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Prof Helene Gelderblom Research Profile

 Position: Associate Professor

 Office: IT Building 5-76

 E-mail: helene dot gelderblom at up dot ac dot za

 Telephone: 012 4203352




RESEARCH DOMAIN: Human-computer interaction (HCI)

INTERESTS: Child-computer interaction; Designing with and for special user groups; Interaction design; e-Learning; Eye tracking

She works primarily in the fields of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and ICT in Education focussing on the use of eye tracking in UX design and evaluation and the design of technology and interfaces for special user groups. Specific research interests she has explored are child-computer interaction, participatory design (especially with children and teenagers), designing for the elderly and the economically disadvantaged, and any psychological aspect of HCI.  With regard to ICT in Education, she has investigated problems experienced by beginner programmers and teaching methods to address these problems. She has been actively involved in the design of educational technology for children and adults for the past eight years.

Helene is has a C3 rating as a researcher from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF). In 2011 she was awarded a Fulbright Visiting Scholarship which she spent at the University of Maryland’s HCILab. She was hosted by Prof Allison Druin and spent most of the time their working with the HCIL’s famous Kidsteam design team. Currently she teaches HCI and programming at the University of Pretoria and supervises numerous postgraduate students working on a range of HCI topics. She is responsible for managing the department’s Mobile and Design laboratories.

Helene is driven in her research by a desire to improve the standard of interfaces and technologies developed in South Africa by strongly promoting a user-centred approach to design and evaluation. Besides her teaching and research work, Helene continuously does consulting UX and usability evaluations for private sector clients.

Brief biography

Helene studied Computer Science and then completed postgraduate degrees in Psychology and Formal Logic.  She was awarded a PhD in HCI in 2008. The focus of her PhD research was the use of theories of cognitive development to inform design of education technologies for children. Her academic career started in 1990 at the University of South Africa (UNISA) where she eventually managed the HCI laboratory and led the School of Computing’s HCI Research group from 2010-2013. She moved to the University of Pretoria at the end of 2013. At both universities she set up and the eye tracking facilities used for research, postgraduate teaching and UX and usability evaluation for industry clients. 

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Last edited by Johanna GelderblomEdit