I'm a Research Fellow and Digital Media Advisor at The University of Melbourne and Science Gallery Melbourne. I have a keen interest in investigating democratic use of technology in public space. I conduct design research to uncover design parameters that stimulate activation, participation and engagement with technology.
In this paper, we investigate the potential of controlled in- the-wild studies as an evaluation methodology that merges the benefits of lab-based and in-the-wild studies. Our exploratory investigation builds upon a comparative, between subject experiment benchmarking different interaction features of a custom public installation that visualized a series of urban datasets. In order to evaluate the usefulness of the in-the-wild versus the controlled in-the- wild methodologies, we compared the resulting findings in terms of participant engagement, insight generation, and social interaction. We propose that a controlled in-the-wild study offers a viable alternative when evaluating more complex interaction methods in public space, hereby potentially reducing the practical efforts of in-the-wild studies to involve participants.