used to inform the content of the book and provide real-world examples and case studies. In addition to these methods, the thesis could also incorporate information and stories from the personal experiences and expertise gathered by game designers with experience in creating accessible games, where they could share their own insights and lessons learned from their work in the field. This will provide valuable practical advice and guidance for other game designers looking to create more accessible games.


There is a wide range of research material available on game design accessibility. This material includes academic articles and studies published in peer-reviewed journals, as well as books and other publications on the subject. Additionally, there may be conference papers, presentations, and other materials from workshops and events focused on game design accessibility. The research material on game design accessibility could cover a variety of topics, including best practices and techniques for designing accessible games, the impact of accessibility on player experience and engagement, and methods for measuring the effectiveness of different accessibility features. Additionally, the research material could include case studies and examples of successful game design accessibility practices in action. To access this research material, one could search for relevant articles and publications using online databases such as Google Scholar or the ACM Digital Library. Also, there is the option of conference proceedings or other materials from events focused on game design accessibility. Additionally, one could reach out to researchers and experts in the field to ask for recommendations or suggestions for further reading on the subject.


Cairns, Paul u.a.: Future design of accessibility in games: A design vocabulary. In: International Journal of Human-Computer, 2019, Vol.131, S. 64-71

Greogory, Sue u.a.: Learning in Virtual Worlds: Research and Applications. Edmonton/Alberta: AU Press 2016

Lidwell, William/Holden, Kritina/Butler, Jill: Universal principles of design. 2.Aufl. Beverly: Rockport 2010

Polzer, Mikel Elias: Designing Casual Games for Subverting (Hetero-)Normative Attitudes. Master’s Thesis, University Vienna, 2017. In: (zuletzt aufgerufen am 01.12.2022

Suter, Beat/ Kocher, Mela/Bauer, René: Games and Rules. Game Mechanics for the “Magic Circle”. Bielefeld: transcript 2018

Wikipedia. Die freie Enzyklopädie (10.10.2022), s.v. Computer accessibility, (zuletzt aufgerufen am 10.11.2022)


The structure of the thesis could potentially be organized alphabetically, with each chapter or section focused on a different letter of the alphabet. For example, the first chapter having the focus on the letter “A” and discuss key concepts and terms related to game design accessibility that begin with “A”, such as “accessibility”, “assistive technology”, and “audio description”. Subsequent chapters then follow the same format, with each focusing on a different letter of the alphabet and discussing the key concepts and terms related to game design accessibility that begin with that letter. This kind of glossary would make it easy for game designers to quickly find and understand key concepts and terminology in the field.

Alternatively, the book could be organized around different themes or topics related to game design accessibility. For example, having chapters focused on specific types of disabilities and the unique challenges and opportunities they present for game design accessibility. These chapters would cover topics such as visual impairments, hearing impairments, and physical disabilities, and could provide detailed information on best practices for designing accessible games for each of these groups.

Design for Behavior Change: valuable help or mental manipulation?

Design for behavior change or behavioral design is a sub-category in the field of design, concerning how design can shape or can be used to influence human behavior. In all of its approaches, design for behavior change recognizes how artifacts can have a strong influence and impact on human behavior as well as human behavioral decisions. This sub-category of design is strongly connected to theories of behavioral change, among which it is possible to find the division into personal, behavioral, and environmental characteristics as drivers for behavior change.

These characteristics make design for behavior chance an incredibly interesting subject. Not only does it give designers the opportunity to test themselves in the design field, but it also allows them to deal with the complexity of human beings. However, given this complexity, it is also a truly hard challenge. How can one, as a designer, expect to actually change people’s behavior without understanding first what their needs, motivations and expectations are? This is why the phases of research and discovery are extremely important in a design for behavior change project. Designers need to understand their users, grasp their needs, motivations, expectations, constraints, to be able to get to them in the right way and induce behavior change. Nevertheless, this is still not enough.

User Experience and Interaction designers must also accompany users towards that new behavior. Even if they discover what is driving their users and what their constraints are, they still need to help them achieve that change through design. This is why, despite the great importance of the research phase, the following ones are crucial as well. A designer might find helpful insights and come up with incredible hints, but if they are not able to translate them in a valuable solution, they won’t succeed in creating a change in behavior. Therefore, the research findings must be put into practice in a methodical and effective way.

At the same time, though, the attention must not be focused on the users only. To help them achieve that change, designers must go to the root of the problem. There is a need to understand how they are currently behaving, what is causing that behavior and possibly preventing a new one. Once one gets that, it will be possible to address those issues in an effective way, without leading the users towards failure and consequently towards frustration.

Furthermore, despite the undeniable fascination that this field of design might hold, one can’t ignore the possible problematic aspects that might be there. While it is true that design for behavior change is not a weapon, and it doesn’t provide a 100% rate of success in whatever context it is applied to, it is still worth addressing them. Is it really ethical to try and change people’s behavior? One of the biggest fields in which design for behavior change plays a part is design for social innovation, and in most of the cases it is related to the topic of sustainability, which projects that aim at improving people’s behavior in relation to energy, food and goods consumption, as well as transportation. All of these are without any doubt valuable and respectable causes, which resort to design as a way to involve people in the chance, making them aware of their damaging behaviors and pushing them to do better.

However, it is also possible to mention examples in which users were not made aware of the efforts made towards changing their behavior. Instead, they were, in some way, “tricked” in doing so, thanks to the use of some (undoubtedly clever) design solutions. It is possible to cite an experiment made in Amsterdam at the Schiphol Airport. With the goal of reducing total cleaning costs, the airport introduced urinal flies: by etching an image of a fly inside every urinal, they hoped to nudge men to aim at the fly thus improving overall aim. Implementing this physical design solution reduced spillage by 80%, and the budget for cleaning public toilets by 8%. Examples like this one are, of course, harmless. Schiphol Airport was able to create a behavior change in a fast, clever, and inexpensive way. If one were to stop and think about it, it is also quite funny how easy it is to exploit human habits to produce a change.

Nevertheless, this could also be observed from a less optimistic perspective, thus leading to the following question: could design for behavior change be used for less honorable or harmless causes? It may sound like a dystopian and unrealistic concern, and it is not something people and designers should be overly worried about. Yet, it could still be considered an interesting topic of discussion.

Masters Thesis on Interactive Science Communication

During the last semesters I have changed my research topics a lot of times, so I am really glad that I have finally found a topic which is absolutely interesting for me. The topic is interactive science communication. I got in first contact with it during the international week that took place last year in the FH. I visited a workshop with Carla Molins Pitarch which focussed on prototyping phygical experience in order to communicate scientific topics. I have not looked at interaction design in this way before and was really inspired by the workshop, so I have chosen to write my master thesis in this area as well.

(Interactive) Science Communication

Science communication aims to bring scientific topics and research findings to a broader audience in an accessible and understandable manner. To achieve this goal, various methods are used, including making scientific articles and journals freely available online, using interactive exhibits in museums and science centers, or creating online tools and resources. Despite the ongoing efforts, however, many scientific articles can still be difficult for non-scientists to understand. Interactive science communication could be one possible solution to this problem. By using interactive tools and techniques, complex scientific concepts can be made more accessible and understandable to the general public. This has numerous benefits, including promoting science literacy, enabling effective public engagement in scientific discussions and decision-making processes, and fostering a deeper understanding of science among the general public.

Interactive learning

As already mentioned before, scientific topics are often very complex and hard to understand for non-scientists. Providing an interactive experience could be beneficial for the understanding of the topic in my opinion. The benefits of interactive learning is that the users are becoming the center of the learning experience. They get to discover the topic in their one pace and through interactive storytelling are getting immersed into the topic. It is also proven that it is easier to learn for people when they are actively engaging with the topic. Therefore, providing gamified interactive elements with an overlaying story can really help the user to understand and memorize the topic. But the creation of such interactive experiences is also connected to a lot of expensed, which need to also be taken into account. Therefore, the thesis will also evaluate the benefits of interactive science communication with those expenses in mind.

The practical work piece

As a work piece, I would like to create an interactive science poster. Interactive science posters are an innovative approach to science communication, designed to make scientific information more engaging and accessible to a wider audience. These posters can include interactive data visualization, interactive storytelling, and gamification elements to help make complex scientific concepts more accessible and understandable. I got the inspiration for the work piece through the website of Ars Electronica, where I have found great examples for interactive science posters. You can look at them yourself here:

The topic I would like to communicate is not decided yet. At first, I wanted to explain a new and very controversial method to save coral reefs. This method uses a cocktail of bacteria to strengthen the corals and make them more resistent. It is proven that this method is successful, but the downside is that it has not been tested how it will affect the ecosystem in general. But the disadvantage of this topic is that I may not find experts here in Graz, so it could be quite challenging doing research on this topic. But in a feedback round with Orhan Kipcak he mentioned the idea that I could approach different institutes at the FH or another university in Graz and directly ask them if there would be a need for such a poster. Through this, I would have direct contact to the scientists and actively work on a real project.

Next steps

This already brings me to my next steps I would like to make. Obviously I have to do a lot more research about the topic of interactive science communication. I would also like to consult with different science institutes to find out if there would be a possibility somewhere to base the interactive science poster on one of their research projects. What I also would like to do is get in contact with the institute of science communication on the Karl Franzens Universität and ask them if they could help me with my research.

Master thesis – It’s getting serious!

A whole semester has passed since my last blog article (”About throwing everything aside and starting over”), so there’s a lot to catch up on. Let’s not waste time and dive right in: As mentioned in my last blog entry, I changed my master thesis topic from “Augmented Reality in Education” to “UX Case Study: Designing a mobile application to support self-management and therapy of patients with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM)” (working title for now). For further details on the topic, please read my previous blog entry.

During the past couple of months I did a lot of research on my topic in order to write my exposé, which I soon will hand in. The course “Proseminar Master Thesis” helped a lot during this process, as we had the opportunity to write a first version of our exposé, have it peer reviewed by fellow students, improve it and finally have a one-on-one feedback session with our professor.

My exposé still needs a few adjustments here and there, but it’s at an advanced state already and I’m confident that it will be approved by my supervisor Anika Kronberger, so I can start with the “actual work”. At this point it is to mention that I will be writing my thesis from abroad – from Lisbon to be specific – which will probably bring some challenges as well, but working and communicating remotely has worked out well for the last two years of the pandemic, thus I think that it will also work out for writing a master thesis 🙂

I also had two very insightful meetings with two professionals in the field of interaction design – Orhan Kipcak and Martin Kaltenbrunner. I talked with each of them for half an hour about my topic and received valuable feedback. With Mr. Kipcak I talked a lot about the environment of conducting my thesis. For example he recommended to do research on ongoing projects and studies in the field of my topic in order to get access to valuable data or even collaborate with organizations and people. In this context he recommended several platforms and organizations where I could start my research. Furthermore he underlined the importance of actively involving my supervisor Mrs. Kronberger since she has good connections to other study programs like Midwifery or E-Health as well as to organizations outside of the FH. The talk with Mr. Kaltenbrunner was more about the topic itself and which hurdles could occur in my plan. The most important thing he mentioned was that it is very important to do a proper competitors- and market-analysis of a) existing diabetes apps and b) pregnancy-related apps in general. The first step should be to find out if a new app even makes sense or if it would be better to enhance/adjust an existing app so it fits the needs of GDM patients without re-inventing the wheel. I was/am aware that this could become a problem and it helped a lot to get an opinion and tipps from an expert on how to handle that. Maybe I will have to adjust my plan during the process, but I believe that this is only natural and common.

All in all I now have a more clear plan of my scope, possible hurdles and next steps and am looking forward to start with writing things down.

What are my next steps?

  • Finish my exposé
  • Fill out the official form of the exposé for the FH and hand it in
  • Get the go from my supervisor
  • Start working!

That’s it for now, thanks for reading 🙂

Gamification for elderly patients

Gamification in healthcare refers to the use of game-like elements, such as points, rewards, and competition, to engage patients and encourage healthy behaviours. This approach has become increasingly popular in recent years, as healthcare providers look for new and innovative ways to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. Some of the ways that gamification is being used in healthcare today.

  1. Patient engagement: Gamification can be a fun and effective way to engage patients in their own care. By using points, rewards, and competition, patients are motivated to become more involved in their health and wellness and are more likely to stick to their treatment plans.
  2. Adherence to treatment: Gamification can help improve adherence to treatment, as patients are incentivized to take their medications and attend appointments. For example, patients can earn points for taking their medications on time and can compete with other patients to see who is most compliant with their treatment plan.
  3. Health tracking: Gamification can also be used to encourage patients to track their health and wellness metrics, such as weight, blood pressure, and physical activity levels. By using a point system, patients are motivated to improve their health and are rewarded for reaching their goals.
  4. Chronic disease management: Gamification can be particularly effective in the management of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma. By using games and other game-like elements, patients are encouraged to take an active role in their care and are more likely to adhere to their treatment plans.
  5. Mental health: Gamification is also being used in the treatment of mental health conditions, such as anxiety and depression. For example, patients can use gamified apps to track their moods, complete therapy assignments, and earn rewards for meeting their goals.

In conclusion, gamification in healthcare is a growing trend that has shown promising results. By incorporating game-like elements into patient care, healthcare providers can create a more enjoyable and engaging experience for patients, which can lead to better outcomes and higher levels of satisfaction and overall health status.

>>> But how can all be applied when we talk about the elderly population?

Gamification can be an effective tool for engaging and motivating elderly patients as well. As older adults face a unique set of challenges related to their health and wellness, gamification can help to make their healthcare experience more enjoyable and effective. How gamification can be applied to improve the health and well-being of elderly patients.

  1. Encouraging physical activity: Physical activity is crucial for maintaining good health and independence as we age. Gamification can be used to encourage older adults to be more active by making exercise and physical activity more fun and engaging.
  2. Medication management: Many older adults take multiple medications, which can be difficult to manage and can lead to non-adherence. Gamification can be used to help older adults remember to take their medications and stay on track with their treatment plans.
  3. Cognitive stimulation: As we age, it’s important to maintain cognitive function and prevent decline. Gamification can be used to encourage older adults to engage in activities that stimulate their minds, such as crosswords, word games, and other brain games. These activities can be made more engaging by using gamification elements, such as points and rewards, to encourage patients to participate.
  4. Social engagement: Social isolation is a major problem for many older adults, and it can have a significant impact on their health and well-being. Gamification can be used to encourage social engagement and build a sense of community among older adults.

Gamification can be a valuable tool for improving the health and well-being of older adults. By using game-like elements, healthcare providers can make the healthcare experience more enjoyable and effective for older patients, improve patient outcomes and enhance the overall quality of life for older adults.

_ Literature:

  • K. White, Becky et al: Gamification and older adults: Opportunities for gamification to support health promotion initiatives for older adults in the context of COVID-19. In The Lancet Regional Health – Western Pacific (2022),
  • de Vette, Frederiek et al: Engaging Elderly People in Telemedicine Through Gamification. In JMIR Publications – Advanced Digital Health and Open Science 3, no 2 (2015), DOI:10.2196/games.4561

The psychological struggle of undergoing medical procedures.

Medical procedures can often have a profound impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being. While physical side effects are usually the primary focus of discussion, the psychological side effects of medical procedures should not be overlooked.

Anxiety and stress are common feelings experienced before, during, and after a medical procedure. This can be especially true if the procedure is invasive or has a high degree of risk. Patients may worry about the outcome of the procedure, the pain it may cause, or the impact it will have on their daily life. This anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, and difficulty breathing.

Depression can also be a side effect of medical procedures. This is especially true for procedures that have long recovery times, such as surgeries, or those that cause significant changes to a person’s appearance, such as plastic surgery. Patients may feel sad, hopeless, or have a loss of interest in their usual activities. Patients may struggle with accepting the changes to their bodies and may feel self-conscious or embarrassed.

It is important to remember that everyone reacts differently to medical procedures and that these side effects can vary in intensity and duration but it’s pretty safe to assess that medical procedures can have a significant impact on a person’s mental and emotional well-being and it is important to be aware of the potential psychological side effects.

Therefore, addressing patient anxiety before ongoing medical procedures is an important part of the medical professional’s role. By using a combination of communication, good communication is key to reducing anxiety in patients. Medical professionals should take the time to clearly explain the procedure, what it entails, and what to expect before, during, and after. They should also provide answers to any questions the patient may have, as well as address any concerns or worries the patient may have; empathy, patients are more likely to feel at ease if they feel understood and cared for by their medical professional. This, along with good listening skills, can help to establish trust and make the patient feel more comfortable; information, providing clear and concise information about the procedure, including the risks and benefits, can help patients feel more informed and in control. Patients should also be provided with information about what to expect during and after the procedure, such as pain management and recovery time, relaxation techniques, encouraging patients to practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, visualization, or guided imagery, can help to reduce anxiety and promote calmness before the procedure; distraction techniques, reassurance, reassuring patients that the procedure is safe and that the medical team is experienced and well-equipped to handle any potential complications can help to reduce anxiety; and alternative treatments, medical professionals can help to reduce anxiety and promote a positive experience for patients.

In recent years, technology has made great strides in this topic. Digital tools have been developed to provide patients with accurate information, distraction, and relaxation techniques, all from the comfort of their own homes. Here are some of the most commonly used digital tools for reducing patient anxiety before ongoing medical procedures. Among them we can find:

  1. Patient education apps: These apps provide patients with detailed information about their upcoming procedure, including what to expect, how to prepare, and what to do after. They may also provide animations, videos, and illustrations to help patients better understand the procedure.
  2. Virtual reality tools: VR tools allow patients to experience a simulated version of the procedure in a safe and controlled environment. This can help to reduce anxiety by allowing patients to familiarize themselves with the procedure and understand what to expect.
  3. Relaxation and mindfulness apps: These apps provide guided meditations, deep breathing exercises, and other techniques to help patients relax and reduce anxiety. They can be used before, during, and after the procedure to promote a sense of calm.
  4. Distraction games: Simple games and puzzles can be a helpful distraction for patients who are feeling anxious before a procedure. These games can help take their mind off the procedure and promote a sense of calm.
  5. Telemedicine: Telemedicine allows patients to connect with their medical team from the comfort of their own homes. This can be especially helpful for patients who are feeling anxious about their procedure, as they can receive the support and reassurance they need from their medical team in a familiar and comfortable environment.

The anxiety and stress provoked by an upcoming medical procedure shouldn’t be overlooked because it impacts directly not only the patient’s well-being but also the efficiency of the medical procedure itself and the workload for the professional physicians. If a procedure has to be repeated because the patient was extremely shocked the first time, that means there will be extra costs and extra work for the physicians, creating a problem for all the parts involved.

In my opinion, the elderly population is still a hard rock for all the developments in this regard. They are a big part of our society, we keep increasing numbers of the population from 70 years old onwards and they are not as used to digital tools as younger people are. We can’t rely only on digitalisation to overcome all the struggles that come from this situation so we need to find either an analogue and effective solution or find a way to approach digital resources to this target group in an easy, soft and very friendly way specifically designed for them.


  • Rahman, Asmaa/Mahdy, Naglaa/Kamaly, Aiman: Predictive Factors Affecting Postoperative Quality of Recovery for Patients Undergoing Surgery. In IOSR Journal of Nursing and Health Science (IOSR-JNHS) 6, no 3 (2017), p. 50 – 60, 10.9790/1959-0603085060
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Master’s Thesis: Designing a board game to enhance memory retention.

What impact does playing board games have on memory retention in higher education design studies? 

Nowadays with the overload of information and technologies, it is very easy to get lost in the process of learning. It depends on the individual and the method of teaching. Some people can retain information better if they are able to actively engage with the material and apply it to their lives, rather than using traditional methods of memorizing and writing information in exams. Exams can be a good way to assess an individual’s understanding of a subject, but they may not be the best way to ensure that the information is retained in the long-term. It can be hard to remember all the information when you only read from a textbook. 

Board games can be effective tools for improving memory and cognitive skills, and research has shown that they can be especially helpful for teaching new concepts and helping students retain information (Chang et al. 2022). Board games can improve memory, concentration, and cognitive skills, as well as promote collaboration and problem-solving skills. 

The idea is to take a critical look at the current state of teaching methods in the field of design (Vance, and Smith 2010. Dimitrios et al. 2013, Noblitt). The thesis will focus on trying to improve the memory retention of students with an interactive and gamified technique. Therefore, the target group for this project is design students between 18 and 30 years old. It will examine how this problem has been exacerbated by the growing emphasis on preparing for testing rather than learning. After this initial research and testing, the thesis will consider potential solutions to the issue and propose new ways to reform the system with the creation of a fun board game that will be tested in an experiment later. 

In terms of structure, it will start with the basic research that will determine similar cases, ideas, or best practises. A public online database will be created, containing all the data obtained from the case studies (e.g., This content will be a help point for the research phase. With this information, and a possible initial survey, the importance of the topic will be specified. 

The development will start considering information collected in the research phase with the idea of creating good and understandable mechanics. With this done, the prototyping and testing loop will start to find the best design for the boardgame. Once it is satisfactory, the visual design will be finalised, and the game will be created. The last step will be to answer the research question using an AB Testing exercise with two groups of users.

As a result, an experiment can be conducted to compare the effectiveness of a board game with traditional teaching techniques in improving memory retention. The experiment would involve two groups of people, one group playing a board game focused on a subject and the other group using traditional techniques such as reading from a textbook. The experiment would measure the 

performance of each group before and after the experiment, including the number of facts they can remember and how long they can retain them. The experiment could also measure variables such as the level of engagement and enjoyment of the participants. 

The goal of the experiment would be to provide evidence that board games can be more effective than traditional techniques in improving memory retention. The proposed board game would be designed with the principles of design in mind and target a specific group of students. To be able to reach this conclusion, the design process would involve research, analysis of existing board game designs and mechanics, playtesting to find the best user experience, and visual design. 


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Chang, You-Syuan, Sophia H. Hu, Shih-Wei Kuo, Kai-Mei Chang, Chien-Lin Kuo, Trung V. Nguyen, and Yeu-Hui Chuang. ‘Effects of Board Game Play on Nursing Students’ Medication Knowledge: A Randomized Controlled Trial’. Nurse Education in Practice 63 (1 August 2022): 103412. 

Dimitrios, Belias, Sdrolias Labros, Kakkos Nikolaos, Maria Koutiva, and Koustelios Athanasios. ‘Traditional Teaching Methods vs. Teaching through the Application of Information and Communication Technologies in the Accounting Field: Quo Vadis?’ European Scientific Journal 9, no. 28 (2013). 

Ezezika, Obidimma, Maria Fusaro, James Rebello, and Asal Aslemand. ‘The Pedagogical Impact of Board Games in Public Health Biology Education: The Bioracer Board Game’. Journal of Biological Education, 13 April 2021, 1–12. 

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Mozer, Michael C., and Robert V. Lindsey. Predicting and Improving Memory Retention: Psychological Theory Matters in the Big Data Era, 2016. 

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Phuong, Hoang Yen, and Pham Nguyen. ‘The Impact of Board Games on EFL Learners’ Grammar Retention’. International Journal of Research & Method in Education 7 (January 2017): 61–66. 

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