Meet the organizers

Karin Slegers (CUO – KU Leuven / iMinds)

Karin Slegers has a background in cognitive psychology. She received a PhD from Maastricht University in the area of cognitive ageing and human computer interaction. As a senior user insights researcher at Vodafone Group R&D she worked on generative user research regarding novel mobile applications. Currently, she is a senior researcher at the research group CUO | Social Spaces (KU Leuven, iMinds). Here, she conducts and coordinates user research in research projects (both national and European projects) concerning user-centred design in IT innovation, mainly in the domains of health and education. She is particularly interested in research methods to involve users with impairments. Recently, she has worked with persons with dementia, children with hearing impairments and children with dyslexia.

Pieter Duysburgh (iMinds – Digital Society / SMIT -VUB)

Pieter works as a HCI researcher at the research group iMinds – Digital Society / SMIT – VUB. His research aims at involving targeted users in the various stages of product innovation, from the fuzzy front end of design to the actual user testing of prototypes. The methods he uses include amongst others observation, interviewing, contextual inquiry, ideation techniques, scenario-building, persona development, co-design and prototype evaluation. Most of his research is situated in health care and education. Currently he is working on the projects iRead+ (assistive reading software for ‘struggling readers’, i.e. children with dyslexia or a hearing impairment), O’CareCloudS (cloud based services in home care) and Telesurgery (the digitized operating room).

Niels Hendriks (Social Spaces research, MAD-Faculty)

Niels Hendriks holds a master in language & literature. Since 2003 he lectures at the interaction design course at the MAD-Faculty (Genk, Belgium) and works as a design-researcher for the Social Spaces|CUO research group (LUCA, KULeuven, Belgium). Niels’ interest domains are user agency, healthcare and participatory design. One of his recent projects, AToM, focused on the design of an intelligent network of objects and people for persons with dementia and their family. His PhD research deals with participatory design together with persons with cognitive impairments. He was a founding member of Stadsreporter VZW (focus on citizen empowerment in media production) and is part of the management board of the Social Innovation Lab and Design Hub, both active in social design.

Helma van Rijn (Waag Society)

Helma van Rijn has a master in Design for Interaction. She worked as a researcher at ID-StudioLab (TUDelft, NL). She recently finished her PhD focussing on how designers can learn from encounters with users with cognitive impairments. She is now active as a concept developer at Waag Society (Amsterdam, NL). Her interests lie in early user involvement and concept development for difficult-to-reach user groups.

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