My visit to the University of Pretoria was really great.
I am so happy I took the time to do this despite a full calendar!
I met Helene Gelderblom and her research group “UX in South Africa”. They do research related to establishment of UX in organizations. This is indeed very related to the large majority of my research projects. See for example the blog posts on the SISU project and the blog post describing my PhD.
The whole visit was very well organized, and I had meetings with very many interesting people about their research in my areas such as research on eHealh, professional competencies, management and IT and why UX is not included in software development.
During the week, I did a seminar in one of their courses, see previous blog post. I also did an open seminar for the whole department, and participated in a workshop where we discussed their research studies. There were indeed many extremely relevant and interesting studies presented. I was impressed with the depth and quality of their work! This gave me inspiration, and also motivating to continue doing research in this area!! My research batteries are now fully charged again J
I also helped some with reviewing an application for funding. If funded the project would create a platform for their UX in South Africa work, including funding for traveling etc. I really hope that they are funded! They are so worth it given their ambitions and the quality of their work!
The visit resulted in a plan for a journal publication and trying to edit a special issue on our topic.
This weekend we also went on a safari together. The elephant experience was really something special. We go to see wild elephants just two meters away. Such an amazing experience!
Last week I did a lecture at the University of Pretoria where I am visiting this week. There were about 45 students who were really active and interested. I started out the lecture by presenting myself, and then asked them what they knew about UX and Agile. They used Mentimeter when answering the questions, and the distribution revealed that they thought they had moderate to little knowledge. I hope that they know some more about the topic after the lecture 🙂
I presented some of the work that Marta Larusdotter and I have done and discussed some of the different ways UX work can be integrated in Agile.
We finished the seminar with a role play exercise where they got to dicsuss the different opionions one can meet when working with UX in Agile. When asked what they thought interesting about the excercise most of them said that it was interesting that all opinions about UX and Agile can have valid arguments, event though the opinion in itself is odd.
It was a very intelligent and promising group of students. And I really enjoyed meeting them!
This week I have been invited to visit the University of Pretoria, and a Human-computer interaction research group there. I am invited by professor Helene Gelderblom to discuss and collaborate around user-centred design approaches, and my husband is invited to discuss his resarch in comptuer science education.
During our stay in Pretoria I will give two seminars, participate in a workshop, discuss a a grant proposal and also work on a common publication. It will be a busy week, and I am really looking forward to this 🙂 .
Professor Helene Gelderblom has also arranged for us to go on a safari trip one day during the weekend. That will be really great fun! I’ve never been to a safari trip!