PhD Helps Simplify Designing Apps for Multiple Devices at Once


Today, Ilja Šmorgun from the Tallinn University School of Digital Technologies will defend his PhD Thesis, which supports designing apps for Distributed User Interfaces (DUI), i.e. multiple devices at once. During research, a collection of design patterns was created, which offers solutions to many recurring design problems.

While the traditional design process focuses on single user single device interaction, the possibility to use an app simultaneously on many different smart devices is becoming ever more vital. “Focusing on a single device does not take into account the possibility to optimise the app for multiple devices for a smooth and integrated user experience,” the author says. He adds that DUI design, a part of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) design is specifically created to research using multiple devices simultaneously.

To design applications for multiple devices, a collection of design patterns was created as part of the thesis. “Design patterns introduce proven solutions to recurring design problems,” Šmorgun explains. The collection offers various options to HCI experts to analyse and design apps for multiple devices. “Although earlier research has been conducted to find a solution for designing apps for multiple devices, none have worked on documenting and structuring the existing design experience in a way that designers could easily access the data,” he added. The collection of design patterns has been created with the help of online surveys, ethnographic studies, and existing literature.

The PhD Thesis “Pattern Library for Supporting the Design of Distributed User Interfaces” will be defended today, on 14 March at 11 at Tallinn University. The supervisor of the thesis is Tallinn University professor David Lamas, the opponents were Professor Panayiotis Zaphiris from Cyprus University of Technology, and researcher Riina Maigre from Tallinn Technical University.

The full thesis can be accessed via the Tallinn University Academic Library e-repository ETERA.