RESCUE research on social media use in emergencies

WP5 kickoff for usability study

by Hallvard

The Finnish team involved in work package 5 (WP5) in the RESCUE project recently kicked off 2016 with a meeting where the layout of an upcoming usability study was discussed.

The idea within WP5 is to make sure that usability aspects are included in the products and concepts developed within the European RESCUE project. Usability is about designing things according to what the intended user needs and wants, instead of forcing the user to change one’s habits in accordance with how the product was designed.

One way to investigate usability is to test how easy it is to use unfinished prototypes of products, and then continue designing according to what the tests have shown. This is one of the strategies used in the RESCUE project.

The testing methods we use consist of collecting a combination of interviews and similar subjective data, as well as eye movements, level of frustration, and other forms of objective data. This is done while the participant tries out the prototype. For each study, the research team decides about the perfect combination of methods after talking to product developers and having a look at the whereabouts of the prototype. And as this was the main topic of the WP5 kickoff in January, we’ll post an update with study results after collecting the first wave of data later this Spring.

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RESCUE Workshop in Graz (Austria)

by evagold

On 24th and 25th April the third RESCUE consortium meeting took place in Austria.

The main project researchers and some more colleagues from Graz had a productive workshop presenting and discussing works-in-progress on the first day. Preliminary results of the different case studies concerning social media with reference to the terrorist attacks in Norway (WP2), the 2013 flooding in central Europe (WP3) and “swine flu”, Ebola and pandemic flu preparedness (WP4) were very conducive to the overall understanding of Social Media in Emergency Situations and the specific mechanisms.

The issues and findings investigating the data collections helped to specify the further research activities under a unique threefold perspective. This was rounded of by the presentation ”Meeting the demons in user-centered design for situational awareness” concerning the psychophysiological reactions to social media (WP5). At the end of the first day Even Westvang joined the meeting online giving current thoughts on WP6: “Developing a system/tool to identify/evaluate trustworthy persons and data in user-generated social media information”.

On Saturday the meeting focused on handling of big social media data and ethics in social media research, e.g. Julian Ausserhofer gave a talk about handling Twitter data and methodological issues. Finally the topic blurred boundaries between journalism and PR and the relevance for the RESCUE research was discussed before the meeting was successfully concluded with thoughts about the next goals and publications.

ap6_online twitterdata

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RESCUE Workshop in Stockholm

by evagold

The RESCUE workshop in Stockholm on 28 November 2014 was rewarding. The project partners had a productive meeting, not least in terms of clarifying immediate project goals.  We presented recent work we’ve done on formulating criteria for social media crisis communication, as  well as our outlines of research protocols for the different work packages.  This work provides important input for the case study protocols.

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