profile

Wei Zhao

PhD Student in Human-computer Interaction

Hello! I’m a PhD student in the Human-computer Interaction Group at the University of Melbourne. I'm supervised by Associate Professor Jenny Waycott, Dr Ryan Kelly, and Dr Melissa Rogerson. My current research topic is about designing for the social engagement of older adults living independently. Research Interests: Human-computer Interaction, Computer-supported Cooperative Work, Social Computing, Ageing and Technology, Digital Health, Mixed Reality.

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Latest publications:

Waycott, J., Zhao, W., Kelly, R., & Robertson, E. (2021). Technology-Mediated Enrichment in Aged Care: Survey and Interview Study. JMIR aging.

Zhao, W., Baker, S., & Waycott, J. (2020). Challenges of Deploying VR in Aged Care: A Two-Phase Exploration Study. In 32nd Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 87-98).

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Projects.

Designing Digital Technologies for Older Adults’ Online Social Engagement in Personally Meaningful Activities

The aim of this research is to understand how digital technologies should be designed to support older adults' online social engagement in personally meaningful activities. We will use a Research through Design approach to explore the research questions, which employs the methods and processes of design practices with the intention of generating new knowledge. The results of the research will include the design and evaluation of a prototype of a system for older adults’ online social engagement in personally meaningful activities. It will also reveal design opportunities and considerations for older adults’ future online engagement in social activities.

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Using digital technologies to maintain the social engagement of older adults living independently: experiences from COVID-19

This study aims to investigate how older adults have been using technologies to maintain social engagement, especially during COVID-19 lockdowns, and to understand their experiences and perceptions of technology-mediated social engagement. COVID-19 has created opportunities for activities to be organised in digital forms. To inform the design of future tools to support older adults’ social engagement, it is crucial to understand the innovative practices that enabled older adults to stay socially engaged, and to gain insight into older adults’ experiences with online social activities.

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Emerging Technologies for Enrichment in Old Age: A Critical Perspective

The overall goal of this project is to generate knowledge about older adults’ experiences with emerging technologies used for social and emotional enrichment. Through in-depth investigations, this research program seeks to identify empirically informed strategies for good practice in the design and deployment of emerging technologies for enrichment in old age. Here is a recent news article published on Australian Ageing Agenda about this project: Tech Design Needs to Focus on Residents.

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Challenges of Deploying VR in Aged Care: A Two-Phase Exploration Study

OzCHI '20: 32nd Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction

This is a master project that aimed to explore the challenges of deploying VR technology in aged care settings. Phase one involved a thematic analysis of video recordings of 14 VR sessions, during which five residents of an aged care facility were invited to experience and interact with VR systems. Phase two aimed to explore the challenges further by analyzing semi-structured interviews with 11 staff members who had experience in coordinating VR activities in aged care homes. The results revealed a range of issues that need to be considered when deploying VR systems in aged care settings.

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Education.

  • 2021-2024

    Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering and IT), The University of Melbourne, Australia

    My PhD research is in the field of Human-computer Interaction. I'm interested in the use of digital technologies for the social engagement of older adults living independently.

  • 2018-2020

    Master of Information Technology with Distinction, The University of Melbourne, Australia

    Core Subjects: Evaluating the User Experience, Fieldwork for Design, Designing Novel Interactions, Mobile Application Development, Web Information Technologies, Java Programming, Algorithm, Database Management, Computer Network, Distributed System, HCI project.

  • 2014-2018

    Bachelor of Public Relations, Communication and Media Studies, Sun Yat-sen University, China

    Core Subjects: Social Psychology, Digital Media Technology, Communication Theory, VI Design, Advertising, Interpersonal Communication, Marketing, Corporate Crisis Management, Social Science Research Methods, Big Data Analysis, Visual Cultural Studies.
    Academic Performance: Top 5% / 2016-2017 Outstanding Student Scholarship.

Experience.

Research Assistant

I'm working as a research assistant in a research project that explores the use of digital technologies for social enrichment and connection in aged care.

I'm working as a research assistant in a research project that explores the use of digital technologies for social enrichment and connection in aged care. The overall goal of this project is to generate knowledge about older adults’ experiences with emerging technologies used for social and emotional enrichment. Through in-depth investigations, this research program seeks to identify empirically informed strategies for good practice in the design and deployment of emerging technologies for enrichment in old age. Knowledge generated will inform the future ethical design and use of emerging technologies to benefit the social and emotional wellbeing of older adults, particularly those in advanced old age.

Emerging Technologies for Enrichment in Old Age: A Critical Perspective

Academic Peer Review

I have experience in reviewing papers for a number of conferences and journals in the field of human-computer interaction, including OzCHI 2020, CSCW 2021, and Australasian Journal on Ageing.

I have experience in reviewing papers for a number of conferences and journals in the field of human-computer interaction, including OzCHI 2020, CSCW 2021, and Australasian Journal on Ageing. I'm particuarly experienced in reviewing HCI research papers using qualitative methods, such as interview or ethnographic studies.

Student Volunteer

I'm actively participating in student volunteering at academic conferences. I have participated in student volunteering of HCI major conferences, including CHI and CSCW.

I'm actively participating in student volunteering at academic conferences. I volunteered in the accessibility support group at CHI 2021 conference. The CHI 2021 was organised online and reached the highest number of audience (5000+) in its history. My main responsibilities included accessibility standby, accessibility session support and quick response. I was also a student volunteer of the CSCW 2021 conference. My main job duty includes sesson support and quick responses.

UX/UI Design

I have internship experience as a UX/UI designer. I'm familiar with mainstream tools used in the industry, including Adobe XD, Sketch, and Adobe PS.

I was involved in the design and development process of LitFitness, a fitness mobile app. I was mainly responsible for competitor research and analysis, product function design, UI interface design and product usability optimization. My product deliveries included competitor analysis report and UI design proposal.

Research Interests: Human-computer Interaction, Computer-supported Cooperative Work, Social Computing, Ageing and Technology, Mixed Reality.

Digital Marketing

I have work experience in the field of digital marketing. My role included management of social media accounts, creation of video and texual promotional content, and competitor analysis.

I was responsible for managing several digital marketing platforms including WeChat and YouTube. I built a WeChat public account from scratch and gained 3000+ followers and over 100,000 views. The YouTube Channel I created gained more than 10,000 views and 2,000 followers. The marketing platforms generated numerous high-quality business consultations that contributed to sales numbers.

Teaching.

Contact.

wzhao10@student.unimelb.edu.au Google Scholar Page ORCID: 0000-0002-4025-6639
  • Level 5, Melbourne Connect
  • 700 Swanston Street, Carlton, 3053
  • The University of Melbourne, Australia