I am a PhD candidate at the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interfaces at the University of Melbourne. My research uses social science methodologies to understand how people experience and make sense of their increasingly virtualised world.
For my PhD, I study how people use voice interfaces to speak to virtual characters, from intelligent assistants such as Siri to game characters such as Lara Croft. With luck, this work will help to make future voice interfaces smoother, simpler and less galling to use. Along the way, there is a lot to learn about people and their sometimes affectionate, sometimes adversarial relationship with technology.
In addition to voice interface design, I have studied player behaviour in online games, and experiences of immersion, embodiment and subjectivity in single-player games.
Outside academia, I have several years of experience as a research consultant and innovation manager at one of Australia's leading market research agencies. As a consultant I managed award-winning, quantitatively-driven research programs spanning multiple countries, and presented recommendations to the executives and boards of several of Australia's most iconic brands. As a manager I oversaw a small team of software developers designing customised in-house information systems for data analysis and automated infographic production.
At other times, I have hosted a radio show on 3RRR, reported on federal politics for Express Media, managed the volunteer team at the Freeplay Independent Games Festival, written for websites including Kotaku and had photographs exhibited at the Melbourne Museum. When not doing any of these things, I am usually found playing tennis, mulling over a board game or catching up on Twitter.
Allison, F. (2016). 'Are You Out of Your Mind? Focalization in Digital Games'. Transactions of the Digital Games Research Association, 2(3), 31-60. Digital Games Research Association.
Allison, F., Carter, M. & Gibbs, M. (2016). 'A History of Voice Interaction in Games.' In Abstract Proceedings of DiGRA/FDG 2016. Digital Games Research Association.
Carter, M., Allison, F., Downs, J., & Gibbs, M. (2015). 'Player Identity Dissonance and Voice Interaction in Games.' In Proceedings of CHI Play 2015 (pp. 265-269). ACM Press.
Allison, F., Carter, M. & Gibbs, M. (2015). 'Good Frustrations: The Paradoxical Pleasure of Fearing Death in DayZ.' In Proceedings of OzCHI 2015 (pp. 119-123). ACM Press.
Allison, F. (2015). 'Whose Mind is the Signal? Focalization in Video Game Narratives.' In Proceedings of DiGRA 2015. Digital Games Research Association.
Allison, F. (2010). 'The Prosthetic Imagination: Immersion in Mirror's Edge.' Bachelor of Communication (Professional Communication) (Honours). RMIT University. Supervised by Dr Gaye Swinn, Dr Adrian Miles.
Presentations and Workshops
October 2016. 'Human-AI Interaction in Minecraft.' Seminar at The University of Melbourne Interaction Design Lab, Melbourne, Australia.
December 2015. 'Voice and the Virtual Experience: Voice Interaction Between Users and Characters.' Doctoral Consortium at OzCHI 2015, Melbourne, Australia.
October 2015. 'User Experiences of Voice Interaction in Games: Identity, Power and Control.' Invited Talk at UCL Interaction Centre, London, UK.
October 2015. 'The False Dichotomy Between Positive and Negative Affect in Game Play.' Workshop at CHI Play 2015, London, UK.
May 2015. 'Kidnapping in DayZ.' University of Tampere Game Research Lab Spring Seminar, Tampere, Finland.
See my LinkedIn profile for a full professional history and references.
Academic Experience and Service
2017. Tutor and Guest Lecturer, undergraduate subject: 'Media and Communications Research Project' (MECM30015), The University of Melbourne.
2016. Guest Lecturer, undergraduate subject: 'Internet Meets Society' (UNIB10005), The University of Melbourne.
2016. Research Assistant (interviewer) for project: 'Zoo Visitor Perceptions of Digital Enrichment for Animals', The University of Melbourne.
2015-16. Peer Reviewer for CHI, DIS, CHI PLAY, DiGRA/FDG and OzCHI.
2015. Tutor (assessment), postgraduate subject: 'Impact of Digitisation' (ISYS90051), The University of Melbourne.
2016. Interaction Design Lab Manager, The University of Melbourne.
2014. Service Innovation Workshop Designer & Facilitator, Studio Thick.
2013-14. Manager, Technology & Digital Innovation, Forethought Research.
2011-13. Consultant, Forethought Research.
2011. Business Analyst, Forethought Research.
2010-11. Communications Manager & Political Reporter, Express Media.
2007. Radio Presenter & Producer, 3RRR.
2015-2018 (expected). Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in HCI, The University of Melbourne.
2009-2010. Bachelor of Professional Communication (Honours), RMIT University, Melbourne.
2005-2007. Bachelor of Professional Communication, RMIT University.
Scholarships and Awards
2015—2018 (expected). Microsoft Research Centre for Social NUI Top-Up Scholarship, The University of Melbourne.
2015—2018 (expected). Australian Postgraduate Award, The University of Melbourne.
2007. Eastgate Prize for Hypermedia, RMIT University.
2005. Herald & Weekly Times Award for Journalism, RMIT University.