Publication statistics

Pub. period:1997-2011
Pub. count:13
Number of co-authors:18


Number of publications with 3 favourite co-authors:

Simon Attfield:
Paul Cairns:
Yvonne Rogers:



Productive colleagues

Anne Adams's 3 most productive colleagues in number of publications:

Yvonne Rogers:99
Ann Blandford:85
Martina Angela Sas..:38

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Anne Adams

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UCL interaction center

Dr. Anne Adams is a Research Fellow at UCL Interaction Centre and a visiting Senior Lecturer at the Middlesex University 'Interaction Design Centre' and external examiner for Bath University. Recent research has reviewed the use of information and digital resources within different parts of the health service. Findings were not only published but also fed back to the information providers and designers in the development of their systems. The success of this project has increased collaborative links both within the public and commercial sector.

Dr Adams previous research into usability and security (i.e. authentication, privacy and trust) has extended into CSCW and multimedia communications. Recent publications and a Book chapter relate to these issues in both the academic and health domain.

She is a member of the ACM and has been on the committee for the British HCI group and has organised the Healthcare Digital Library workshop (at the European Conference for Digital libraries) for the past two years. She has presented at and chaired sessions at international conferences and been both an invited and keynote speaker for academic, industrial and health organisations across the world. In 2005 she was an invited speaker at the 'Royal Society of Medicine' and 'GOOGLE' while also winning the 'best international paper' at the IEEE / ACM joint conference for digital libraries.


Publications by Anne Adams (bibliography)

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Coughlan, Tim, Adams, Anne, Collins, Trevor, Davies, Sarah, Lea, John and Rogers, Yvonne (2011): Working with 'mission control' in scientific fieldwork: supporting interactions between in situ and distanced collaborators. In: Proceedings of ACM CSCW11 Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work 2011. pp. 617-620.

Interaction between in situ and distanced collaborators focused on the physical environment is an under-explored research area, where there is potential for novel mobile and indoor technologies to enhance activities. This paper describes research in progress to explore how new forms of collaborative learning in scientific fieldwork can be supported. We describe field trials of a prototype system designed to connect higher education students engaged in earth science fieldwork with peers based in a 'mission control' type environment. We discuss how analysis of these trials is leading us to identify new requirements to support effective collaboration between users based across contrasting locations, including issues of spatial coherence, deictic communication and reflection.

© All rights reserved Coughlan et al. and/or their publisher

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Adams, Anne, Coughlan, Tim, Lea, John, Rogers, Yvonne, Davies, Sarah and Collins, Trevor (2011): Designing interconnected distributed resources for collaborative inquiry based science education. In: JCDL11 Proceedings of the 2010 Joint International Conference on Digital Libraries 2011. pp. 395-396.

This paper describes the design and evaluation of a distributed information resource system (IRS) shared between field and laboratory settings for higher education geology students. An investigation of geo-science scholarship and technical pilot studies highlighted the importance of situational specific and distributed information usage. To advance our understanding of novel resource approaches (i.e. from tabletops to tablets) and collaborative learning, two in-depth field trials evaluated 21 students' information journeys (i.e. initiating information needs, facilitating information and collaborative interpretation). Analysis identified how a designing for a varied device ecology supported information filtering and empathy between locations provoking deeper reflection and abstract understanding in the field, while live collaborative remote interaction provided an engaging yet distinct learning experience for those in the laboratory.

© All rights reserved Adams et al. and/or their publisher

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Coughlan, Tim, Adams, Anne and Rogers, Yvonne (2010): Designing for balance: Out There and In Here. In: Proceedings of the HCI10 Conference on People and Computers XXIV 2010. pp. 468-473.

This paper describes the 'Out There and In Here' project, in which we explore the combined use of mobile technologies and static indoor technologies to support novel forms of collaborative field trip learning. We are currently developing a system to support balanced collaboration between geology students 'Out There' in the field, and their peers located in a specially designed 'In Here' laboratory. Here we explain the background to the project, and describe data collected on perceptions of field learning in geology that is directing design. In particular, we discuss bringing the 'Out There' experience 'In Here', whilst also enhancing the field experience. This requires the concurrent development of technologies and activities, and balancing the control required for effective learning with scope for user creativity.

© All rights reserved Coughlan et al. and/or BCS

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Sweeney, Breen and Adams, Anne (2009): Virtual world users evaluated according to environment design, task based and affective attention measures. In: Proceedings of the HCI09 Conference on People and Computers XXIII 2009. pp. 381-387.

This paper presents research that engages with virtual worlds for education users to understand design of these applications for their needs. An in-depth multi-method investigation from 12 virtual worlds participants was undertaken in three stages; initially a small scale within-subjects eye-tracking comparison was made between the role playing game 'RuneScape' and the virtual social world 'Second Life', secondly an in-depth evaluation of eye-tracking data for Second Life tasks (i.e. avatar, object and world based) was conducted, finally a qualitative evaluation of Second Life tutorials in comparative 3D situations (i.e. environments that are; realistic to surreal, enclosed to open, formal to informal) was conducted. Initial findings identified increased users attention within comparable gaming and social world interactions. Further analysis identified that 3D world focused interactions increased participants' attention more than object and avatar tasks. Finally different 3D situation designs altered levels of task engagement and distraction through perceptions of comfort, fun and fear. Ultimately goal based and environment interaction tasks can increase attention and potentially immersion. However, affective perceptions of 3D situations can negatively impact on attention. An objective discussion of the limitations and benefits of virtual world immersion for student learning is presented.

© All rights reserved Sweeney and Adams and/or their publisher

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Adams, Anne, Lunt, Peter and Cairns, Paul (2008): A qualitative approach to HCI research. In: Cairns, Paul and Cox, Anna (eds.). "Research Methods for Human-Computer Interaction". Cambridge University Presspp. 138-157

Whilst science has a strong reliance on quantitative and experimental methods, there are many complex, socially based phenomena in HCI that cannot be easily quantified or experimentally manipulated or, for that matter, ethically researched with experiments. For example, the role of privacy in HCI is not obviously reduced to numbers and it would not be appropriate to limit a person's privacy in the name of research. In addition, technology is rapidly changing – just think of developments in mobile devices, tangible interfaces and so on – making it harder to abstract technology from the context of use if we are to study it effectively. Developments such as mediated social networking and the dispersal of technologies in ubiquitous computing also loosen the connection between technologies and work tasks that were the traditional cornerstone of HCI. Instead, complex interactions between technologies and ways of life are coming to the fore. Consequently, we frequently find that we do not know what the real HCI issues are before we start our research. This makes it hard, if not actually impossible, to define the variables necessary to do quantitative research, (see Chapter 2). Within HCI, there is also the recognition that the focus on tasks is not enough to design and implement an effective system. There is also a growing need to understand how usability issues are subjectively and collectively experienced and perceived by different user groups (Pace, 2004; Razavim and Iverson, 2006). This means identifying the users' emotional and social drives and perspectives; their motivations, expectations, trust, identity, social norms and so on. It also means relating these concepts to work practices, communities and organisational social structures as well as organisational, economic and political drivers. These issues are increasingly needed in the design, development and implementation of systems to be understood both in isolation and as a part of the whole. HCI researchers are therefore turning to more qualitative methods in order to deliver the research results that HCI needs.With qualitative research, the emphasis is not on measuring and producing numbers but instead on understanding the qualities of a particular technology and how people use it in their lives, how they think about it and how they feel about it. There are many varied approaches to qualitative research within the social sciences depending on what is being studied, how it can be studied and what the goals of the research are.Within HCI, though, grounded theory has been found to provide good insights that address well the issues raised above (Pace, 2004; Adams, Blandford and Lunt, 2005; Razavim and Iverson, 2006). The purpose of this chapter is to give an overview of how grounded theory works as a method. Quantitative research methods adopt measuring instruments and experimental manipulations that can be repeated by any researcher (at least in principle) and every effort is made to reduce the influence of the researcher on the researched, which is regarded as a source of bias or error. In contrast, in qualitative research, where the goal is understanding rather than measuring and manipulating, the subjectivity of the researcher is an essential part of the production of an interpretation. The chapter therefore discusses how the influence of the researcher can be ameliorated through the grounded theory methodology whilst also acknowledging the subjective input of the researcher through reflexivity. The chapter also presents a case study of how grounded theory was used in practice to study people's use and understanding of computer passwords and related security.

© All rights reserved Adams et al. and/or Cambridge University Press

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Blandford, Ann, Adams, Anne, Attfield, Simon, Buchanan, George, Gow, Jeremy, Makri, Stephann, Rimmer, Jon and Warwick, Claire (2008): The PRET A Rapporter framework: Evaluating digital libraries from the perspective of information work. In Information Processing & Management, 44 (1) pp. 4-21.

The strongest tradition of IR systems evaluation has focused on system effectiveness; more recently, there has been a growing interest in evaluation of Interactive IR systems, balancing system and user-oriented evaluation criteria. In this paper we shift the focus to considering how IR systems, and particularly digital libraries, can be evaluated to assess (and improve) their fit with users' broader work activities. Taking this focus, we answer a different set of evaluation questions that reveal more about the design of interfaces, user-system interactions and how systems may be deployed in the information working context. The planning and conduct of such evaluation studies share some features with the established methods for conducting IR evaluation studies, but come with a shift in emphasis; for example, a greater range of ethical considerations may be pertinent. We present the PRET A Rapporter framework for structuring user-centred evaluation studies and illustrate its application to three evaluation studies of digital library systems.

© All rights reserved Blandford et al. and/or Pergamon Press

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Adams, Anne and Blandford, Ann (2005): Digital libraries' support for the user's 'information journey'. In: JCDL05: Proceedings of the 5th ACM/IEEE-CS Joint Conference on Digital Libraries 2005. pp. 160-169.

The temporal elements of users' information requirements are a continually confounding aspect of digital library design. No sooner have users' needs been identified and supported than they change. This paper evaluates the changing information requirements of users through their 'information journey' in two different domains (health and academia). In-depth analysis of findings from interviews, focus groups and observations of 150 users have identified three stages to this journey: information initiation, facilitation (or gathering) and interpretation. The study shows that, although digital libraries are supporting aspects of users' information facilitation, there are still requirements for them to better support users' overall information work in context. Users are poorly supported in the initiation phase, as they recognize their information needs, especially with regard to resource awareness; in this context, interactive press-alerts are discussed. Some users (especially clinicians and patients) also require support in the interpretation of information, both satisfying themselves that the information is trustworthy and understanding what it means for a particular individual.

© All rights reserved Adams and Blandford and/or ACM Press

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Adams, Anne and Blandford, Ann (2005): Bridging the gap between organizational and user perspectives of security in the clinical domain. In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, 63 (1) pp. 175-202.

An understanding of 'communities of practice' can help to make sense of existing security and privacy issues within organizations; the same understanding can be used proactively to help bridge the gap between organizational and end-user perspectives on these matters. Findings from two studies within the health domain reveal contrasting perspectives on the 'enemy within' approach to organizational security. Ethnographic evaluations involving in-depth interviews, focus groups and observations with 93 participants (clinical staff, managers, library staff and IT department members) were conducted in two hospitals. All of the data was analysed using the social science methodology 'grounded theory'. In one hospital, a community and user-centred approach to the development of an organizational privacy and security application produced a new communication medium that improved corporate awareness across the organization. User involvement in the development of this application increased the perceived importance, for the designers, of application usability, quality and aesthetics. However, other initiatives within this organization produced clashes with informal working practices and communities of practice. Within the second hospital, poor communication from IT about security mechanisms resulted in their misuse by some employees, who viewed them as a socially controlling force. Authentication mechanisms were used to socially exclude users who were formally authorized to access systems but whose access was unacceptable within some local communities of practice. The importance of users' security awareness and control are reviewed within the context of communities of practice.

© All rights reserved Adams and Blandford and/or Academic Press

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Nilsson, Maria, Adams, Anne and Herd, Simon (2005): Building security and trust in online banking. In: Proceedings of ACM CHI 2005 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2005. pp. 1701-1704.

Growing threats to online banking security (e.g. phishing, personal identify fraud) and the personal nature of the data make the balance between security, trust and usability vital. However, there is little published research about what influences users' perceptions of online banking security and trust. This study identifies that the type of authentication system used can affect users' subsequent perceived control, situational awareness and trust. The results from a questionnaire and in-depth interviews with 86 participants were triangulated to compare two different authentication processes, namely, a 'security box' (i.e. random system generated passwords at the users' location) and 'fixed passwords' (i.e. user owned and constant). The security box and login procedures were perceived significantly more trustworthy and secure at any location than 'fixed passwords'. Four main concepts were identified: "trust" "the authentication system", "location" and "control". The implications of these findings for HCI are discussed.

© All rights reserved Nilsson et al. and/or ACM Press

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Adams, Anne, Blandford, Ann and Lunt, Peter (2005): Social Empowerment and Exclusion: A case study on Digital Libraries. In ACM Transactions on CHI, pp. 174-200.

This paper reports on work studying how technology can empower or exclude its users due to interactions between social context, system design and implementation. The analysis is based around the introduction and use of digital libraries in four different settings, three clinical and one academic. Across the four settings, indepth interview and focus group data was collected from 144 users, and analyzed with reference to ‘communities of practice’. The four settings represent three different approaches to digital library implementation: making digital library resources available from existing computer systems in people’s offices and the library (a traditional approach); making computer systems – and hence digital libraries – available in shared spaces (in this case, hospital wards); and employing information intermediaries to work with staff and library resources. These different approaches engendered different perceptions of the technology. The traditional approach produced perceptions of technology as being irrelevant for current needs and community practices. Making technology available within shared physical space – but with poor design, support and implementation procedures – was widely perceived as a threat to current organizational structures. In contrast, technology implemented within the community which could adapt to and change practices according to individual and group needs, supported by an information intermediary, was seen as empowering to both the community and the individual. We relate the findings to a discussion of evolutionary and revolutionary approaches to design, and to the concept of ‘communities of practice’.

© All rights reserved Adams et al. and/or ACM Press

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Adams, Anne and Sasse, Martina Angela (1999): Taming the wolf in sheep's clothing: privacy in multimedia communications. In: ACM Multimedia 1999 1999. pp. 101-107.

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Adams, Anne and Sasse, Martina Angela (1999): Users Are Not The Enemy. In Communications of the ACM, 42 (12) pp. 40-46.

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Adams, Anne, Sasse, Martina Angela and Lunt, Peter (1997): Making Passwords Secure and Usable. In: Thimbleby, Harold, O'Conaill, Brid and Thomas, Peter J. (eds.) Proceedings of the Twelfth Conference of the British Computer Society Human Computer Interaction Specialist Group - People and Computers XII August, 1997, Bristol, England, UK. pp. 1-19.

To date, system research has focused on designing security mechanisms to protect systems access although their usability has rarely been investigated. This paper reports a study in which users' perceptions of password mechanisms were investigated through questionnaires and interviews. Analysis of the questionnaires shows that many users report problems, linked to the number of passwords and frequency of password use. In-depth analysis of the interview data revealed that the degree to which users conform to security mechanisms depends on their perception of security levels, information sensitivity and compatibility with work practices. Security mechanisms incompatible with these perceptions may be circumvented by users and thereby undermine system security overall.

© All rights reserved Adams et al. and/or Springer Verlag

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