Visitors at the HTO group and IKEA Sightseeing

We have had Leysan Nurgalieva, Marta Larusdottir and Shweta Premadanan visiting the HTO group the last weeks. You find some blog posts about their work here and here.

Apart from excellent work with data collection such as interviews, we also did some planning of studies and funding applications. And we also had time for some social activities. One night we went out for dinner together with the HTO group, and we really had a nice evening. I still remember the mailing about James Bond afterwards that was hilarious.

We also did some brief sightseeing to get the cultural experience of Sweden. And what can be more Swedish than IKEA in combination with the traditional Swedish Christmas table?  After the full tour of IKEA, our guests had the opportunity to try the different herrings, sausages and other things they served at the IKEA Christmas table. And of course, some Swedish meatballs!

No Time for Dinosaurs

Sweden is “lagging ahead” when it comes to the digital transformation of public organisations. This was the opening message from Expertgruppen för digitala investeringar at a seminar on Agile Transformation. According to recent statistics Sweden is not a leader in the field, something the Swedish Government wishes to change. While we wait for a new authority for Digitalization a special committee has been formed to support public organisations in the transformation. Much of this is done behind the scenes, but there are also open dissemination of best practices. Today’s event was one such occasion.

Anna Eriksson from Lantmäteriet, The Swedish Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registration Authority (I didn’t know that) talked about how the authority were transforming their IT-organisation to embrace agile practices. This was very much done via leading by example. The change project itself was run in the spirit of agile, early adopters were allowed to experiment and yearly hackatons encouraged mixed teams with both IT-developers and business people.

Martin Johansson, CIO at SEB and member of the committe, shared SEB:s long and ongoing digital transformation. Martin’s take home message can be summarized as agile takes time. Working in a large organization with legacy systems as well an established organizational culture agile does not happen overnight. One factor contributing to this was the fact that SEB.s project portfolio contained so many running waterfall projects. These had to be finished before the agile transformation could start to deliver. The dinosaurs had to go, as he said. There were many interesting points in Martins account but one important one was the need to unite the business side and the IT side of the organization. While SEB certainly transformed their IT structure, the importance of this collaboration was emphasized a number of times in his presentation. Judging from our own research experience that seems to be true for a number of other organisations as well.

Why this urgency for going agile? Well, as Anders Nyström–who moderated the seminar–said, the strategic projects are in general to slow for politics. With an average length of 30+ months it is difficult to see the effects of political initiatives. Perhaps even more importantly, both Anna Eriksson and Martin Johansson represent large, well established organisations, nevertheless the disruptions on the market calls for agile responses. Otherwise they might turn out to be  the dinosaurs.

The only thing I missed was the opportunity to ask a second question. I would have been really interested to learn more about their view on the user.

Halvdagskonferens: Stress, näthat och teknikstrul

Arbetsmiljölagen fyller 40 år i år. Det firas den 28 november med en halvdagskonferens på temat digital arbetsmiljö och “40-åring i behov av ett digitalt uppvaknande”, för att citera inbjudan. Konferensen har tre teman: det flexibla arbetslivet, inflytande, uppföljning och övervakning samt hot och trakasserier. Gerolf Nauwerck från HTO kommer att vara en av presentatörerna.

28 Nov 2017 13:00 – 28 Nov 2017 16:30
DIK, Bondegatan 21, Stockholm
Arrangör: Arenagruppen
Obligatorisk anmälan

How to Prevent bad IT

Badly implemented IT is a costly affair. According to reports from Unionen (a Swedish union), there are tens of millions of Euro to be saved, in Sweden alone. Many problems are also well known and there are ways to address them. Yet knowledge about both problems and solutions is limited. One actor trying to spread best practices is the Swedish health promoting agency Prevent (jointly owned and managed by the employer and employee organisations).

Prevent recently teamed up with a number of Swedish researchers in this field, including our own professor Bengt Sandblad to develop a solution to this. The solution (also mentioned in an earlier blog post here) is an online guide covering a number of stages and aspects relating to ICT requirements, development and implementation.

The guide was featured in local newspaper Uppsala Nya Tidning (here and here) and the coverage indicates that there is an increasing awareness and understanding of the issues.

You can find the guide from Prevent here:

Visiting period at Uppsala University – Shweta Premanandan


Its great to be back again at Uppsala! I had a very productive time here in 2015. That visit including the formal meetings, the informal discussions with my co-scholars, feedback from presentations at two research groups made a lot of difference and helped shape my PhD work to a great extent.

I am Shweta Premanandan and I am employed with Amrita School of Business, Amrita University as an Assistant Professor in the area of Information Systems and Analytics. I am a PhD scholar registered at Amrita University. Åsa Cajander is my co-supervisor. The formal and informal discussions with her has been instrumental in the progress of my PhD journey. I am doing my research in the area of technology adoption and national culture. My research aims to understand the effect of national culture on the adoption of e-government systems. It is a cross-cultural work and I collect data from two culturally distinct countries – India and Sweden. Due to the multi-dimensionality of the construct – culture; a mixed method approach is planned. I plan to conduct surveys and in-depth interviews from users of e-government services. I am here for a month to collect data from Sweden. I am presenting my work in the seminar series on the 20th of November. I eagerly look forward to interact with this group of researchers.

Would you like to read more blogs similar to this one?

Can’t wait for the next HTO blog post? Would you like to read more blogs similar to this one? There are a few more blogs connected to the HTO group. Maybe you did already find them; otherwise I will introduce them here:

Åsa Cajander – A blog on IT@work, HCI, Computer Science Education and Gender Equality in Academia

Åsa Cajander is an associate professor of human-computer interaction at Uppsala University, and the research leader of the HTO group. Åsa is also the coordinator of the DOME consortium that does research on the deployment of medical records online in Sweden, and she is the gender equality officer at the Department of Information Technology.

Her blog is frequently updated with a mix of shorter and longer posts about the latest news for the HTO group, the DOME consortium or any other part of Åsas work! Åsa writes that “In short this blog contains everything I am interested in at work!” and she describe her research area like this:

“I do research mainly from a socio-technical perspective in the following areas:

IT and work. Digitalisation has great potential to improve work and to increase work engagement. However, to develop and deploy ICT in organisations is difficult and often users think that the ICT is too complex and has major flaws.

Computer Science Education. I also do research on learning and didactics, and is part of the Uppsala Computing Education Research Group (UpCERG)”


You can also follow Åsa on Twitter as @AsaC and @DOMEprojekt




Jonas Moll – An academic blog

Jonas Moll is a postdoctoral researcher in human-computer interaction at Uppsala University, and his background is in computer science. Here you can read interesting reflections and detail descriptions on what is going on within the research projects or other things Jonas participates in. This is how Jonas describes his research area and his blog:

“My main research areas are computer mediated communication and collaboration in multimodal environments. A special interest lies in how haptic feedback can affect the communication and collaboration in collaborative virtual environments.

I am also one of the researchers within the DOME (Deployment of Online Medical records and E-health services) consortium, where I focus on how patients’ access to their medical records online affect the communication between patients and physicians.

I am also conducting pedagogical development studies related to the use of social media within the scope of higher education courses.

In this blog I will publish posts about my academic activities and interests, with special emphasis on multimodal interaction, eHealth and social media in higher education. I do this not only to show what I am currently working on, but also to force myself to reflect on and discuss what I am doing.”


You can also follow Jonas on Twitter as @Jonas_Moll




Diane Golay – PhD student in Human-Computer Interaction

Diane Golay is a PhD student within Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) at Uppsala University, and in this relatively new blog you can follow her refelections about subjects related to HCI and being a PhD student. She writes that “In this blog, I share my reflections, discoveries and tips related to my experience as a newbie in academia” and she describes her research area like this:

“My main research area is the use of ICT in the workplace. I am especially interested in investigating how ICT can be designed in order to fit workers’ needs and characteristics as well as how the use of ICT affects employee’s well-being, working conditions and professional identity. Within the framework of the DISA project, I currently focus on investigating how digitalization in healthcare affects nurses’ work environment.

A further research interest of mine is human-computer interaction (HCI) didactics. In my experience as a teaching assistant within that specific field, I was able to witness how difficult it is to make HCI’s core message come across, especially in regard with often sceptical computer science students. However, I believe it is essential for future software engineers to incorporate HCI methods and findings into their practice in order for better, more usable systems to be brought onto the market. Throughout my PhD studies, I thus hope to be able to take a closer look at how HCI-related skills can be taught to programming-oriented students.”


You can also follow Diane on Twitter as @DianeGolay




Christiane Grünloh – My Blog on Research, HCI, eHealth, and Academic Life

Christiane is a PhD student at TH Köln University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm (Sweden). In her blog, she writes about her research in Human-Computer Interaction, eHealth services, teaching, and academic life in general.

I like to think of this blog as a tool and place for reflection, and as an opportunity to share things I learned that might be valuable for others as well.

You can also follow Christiane on Twitter as @c_gruenloh





The @htogroup also exist on Twitter, as well as these other HTO group members:

Doctoral defense in Vienna

A time for celebration!

Last Tuesday, Åsa Cajander and I attended the defense of Jean Hallewell Haslwanter’s excellent doctoral thesis. Her work digs into the issues development teams encounter when designing sensor-based monitoring systems aimed at older people, and she uses the problems she identifies to formulate recommendations for both development teams and funding agencies. As such, it is a very relevant read for anybody directly or indirectly working with design and software development projects, even if those are based on other types of technologies.

The defense took place in central Vienna, at the Institute for design and assessment of technology of the Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien). Åsa was one of the thesis’ two examiners, along with Klaus Miesenberger (Johannes Kepler University Linz). Interestingly, the defense proceedings were a bit different from the routines I have seen so far in Sweden. The event was quite short (about 1 ½ hour against the 2 ½ – 3 hours I was accustomed to), and no opponent had been called in. Instead, Jean presented her work during the first 45 minutes – she did a really great job, giving a very concise but clear and to-the-point overview of her research – after which the members of the examination committee and Jean’s supervisor, Geraldine Fitzpatrick, proceeded to ask her some questions. Finally, following the committee’s deliberation session, Jean went back into the room alone to get the notice of the successful outcome of the defense, while this generally takes place in public in Sweden.

The lovely post-defense celebration led to very fruitful exchanges of ideas (at least from my perspective, since I received some very good research tips from Toni Michel!), and I was very happy I had made the trip to Vienna – in spite of the cumulated 4 ½ hours of flight it required! It was a real pleasure to meet Jean and her colleagues, and I very much enjoyed the experience!