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Doctor Madeline Balaam

Interaction Design for healthcare, education and wellbeing

A little about me


I'm a lecturer in the School of Computing Science within Newcastle University. Specifically, my research is concerned with Interaction Design for healthcare, education and wellbeing. I am driven by a desire to design technologies which better meet the needs and practices of people in their everyday lives and in doing so I apply participatory and user-centred design methods. While I've worked with a wide range of age-groups and participants, I have a real interest in working with children and particularly teenagers and particularly enjoy developing new methods of engagement and design to use with these younger age groups. 

I'm involved in a number of research projects, but my favourites at the moment include the design and development of a user-generated android app called FeedFinder that supports breastfeeding mothers in finding, reviewing and adding locations for public breastfeeding. I also absolutely love LanCook, a project using the ambient kitchen technology to create a relatively immersive task-based second language learning experience for language students. I think this has the potential to create really exciting language learning opportunities and experiences, and also see its potential as a tool for teaching across the curricullum, including computer science and food tech.

Prior to joining the Digital Interaction group I was a research fellow in the Interact lab within the University of Sussex, working on projects like the shyness in pervasive computing project and the motivating mobility project.

I completed my DPhil in the IDEAs lab. My work investigated how the learning context influences the emotions experienced by students. This work was aided through the Subtle Stone, a novel technology that I designed and developed to support students in their private communication of emotional experience to their class teacher (and a researcher).