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Master’s Thesis proposal from the HTO group: “Human Resources Self-service–the next generation”

The HTO group has the following master’s thesis proposal, and we are looking for an interested master student to join our group. Please spread the word!

Self-service systems are promoted as a way of creating efficiency in organizations, but also risk contributing to a “hidden workload” when non-trivial clerical tasks are transferred from professional administrators to staff that have neither formal training nor experience to handle them (Golay, 2019). Is it possible to mitigate this risk by better design? In the fall of 2019, there is an opportunity to explore this question, as the HR system used by Uppsala university and many other organisations is about to get a new user interface. There are also plans for a responsive design that works better on mobile phones.

Being only one of many customers, Uppsala university has limited influence over the design of the product, at the same time as it affects a large portion of its staff.. An in-depth study of end users, combined with suggestions for improvement could however benefit all stakeholders.

This master’s thesis project would look into other interface design possibilities than the ones currently in use. This would not be part of a larger development effort but rather an exploration of the design space that could inspire new developments.

What will the Master’s thesis involve?

The work would entail literature studies to grasp some major trends in HR, studies of existing solutions to the problem and–dependent on when the thesis is conducted–one of the following activities:

  • A user study contrasting the current system with the updated system. This of course depends on the timing of the thesis and the implementation (which is planned to be at the end of 2019). This comparison could involve both qualitative and quantitative measures.
  • An in-depth study of the current system aimed at identifying bottlenecks in the current socio-technical system and propose realistic improvements.
  • Again building on user studies, the third option is to look into other interface design possibilities than the ones currently in use. This would not be part of a larger development effort but rather an exploration of the design space that could inspire new developments. 

The student

This Master’s thesis subject is suitable for a student who has a good understanding of, and keen interest in, both interaction design and user studies. Possible programmes could be STS, IT and Master of HCI. 

Further information

For more info contact Gerolf Nauwerck at the department of Information Technology. gerolf.nauwerck@it.uu.se

Åsa Cajander

Professor at Uppsala University
Åsa Cajander the research leader of the HTO research group. She is Professor of Computer Science with a Specialization Towards Human-Computer Interaction at Uppsala University.

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