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Dr Marta E. Cecchinato


Department: Computer and Information Sciences

Marta E. Cecchinato is a Lecturer in the Department of Computer and Information Science at Northumbria University, working in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). 

Before taking up this post, Marta has worked at the UCL Interaction Centre (UCLIC) and at Microsoft Research Cambridge, as well as at Helsinki University and HIIT (Helsinki Institute for Information Technology) in Finland. She has a BSc and MSc in Psychology from University of Padua (Italy) and a PhD in HCI at UCLIC.

Her research interests are around productivity and wellbeing in the digital age, ranging from how to manage information (e.g. storing and retrieving data), how to make sense of data (e.g. reflecting on data logs), how to cope with being constantly connected and available (e.g. managing emails, interruptions, and work-home boundaries) to how to support users who struggle in these areas (e.g. developing targeted interventions and digital strategies). Her current work focuses on understanding the impact that communication technologies have on people’s work-life balance, and particularly on understanding how people manage their availability across multiple devices and retain control in an age of attention economy.

In her research, she takes a pragmatic approach to situated studies, combining contextual inquiry, ethnographic methods, as well as off-the-shelf logging tools and rapid prototyping. Her work has published in top tier HCI conferences and has been featured in the New Scientist, The Conversation and The Psychologist.

Personal website

Campus Address

CIS 307


PhD in Human-Computer Interaction (UCL Interaction Centre, UK)

MSc in Social and Communication Psychology (University of Padua, Italy)

BSc in Personality and Interpersonal Relationship Psychology (University of Padua, Italy)

Current and Recent Projects

Enhancing wellbeing and resilience in junior doctors (iWARDS) (project collaborator, 2017-2018) - funded by UCL Grand Challenges, £4,000. 

The Role of Microboundaries in Work-Life Balance (PI, 2016-2017) – funded by EPSRC Balance Network (EP/K025619/1), £2,448.

LifeSwap Workshops (Co-I, 2015-2016) – funded by EPSRC Balance Network (EP/K025619/1), £3,280.

Key Publications and Outputs

Cecchinato, M. E., Cox, A. L., & Bird, J. (2017). Always On(line)? User Experience of Smartwatches and their Role within Multi-Device Ecologies. In Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3557-3568). ACM.

Cecchinato, M. E., Sellen, A., Shokouhi, M., & Smyth, G. (2016). Finding email in a multi-account, multi-device world. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1200-1210). ACM.Best paper award.

Cox, A. L., Gould, S. J., Cecchinato, M. E., Iacovides, I., & Renfree, I. (2016). Design Frictions for Mindful Interactions: The Case for Microboundaries. In Proceedings of the 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1389-1397). ACM.

Harrison, D., & Cecchinato, M. E. (2015). “Give me five minutes!” Feeling time slip by. In Adjunct Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Joint Conference on Pervasive and Ubiquitous Computing and Proceedings of the 2015 ACM International Symposium on Wearable Computers (pp. 45-48). ACM.

Cecchinato, M. E., Cox, A. L., & Bird, J. (2015). Smartwatches: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly? In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems (pp. 2133-2138). ACM.

Cecchinato, M. E., Cox, A. L., & Bird, J. (2015). Working 9-5? Professional Differences in Email and Boundary Management Practices. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 3989-3998). ACM.

For more publications, please see my Google Scholar profile here.

NRL Link

Professional Activity

Committee member: Technical Program Chair assistant for CHI 2018.

Reviewer: ACM CHI (2015-2018), ACM CSCW (2017), ACM MobileHCI (2017-2018), ACM ToCHI (2016-2017), ACM Ubicomp (2016), BritishHCI (2015), IJHCS (2015).

Professional membership: ACM, SIGCHI, IET.

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

  • Human-Computer Interaction
  •  Social Computing
  • Computer-Mediated Communication
  • Stress and Wellbeing
  • Interruptions
  • Online/Offline Identity
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Wearable computing

Sponsors and Collaborators

EPSRC, Google, Microsoft Research, UCL, University of York


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