Infotech Oulu Annual Report 2011 - Human Interaction with Advanced Mobile Services and Intelligent Environments (INTERACT)

Professor Kari Kuutti, Department of Information Processing Science, University of Oulu
Research Professor Heikki Ailisto, VTT Oulu

kari.kuutti(at), heikki.ailisto(at)

Background and Mission

The research group consists of researchers from the Department of Information Processing Science, and VTT, Advanced Interactive Systems Research Field.

Currently, Human Computer Interaction (HCI) research is facing ever increasing challenges, with advanced mobile services and intelligent environments moving from research laboratories towards everyday use. A smoothly operating and intuitive user interface will be a fundamental element of all successful applications, and an important element in the competition. Mobile services may still bear some resemblance to traditional applications, but new, intelligent, adaptive environments will differ considerably with respect to user interfaces, and the usefulness of old design knowledge will indeed be limited.

The user experience in mobile networks and intelligent environments is less controlled than with traditional applications. This is due to the fragmentation of service provision, which will be composed from parts offered by different providers. Ensuring that this collection will not have a detrimental effect on the user experience is a totally novel design challenge. Moreover, the increase in the number of stakeholders in service provision will make the organising of HCI design even more complex.

Human interfaces and experience with advanced mobile services and intelligent environments will be one of the major design challenges when the systems are moved from research laboratories towards everyday use. The INTERACT research group is addressing this problem area on a number of levels which support each other. On the level of basic research, the group is modelling the use context of advanced services and intelligent environments, and correspondingly envisioning and constructing novel technology architectures needed to provide the optimal user experience in those environments, in a controlled way. The group is also developing and experimenting with novel forms of enhanced multimodal interaction for devices and environments. Additionally, the group is developing new methods and techniques for design interaction in intelligent environments, and constructing test environments where both the interaction techniques and design methods can be tested and validated. Finally, the group is developing methods for the evaluation and improvement of HCI design processes in product development organisations.

The most active research areas during 2011 were the development of computer support for participatory urban design (together with Prof. Hentilä and her laboratory of urban planning), development of touch-based mobile interfaces (Prof. Isomursu and her team), and usability in open-source environment (M. Rajanen).

Scientific Progress

During 2011 the main scientific results were:

  • Touch-based mobile interaction refinement (M. Isomursu and VTT team)
  • Research on usability cost-benefit analysis (M. Rajanen’s PhD thesis)
  • Application of Developmental Work Research method on end-user development (AL Syrjänen ja K. Kuutti)

Exploitation of Results

Dissemination of results - The group has been publishing actively, and additionally the members of the group have been giving talks, presentations and demonstrations on a number of occasions, both in Finland and abroad, in both academic and industry led events. Prof. Kuutti visited Telecom ParisTech in June and gave a series of lectures to researchers and doctoral students. Several short visits from other groups have also been hosted.

Industrial cooperation - A number of Master’s theses have been supervised in cooperation with industry.


professors & doctors


doctoral students




person years (univ. 50% VTT 50%)


External Funding



Academy of Finland

400 000

Ministry of Education and Culture

90 000

domestic private

15 000


50 000


555 000


Doctoral Theses

Rajanen M (2011) Applying usability cost-benefit analysis – explorations in commercial and open source software development contexts. Acta Universitatis Ouluensis. Scientiae Rerum Naturalium 587.

Alahuhta P (2011) Technologies in mobile terminals enabling ubiquitous services. VTT Publications 761.

Selected Publications

Isomursu M, Ervasti M, Kinnula M & Isomursu P (2011) Understanding human values in adopting new technology - A case study and methodological discussion. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies 69(4): 183-200.

Iivari J & Iivari N (2011) Design science research for user-centeredness In: Reframing Humans in Information Systems Development (Eds. Isomäki H-K & Pekkola S). 

Väyrynen K & Kinnula M (2011) Investigating the differences between success factors of conventional IS outsourcing and quasi-outsourcing. Proceedings of the Forty-Fourth Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, (CD-ROM) Computer Society Press.

Syrjänen A-L & Kuutti K (2011) From system development towards work improvement: Developmental work research as a potential partner method for EUD. Proceedings of the 3rd International Symposium of End-User Development (IS-EUD 2011), (Eds. Costabile, Dittrich, Fischer & Piccinno), Lecture Notes in Computer Science 6654, 123-138, Springer Berlin Heidelberg .

Obrist M, Law EL-C, Väänänen-Vainio-Mattila K, Roto V, Vermeeren A & Kuutti K (2011) UX research: what theoretical roots do we build on - if any? CHI 2011 Extended Abstracts Proceedings, 165-168.

Syrjänen A-L & Kuutti K (2011) From technology to domain: the context of work for end-user development. Proceedings of the 2011 iConference, ACM, New York, 244-251.

Last updated: 23.6.2016