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!

“The digital development has changed the core of working life” according to professor Bengt Sandblad

Our work environment is more and more digitalized. Many of us use a large number of IT systems in our work every day. Dysfunctional computer system becomes a work environment problem.

Professor Bengt Sandblad from the HTO group has done a report for the work environment authority in Sweden, He is also working on a book and he is also working on a book on the digital work environment. The book will appear around Christmas.

This week Bengt Sandblad is interviewed in Universen and some of the key ideas in the article are:

  • The potential benefits of IT systems is often lost due to usability problems.
  • The digital development will not to slow down. On the contrary:  it will move faster and faster.
  • Often IT systems are not adapted to the needs of people, or the organization.
  • Information overload is a crucial problem.
  • We need to design systems that are made for human cognition.
  • We have a tendency to build systems based on what computers are good at. Not what people are good at.
  • There is a risk that work is what is left when the computers have done what they aren’t good at doing.

For more information read the full article 🙂 



“For a Healthy Digital Work Environment”

NIVA provides “Advanced Education in Occupational Health” and Gerolf Nauwerck and Åsa Cajander from the HTO group were lecturers in one of their courses last week.

Digitization and the transformation of society and work

Many of the problems related to digitalization and work were discussed during the first day of the NIVA course. We will only present some of the highlights of the course in this short blog post.

Jan Gulliksen presented how society has transformed by digitalization, and he gave examples from different areas such as school and health care. The school setting with a teacher standing in front of a class that listens has not changed in many years, Jan Gulliksen described, and perhaps it about time it changed?

There was a vivid discussion related to what jobs will disappear due to digitalization. According to a study the most likely job what will disappear in the future is being a model. In fact we already improve photos so much that soon we will not need the human model any more in the future. One of the jobs that will not disappear is being a “Beach Body Coach”, so if you are thinking of a possible future career that is a good option 😉

Cognition in the digital environment

Day two started with Sara Thomé who presented the area cognition in the digital work environment. Some of the problems areas that follow with digitalization are:

  • Information overflow
  • Communication overload
  • Flexible and boundless work
  • Usability problems
  • Technostress  

Flexible work

Christin Mellner was invited to the NIVA course to talk about the challenge of flexible work and boundary management. She gave an interesting talk on the perception of people’s different behaviour when it comes to setting boundaries between work and private life. If you choose to not answer emails out of work hours, or participate in social media outside of work you are seen as a professional and reliable person. However, some would also see you as rigid and non-flexible. If you choose to answer emails etc outside of working hours you are seen as very flexible and adaptable, but at the same time you risk being exhausted and being perceived as always being in a hurry.  

By the end of day two Åsa Cajander gave a lecture presenting our work with creating a good work environment in the collaboration programme with Region Uppsala and also with the university administration.

Gerolf Nauwerck gave a lecture presenting the different charting tools available on the market today. We were allowed to try a few questions in one of the tools, and also discuss the problems with the questions asked. This was a very appreciated lecture, and we all learned a lot.  

Visit to the DISA Project

Vivian Vimarlund who is a full professor in Informatics at Linköping University is one of the senior research advisors of the DISA project. Last week she visited us, and we went through the plans ahead for the DISA project. She asked many good questions related to for example publication strategy and theoretical framework. Based on her long experience as a researcher in informatics she also gave us advice on how to proceed with our work, and some ideas on follow up projects for this work.

We are really grateful for this outsider’s perspective on our work in DISA and we got good input for our current and planned activities as well as inspiration to continue the work ahead.

We will have a DISA conference again this fall, and then we’ll have a chance to discuss things with Vivian Vimarlund and the other members of our reference group.

HTO are Organizing a Workshop @ Uppsala Health Summit 2018

Uppsala Health Summit is “a recurring international policy arena for dialogue on challenges for health and healthcare, and how we can overcome them”.  In 2018 the theme for the summit is cancer, and the HTO group has been asked to organize a workshop in the area of using existing data for diagnosis and treatment of cancer. We see this as a great opportunity to address this important issue and take it one step further towards a solution.

People who are personally invited are welcome to join this health summit. The project manager on the summit, Madelein Neil, personally invites decision makers, opinion formers and experts.

The HTO group are currently working on setting up the ideas for our workshop. We have had a few discussions and so far, we are thinking of re-using the concept of critical incidents that Christiane Grünloh presented at the INTERACT conference this year. The abstract of this paper is:

Demands for technological solutions to address the variety of problems in healthcare have increased. The design of eHealth is challenging due to e.g. the complexity of the domain and the multitude of stakeholders involved. We describe a workshop method based on Critical Incidents that can be used to reflect on, and critically analyze, different experiences and practices in healthcare. We propose the workshop format, which was used during a conference and found very helpful by the participants to identify possible implications for eHealth design, that can be applied in future projects. This new format shows promise to evaluate eHealth designs, to learn from patients’ real stories and case studies through retrospective meta-analyses, and to inform design through joint reflection of understandings about users’ needs and issues for designers.

Grand Opening of Uppsala University’s School of Technology (UppTech)

Last week Uppsala University’s new technological initiative Uppsala University School of Technology (UppTech) was opened. UppTEch will be a centre for technical competence that is now spread over several departments. The aim is to create a meeting point for coordination, discussion and joint problems for applications with a technical focus.

During the opening there were presentations from industry and research. Maria Strömme opened up with a very inspiring talk about the future, and some of the challenges that are ahead. She said that one of the challenges is the ageing population, and the number of people that are 60 or older will be as  much as 40% of the population. She also said that we have reached the peak of the number of children in the world, and most probably we will meet lots of adults if we walk the streets of cities in the year 2050.

A nice dinner was served after the grand opening, and Gunilla Myreteg, Åsa Cajander and Jonas Moll had a nice evening talking to different people interested in technology and its applications both from industry and the university.


Recommended Course for Master Students, Doctoral Students and Postdoctoral Reserachers


In April next year the NordWit Centre for Excellence will organize a course for master students, doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers in the area of gender work and transforming organisations. Several of the HTO people are going to this course, and we are also a part of the centre.

The course has a strong focus on participants’ own experiences and we are invited to bring our own studies into discussions.

 We think this sounds like a brilliant and very interesting course! So join us in Tambere on the 18th -20th of April 2018.

For more info see: