As a design researcher I work on the development of in-situ and mixed design methods to generate contextualised knowledge of people’s behaviour and experiences around their daily life activities. Contextual knowledge brings into the design process an understanding of the complexity of people’s daily life by connecting different contexts, e.g. social, cultural, environmental, organisational, political, economical, etc. and the influence on people’s behaviour. Considering that context is subject dependent, people need to be actively involved in producing, analysing and sharing it.

By adopting a user-centric innovative approach from the field of Living Lab methodologies, I investigate how data practices can be appropriated by people in their daily life as relevant and meaningful activities. By means of data-enabled tools I let people explore how to report on the what, when, how and why of their actions. I consider this a relevant strategy to design for technologies that will embrace people’s ability to self-manage their daily activities and therefore being able to influence the impact that their actions have on sustainability and well-being.

My main outcomes so far on this endeavour are:

  1. a vision of an in-situ mixed methodology for Living labs (Romero Herrera 2017) in which people are conscious and reflective actors of their activities and are directly connected to design activities by ideating, prototyping, experimenting and evaluating solutions. It introduces three layers of user participation; and the research, participation and technological challenges.
  2. a vision of an adaptive experience sampling platform (Vastenburg and Romero Herrera 2010) that allows researcher to work with a flexible sampling protocol that adapt to the dynamics of reporting in real contexts
  3. a concept of experience tags (Vastenburg and Romero Herrera 2011) to explore triggers, benefits and costs of reporting experiences when sensing data is visualised
  4. a design framework on motivation in self-reporting (Rek, Romero Herrera and van Boeijen 2013) introducing five factors that influence motivation to self-report in older adults
  5. data-enabled tools to support self-reporting in the context of thermal comfort and energy related practices in home (Romero 2017; Romero, Almahmud, Beella and Keyson 2013) and offices (Romero Herrera, Doolaard, Guerra-Santin, Jaskiewicz, and Keyson, 2016) settings to generate contextualised and reflective in-situ knowledge about their daily life behaviour and experiences
  6. a taxonomy of reporting styles at work based on different organisational cultures (Romero Herrera, Doolaard, Guerra-Santin, Jaskiewicz, and Keyson 2018)

My research bases on and contributes to the following research fields: research through design, mixed methods research, experience sampling methods, personal informatics, self-management technologies, user (dis) engagement models. I apply my work in and contribute to the following fields of expertise: energy sustainable consumption and comfort at home and work, independent living of older adults, and healthy living by encouraging physical and social activity and healthy food behaviour.