Design School


User Centred Design Research Group

The User Centred Design Research Group conducts world leading research into products, services, equipment and environments to ensure they meet the needs of the end users. The Group draws upon 40 years of expertise in the application of user centred design in the home, at leisure, in the workplace and on the move.

Areas of expertise

  • User centred design
  • User experience
  • Service design
  • User evaluation
  • User requirements
  • Inclusive design
  • Co-design 

Energy and Digital Living

Energy and Digital Living

Between 2010 – 2014, a team of anthropologists, engineers and designers worked towards a deeper understanding of how energy and media consumption fit in to everyday practices and habits in home life. This site presents some of the key outcomes of the ethnographic and design strands of that research.

Please contact Dr Val Mitchell for more information. 


SKInS - Sensory and Kinaesthetic Interactive Simulations

SKInS (Sensory and Kinaesthetic Interactive Simulations): wearable simulations developed at Loughborough University’s Design School. Their function is to enable non-sufferers to directly experience for themselves some aspects relating to given physical and sensory conditions.

Please contact Sharon Cook for more information. 



This set of personas represents archetypal owner-occupier families that live in solid wall (hard to treat) UK homes. The primary purpose of the persona set is to inform the design of retrofit energy saving measures by providing insight into the everyday domestic contexts within which these measures will need to fit. 

The Home Improvement Personas are - 

  • The Idealist Restorer - the property is a project
  • The Affluent Service Seeker - the property is a pleasure 
  • The Functional Pragmatist - the property is a place to live
  • The Aesthetic Pragmatist - the property is a home
  • The Property Ladder Climber - the property is a step up
  • The Stalled (Lack of Finance) - the property is a shelter
  • The Stalled (Pressures of Life) - the property is a necessity 

Please contact Dr Victoria Haines for more information.

  • Aceves-González, C., May, A. and Cook, S. (2015). An observational comparison of the older and younger bus passenger experience in a developing world city. Ergonomics, 2015, 0139, 1–11.
  • Aceves-González, C.; Cook, S. and May, A.  (2015)  Bus use in a developing world city: Implications for the health and well-being of older passengers. Journal of Transport & Health 2(2):308-316,
  • Haines, V and Mitchell, V, (2014).  A persona-based approach to domestic energy retrofit. Building Research & Information, Special Issue:   Energy retrofits of owner-occupied homes, Volume 42, Issue 4, 462-476 
  • Marshall, R.; Cook, S.; Mitchell, V.A.; Summerskill, S.; Haines, V.; Maguire, M.; Sims, R.; Gyi, D. and Case, K.  (2015)  Design and Evaluation: End users, User datasets and Personas.  Applied Ergonomics 46, 311-317.
  • May, A., Mitchell, V., and Piper, J. (2014). A user centred design evaluation of the potential benefits of advanced wireless sensor networks for fire-in-tunnel emergency response, Fire Safety Journal, 2014, 63, 79-88,
  • May, A., Parker, C., Taylor, N. and Ross, T. (2014). Evaluating a Concept Design of a Crowd-Sourced ‘mashup’ Providing Ease-of-Access Information for People with Limited Mobility. Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, 2014, 49, 103–13.
  • Mercer, K, May, A, Mitchell, V (2013) Designing for video: investigating the contextual cues within viewing situations, Personal Ubiquitous Computing, 18(3), pp.723-735,
  • Mitchell, V, Mackley, KL, Pink, S, Escobar-Tello, C, Wilson, GT, Bhamra, T (2015) Situating Digital Interventions: Mixed Methods for HCI Research in the Home, Interacting with Computers, 27(1), pp.3-12, ISSN: 0953-5438. DOI: 10.1093/iwc/iwu034.
  • Mitchell, V., Ross, T., May, A., Sims, E. & Parker, C. (2015). Empirical investigation of the impact of using co-design methods when generating proposals for sustainable travel solutions. CoDesign.
  • Moore, N., Haines, V. & Lilley, D. (2015). Improving the installation of renewable heating technology in UK social housing properties through user centred design. Indoor and Built Environment, Online first, 1-16.
  • Parker, C., May, A. & Mitchell, V. (2014). User-centred design of neogeography: the impact of volunteered geographic information on users' perceptions of online map ‘mashups’. Ergonomics, 2014, 57(7), 987–97,
  • Ross, T., Mitchell, V. A., & May, A. J. (2012). Bottom-up grassroots innovation in transport: motivations, barriers and enablers. Transportation Planning and Technology, 35(4), 469-489. doi:10.1080/03081060.2012.680820
  • Simpson, S., Banfill, P., Haines, V., Mallaband, B., & Mitchell, V. (2015). Energy-led domestic retrofit: impact of the intervention sequence. Building Research & Information, 1-19
  • Sun, X., May A. & Wang, O.  (2015). The impact of user- and system-initiated personalization on the user experience at large sports events. Applied Ergonomics, 2015, 54, 1–9.
  • Vadodaria, K, Loveday, D and Haines, VJA. (2014). Measured winter and spring-time indoor temperatures in UK homes over the period 1969 to 2010: a review and synthesis. Energy Policy 64: 252-262
  • Pink S, Leder Mackley K, Mitchell V, Hanratty M, Escobar-Tello C, Bhamra T, Morosanu R, Applying the Lens of Sensory Ethnography to Sustainable HCI, Journal ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, Volume 20, Issue 4, Pp. 1-22, Publication date 18 Sep 2013,

Academic & Research staff


PhD & MPhil students

  • Ruby Allen
  • Radhiah Ariffin  (Co-supervised with the School of Civil and Building Engineering)
  • Avi Barush (Co-supervised with Georgraphy)
  • Stuart Cockbill
  • Paula Cosar-Jorda  (Co-supervised with the School of Civil and Building Engineering)
  • Sarah-Anne De-Kremer
  • Nafsika Drosou  (Co-supervised with the School of Civil and Building Engineering)
  • Tulio Maximo
  • Francesco Massarella
  • Ashley Morton (Co-supervised with the School of Civil and Building Engineering)
  • Syed Murad (Co-supervised with School of the Arts, English & Drama)
  • Liliana Rodriguez
  • Kate Simpson  (Co-supervised with the School of Civil and Building Engineering)
  • Momoko Tamada – (Co-supervised with School of the Arts, English & Drama) 
  • Kate Van-Lopik (Co-supervised with the Wolfson School)