Skip navigation

Prof John Vines


Department: Northumbria School of Design

Before joining Northumbria School of Design as a Professor I was an academic at Open Lab, Newcastle University, with whom I still have many ongoing collaborations. Prior to this I have held post-doctoral positions at both Newcastle (2012-2014) and Northumbria (2010-2012) Universities, and conducted my PhD research at the University of Plymouth (2007-2010).

My research focuses on the study of how people experience, appropriate and use digital technologies in their everyday lives. I often take a research through design approach, which for me involves designing new digital prototypes, artefacts and “things” with citizens, and studying the creation and use of these prototypes to generate knowledge that is both valuable to designers and advances our understanding of social phenomena. I am specifically interested in how technology is interwoven with issues such as independence and agency in later life, could support informal and relational care for people of all ages, and might help scaffold “friendly” and “caring” communities. I also have experience and ongoing interests in human experience and technology design as it relates to self-care, trust, security and empathic communication. Generally, I’m intrigued by the ways in which digital technologies might support new interactions and engagements between people in relation to these issues, rather than be used to replace human contact (as is often the case).

Along with the above, a large amount of my research examines the practical and ethical dimensions of conducting participatory design (and participatory research in general) with citizens, especially in sensitive contexts and with people with heightened vulnerabilities. Therefore I have an ongoing interest in understanding the methods and techniques used for involving people in design and research processes, and have been involved in a series of professional events and journal special issues unpicking the ethical encounters faced when conducting participatory and technology oriented research with participants.

I am currently working on a range of projects involving the design of technologies with communities, examining issues (among others) such as social isolation among carers, intergenerational conversation around dementia, advice and information sharing in health support groups, advocacy and the measuring of outcomes in charities, and community decision making around care services. More details can be found on my personal website:

Campus Address

Squires Building 306C
City Campus


  • Design Studies PhD Ageing Futures: Towards Cognitively Inclusive Digital Media Products July 01 2011
  • Associate Fellow (AFHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2016

Key Publications

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Making the blockchain civic, Elsden, C., Gloerich, I., Spaa, A., Vines, J., De Waal, M. 1 Mar 2019
  • Programmable Donations, Elsden, C., Trotter, L., Harding, M., Davies, N., Speed, C., Vines, J. 6 Feb 2019, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
  • Recipes for Programmable Money, Elsden, C., Feltwell, T., Lawson, S., Vines, J. 5 Feb 2019, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
  • JourneyCam: Exploring Experiences of Accessibility and Mobility among Powered Wheelchair Users through Video and Data, Rodger, S., Jackson, D., Vines, J., McLaughlin, J., Wright, P. 4 Feb 2019, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
  • Understanding the Boundaries between Policymaking and HCI, Spaa, A., Durrant, A., Elsden, C., Vines, J. 2 Feb 2019, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
  • Designing Second-Screening Experiences for Social Co-Selection and Critical Co-Viewing of Reality TV, Feltwell, T., Wood, G., Rowland, S., Long, K., Elsden, C., Brooker, P., Vines, J., Briggs, P., Barnett, J., Lawson, S. 30 Jan 2019, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
  • Designing Technologies with Older Adults, Waycott, J., Vines, J. 10 Jan 2019, Ageing and Digital Technology, Springer
  • Designing for Digital Playing Out, Wood, G., Dylan, T., Durrant, A., Torres, P., Ulrich, P., Carr, A., Cukurova, M., Downey, D., McGrath, P., Ferguson, A., Vines, J., Balaam, M., Lawson, S. 10 Dec 2018, ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems 2019
  • Coping with loneliness at University, Vasileiou, K., Barnett, J., Barreto, M., Vines, J., Atkinson, M., Long, K., Bakewell, L., Lawson, S., Wilson, M. 29 Nov 2018, In: Mental Health and Prevention
  • Key Crowdsourcing Technologies for Product Design and Development, Niu, X., Qin, S., Vines, J., Wong, R., Lu, H. 27 Sep 2018, In: International Journal of Automation and Computing


Northumbria Open Days

Open Days are a great way for you to get a feel of the University, the city of Newcastle upon Tyne and the course(s) you are interested in.

Research at Northumbria

Research at Northumbria

Research is the life blood of a University and at Northumbria University we pride ourselves on research that makes a difference; research that has application and affects people's lives.


Order your prospectus

If you would like to know more about our courses, or life in general as a student at Northumbria, then we can help you.

Latest News and Features

Life after BREXIT – Day 1

The future prosperity of the North East of England post Brexit is the subject of a major one-day…

More news
More events

Upcoming events

Newcastle University Spring Recruitment Fair 2019
EY LLP - Skills Workshop
Hay & Kilner Assessment Centre

Back to top