Dr Emilene Zitkus is a Lecturer in Design at Loughborough University and an early-career scholar whose expertise is in inclusive design, user-centred and user experience design. She has been teaching at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. After her PhD (EPSRC funded) at the University of Cambridge, when she iteratively co-created inclusive design tools with practitioners, she has been using her user-centred, inclusive design and co-creation skills in research related to accessible interfaces and service design focused on healthy ageing.
Her research expertise in Inclusive Design has been developed during the last 13 years through projects developed within partners in industry, including Ford and Jaguar-Land Rover and EPSRC projects, including her PhD at the University of Cambridge.
Emilene is a member of the editorial board of Design for Health journal; visiting Lecturer at UNESP; a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She has experience in research management and development, as well as industrial experience in the automotive industry and automated technology industry, where she worked for more than 10 years and generated some design patents.
Dr Emilene Zitkus' research interests have been driven by the need for a more accessible and inclusive design of interfaces, services and products. Her current research investigates a great variety of accessibility issues affecting older adults’ users of public healthcare services. It takes an inclusive design, user-centred and user experience approach to investigate ways to improve healthcare provisions. A recent research partnership with School of Public Health of University of Sao Paulo (USP), School of Computer Science of Federal University of Lavras (UFLA) and Federal University of Healthcare Science of Porto Alegre (UFCSPA) has been looking at accessibility and equity of healthcare services provided to older adults in Brazil.
In a recently funded project (FAPESP BRL177,398) she is looking at losses of capability among people aged 60 and beyond and the relationship between the accessibility of healthcare digital interface.
2021 - FAPESP ‘Usability of Interactive Systems with the Internet of Things to Control Smart Homes and Health Monitoring for Elderly People’ (BRL 177,398) - Co-Investigator.
Emilene is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and teaches at undergraduate (design, industrial design and user-centred design) and postgraduate levels (MA/ MSc User Experience; MSc Integrated Industrial Design, MSc Human Factors) on a number of modules:
- DSP 803 - Design for Inclusivity (module leader)
- DSC 201 - Inclusive Design
- DSC 029 - Final Year User-Centred Design Practice - Prototyping and Evaluation (module leader)
- DSC 026 - Final Year Design Practice of the Industrial and Product Design Undergraduate Programmes.
- DSC 027 - Industrial Design Major Project
- DSC 028 - Final Year User-Centred Design Practice
- DSP811 – User Experience Industry Project
- DSP 118 – Interaction and Experience Design
- DSP114 – Human Factors for Inclusive Design
- DSP859 – Integrated Industrial Design Major Project
- Placement Tutor
Emilene is a member of Editorial Board of the Design for Health journal, an external examiner of MPhil at the University of Sheffield, and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy.
Emilene welcomes applications for doctoral studies related to design for healthy ageing, inclusive design, design for inclusive healthcare services and interfaces. Current PhD supervisions include:
- Jiayin Guan: 'A new model to motivate older adults to participate in physical activities.'
- Petra Salaric: 'Fostering intimacy-building in the early stages of relationships in online communication environments: Towards a design for wellbeing approach'
- Jane Higgs: 'Design for Resilient Health Care: Investigating patient and carer roles in paediatric healthcare systems'
Completed PhD supervisions include:
- Paula Poiet (co-supervised with Vania Valente, UNESP)