Vulnerable Road Users

Bicycling is considered to be environmentally friendly and health promoting, but safety concerns keep some cyclists off the road. While there are many approaches to improving safety, current projects in the lab are centered around road users' understanding of how to share the road, interpretation of signs and signifiers, and perceptions of potential hazards. Recent findings out of the lab suggest:
Experienced motorists, and many cyclists, do not know the laws or best practices associated with sharing the road.
Experienced motorists do not actively monitor for the same hazards as cyclists.
Simple road markings can be used to show where a cyclist should ride in the road without any instruction.
Slight wording changes, "bicycles take the lane" instead of "share the road" can improve understanding of where cyclsts should ride.

Relevant publications:
Still, M. L. & Still, J. D. (2020). How signs, markings, and hazards impact motorist assessment of cyclist lane placement. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Chicago, IL.
Still, M. L. & Still J. D. (2020). Sharing the road: Experienced cyclist and motorist knowledge and perceptions. In: Stanton N. (ed) Advances in Human Factors of Transportation. AHFE 2019. Advance in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 964. Springer Cham.
Still, M. L. (2020). Expert cyclist route planning: Hazards, preferences, and information sources. Proceedings of HCII 2020 the 22nd International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction. Copenhagen, Denmark.

Familiarity and Intuitive Design

A common goal in interface design is to provide users with an effortless interaction experience. It is assumed that when interactions are intuitive they can be completed using few, if any, cognitive resources and they require very little instruction for successful use. A major challenge in this area of research lies in determining what features of a design will be familiar, or intuitive, to the user. Although it is possible to ask users to identify intuitive aspects of a design, this approach may not reveal the true sources of intuitive interactions. The cognitive processes supporting intuition occur automatically and are based on implicit representations of previous interactions. There are, therefore, many cases in which the user would not be able to accurately describe what makes an interaction intuitive. Future projects in the lab will use physiological measures as well as techinques such as masked priming and recognition without identification.

Relevant publications:
Still, M. L., & Still, J. D. (2018). Cognitively Describing Intuitive Interactions. In A. Blackler (Ed.), Intuitive Interaction: Research and Application.
Geller, J., Still, M. L., & Morris, A. L. (2016). Eyes wide open: Pupil size as a proxy for inhibition in the masked priming paradigm. Memory & Cognition, 44, 554-564.
Morris, A. L., Cleary, A. M., & Still, M. L. (2008). The role of autonomic arousal in feelings of familiarity. Consciousness and Cognition, 17, 1378-1385.

Managing Cognitive Workload

As computing devices become more pervasive, it is increasingly important to understand how to maintain calm and lightweight interactions. To do this sucessfully, it is critical to consider how information processing loads interact with one another and how information level of processing may impact behavior. Lab projects in this area have included examinations of working memory manipulations and "subliminal" verses visible stimuli.

Relevant publications:
Still, M. L., & Still, J. D. (2018). Subliminal techniques: Considerations and recommendations for analyzing feasibility. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, 5, 457-466.
Grgic, J. E., Still, M. L., & Still, J. D. (2016). Effects of cognitive load on affordance-based interactions. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 30, 1042-1051.
Still, M. L. & Still, J. D. (2012). Practical recommendations for examining subliminal techniques in ubiquitous computing. Proceedings of the Effects of Subliminal Perception in Ubiquitous Computing Environments Workshop at the 14th International Conference on Ubiquitous Computing, Pittsburgh, PA.