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About us

The HCI group of School of Digital Technologies was established in 2009. We are a team of researchers, post-docs, PhD and master students who carry out research in areas of distributed user interfaces and brain-computer interaction, trust, wellbeing, design theory and methods.

The group is also responsible for the master’s program in Human-Computer Interaction (since 2009) and a joint masters program in Interaction Design (together with Cyprus University of Technology, since 2016). The HCI group is running several labs, including interaction design lab, user experience evaluation lab and a hardware prototyping lab. HCI group members participate in the work of the Centre of Excellence in Media Innovation and Digital Culture as well as in the Centre of Excellence in Education Innovation, both bringing together researchers from different disciplines within the university.

The team

  • david profile pic
    David Lamas
    Professor of Interaction Design

    David Lamas is a professor of interaction design and head of the HCI group. His main research interests are design theory and methodologies, and he has been designing organisations, communities and human technologies, systems and more since his post-doc at Michigan State University as a member of the MIND Labs network. He has done so in the USA, UK, Portugal, Cape Verde, and recently in Mozambique, Afghanistan and Estonia, developing through his experiences an acute understanding of how to shape and lead transformation processes. CV and publications in ETIS.

  • sonia profile pic
    Sónia Sousa
    Associate Professor

    Sónia is an Associate Professor and Researcher of Interaction Design. Since her post-doc projects in Tallinn University and Aberta University, she has been focusing on exploring the role of Trust in technologically enhanced contexts. Her research evolves around the Trust socio-technical model and Human-computer Interaction. She teaches multiple courses for the master program and supervises doctoral projects. CV and publications in ETIS.

  • Ilja profile pic
    Ilya Shmorgun
    Associate Professor

    Ilya is an Associate Professor of Interaction Design and the head of the HCI master program. Ilja holds a BSc degree in Computer Science, a MSc degree in Interactive Media and Knowledge Environments, and he finished his PhD studies in the HCI group. His research focuses on the design of body-centric interactions. Ilja teaches several Bachelor and Master level courses including Concept Mapping and Prototyping, Mobile Interactions, Experimental Interaction Design, Usability, Accessibility and User-Centred Design, Ambient and Ubiquitous Computing, and Developing Interactive Systems. CV and publications in ETIS.

  • Mati profile pic
    Mati Mõttus

    Having radio engineer’s education, graphic designer’s and photography background, Mati finished his doctoral studies in the HCI group. Now, as a lecturer, his research focuses on physiological computing. He spends most of his time teaching HCI master students and in the lab, trying to reveal how aesthetics is related to interaction qualities. CV and publications in ETIS.

  • Vladimir Tomberg
    Associate Professor

    Vladimir is an Associate Professor and researcher who focuses on ubicomp and wellbeing. He is teaching numerous courses for the master program and coordinating the Experimental Interaction Design courses in Tallinn Summer School. CV and publications in ETIS

  • aleksander profile pic
    Aleksander Väljamäe
    Associate Professor

    Aleksander is an associate professor in physiological computing. His psychophysiology research concerns how audiovisual media influence humans on perceptual, cognitive and emotional levels, with particular stress on the novel methods for diagnosis and treatment of various brain disorders (e.g. depression, migraine) and new applications (Brain-Computer Interfaces, neurocinema). CV and publications in ETIS.

  • daniel profile
    Daniel Irabien Peniche
    Lab manager and master student

    Daniel is a writer and and storyteller. He has done film, animation, theatre, radio, been a college professor and worked as a project manager. He reads, watches and listens voraciously. He is fascinated by technology and media and loves working with a team of talented people building great products and amazing the world.

  • julia profile pic
    Yulia Zhiglova
    PhD student

    Yulia is a PhD student and her research focuses on the design of distributed body-centric haptic interfaces. She enjoys teaching workshops on basics of electronic textiles and wearables to children. CV and publications in ETIS

  • hanna profile pic
    Hanna-Liisa Pender
    PhD student

    Hanna-Liisa is a PhD student and her research interests include design process and design methods, especially in transdisciplinary teams and art&science context. She teaches Design theory and methodology to HCI master program students. CV and publications in ETIS.

  • joanna picture
    Joanna Rutkowska
    PhD student

    Joanna is a PhD student and her interests evolve around design research. She likes listening to people and observing them. It's an honor and a pleasure to be present in their everyday lives, learn from them and transform the discoveries into actionable design ideas. She is a deep thinker and careful observer with the ability to link theory to practice. She is a promoter of the designerly way of doing research. CV and publications in ETIS

  • taavet profile pic
    Taavet Jansen
    PhD student

    Taavet is a PhD student focusing on physiological computing in art and science collaboration context. He is also a choreographer, programmer and interdisciplinary artist who works simultaneously in theatre and electronic art and audiovisual scenes.

  • amir profile pic
    Amir Zare Pashaei
    PhD student

    Amir's research focuses on Infrastructuring Human-Body Based Multi-Sensory Interactions. He is an experienced IT professional with more than 7 years of experience of working in various roles in and outside IT. He can express complicated technical subjects in an easily digestible form. CV and publications in ETIS

  • Ilkka Johannes Kosunen

    Ilkka is doing research on physiological computing since 2006. He is an expert in building real-time adaptive systems based on psychophysiological signals such as EDA, EMG, EEG, ECG, etc., as well as magneto-and accelerometers, eye-trackers, depth-cameras, microphones, and light sensors. CV and publications in ETIS

  • mustafa profile pic
    Mustafa Can Özdemir
    PhD student

    Mustafa is a PhD student and his primary focus is on Consumer Neuroscience on mobile platforms. The main goal of his research would be to find the optimum frequency, timing, and duration of mobile-ads in order to achieve maximum efficiency. CV and publications in ETIS

  • Sid profile pic
    Siddharth Nakul Gulati
    PhD student

    Sid is a Phd student and the focus of his research is to understand the role of trust in user engagement. His main goal is to develop evaluation frameworks in the form of empirical models or scales which can be used to monitor trust levels of users during their interactions with a technological artifact. This work stems from the motivation that despite repeated trust breaches in the online environment, there has been little change in the behavior of people. CV and publications in ETIS


  • Isaías Barreto da Rosa

    Isaias conducted his post-doc research in the HCI group from 2011-2013, he was also a lecturer for the HCI masters programme. His post-doc research topic was Bridging the Digital Divide with Mobile Digital Libraries (CV and publications in ETIS). Isaias is currently the ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) Commissioner for Telecommunications and Information Technologies, since February 2014.

  • Syed Ghayas Uddin

    Ghayas visited IDLAB in fall 2013 for two months. Ghayas is from Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Malaysia. He was working on his research topic - Design Guidelines of Mobile Phone Applications Interfaces to Improve Learnability.

  • Sebastian H.D. Fiedler
    Post-doc researcher

    Dr. Sebastian H.D. Fiedler was a PostDoc researcher at the Institute of Informatics in 2012-2013. His research interests include User Experience Design, Informal & Workplace Learning, Personal Learning Environments, Intervention Research, Cultural-Historical Activity Theory and Adult Education. CV and publications in ETIS

  • Veronika Rogalevich
    Alumni (PhD student)

    Veronika is educational technologist in Tallinn University E-learning Centre and she was a PhD student in Information Society Technologies program. Veronika's research interests are connected to educational technologies: creating, using and distributing e-learning content, content aggregation and personalisation. Veronika teaches Learning Management Systems for Educational Technology's master program and a Digital Literacy course at TLU Haapsalu College. CV and publications in ETIS.

  • Abiodun Ogunyemi
    Alumni (PhD student)

    Aboiodun is a Research Analyst and Project Manager at Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) in Hannover, Germany. In 2014-2018 he was a doctoral student of Information Society Technologies at the Institute of Informatics, Tallinn University. His research topic was related to Uptake of HCI implementation by Software Development Industry. His research effort is to identify the gaps between the HCI and Software Engineering fields and understand how and why these gaps have affected human software design and development over time. CV and publications in ETIS.

  • Arman Arakelyan
    Alumni (PhD student)

    Arman is a Adjunct Professor at American University of Armenia. He was a doctoral student of Information Society Technologies program from 2013-2018. His multilayered background includes IT consulting and management in the academic, non-profit and business spheres. Arman focused his research on Sustainable HCI and more specifically on Sustainable Interaction Design. He is interested in those aspects of IT solutions that aim to decelerate production and obsolescence cycles and contribute to the prolonged use of devices through software that runs on them. CV and publications in ETIS.