User Experience Researcher
Google, Zurich, Switzerland
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twitter @martigan

About me

I am a User Experience Researcher. I work for Google in Zurich, Switzerland since March 2012. Previously, I worked for almost 4 years at Telefonica Research with Nuria Oliver and Rodrigo de Oliveira, in Barcelona, Spain. I received my PhD in Computer Science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland in June 2008, where I worked for the CRAFT laboratory, under the supervision of Pierre Dillenbourg. At EPFL, I conducted research on collaborative annotations of maps and remote gesturing.

Previously, I worked for two and a half years as a research assistant at the Media Lab Europe (MLE), in Ireland, under the supervision of Carol Strohecker. During this time, I had several study visits at the MIT Media Lab in Boston, where I worked with Bakhtiar Mikhak. I obtained a Master of Arts by Research from St. Patrick's College, Dublin City University, in 2004. My master thesis documented the work I conducted at MLE on Microworlds for Ecology Explorations.

In my former life, I founded a Non-Governmental Organization, Misericordia di Ariccia, to sustain elderly and autistic children in the region south of Rome, Italy.

Research focus

I am interested in research and user experience research positions in an industrial setting. My primary research interests are at the intersection of human-computer interaction (HCI), computer-supported cooperative work (CSCW) and human learning. I seek to design systems that enable people to be better connected and in more flexible and dynamic ways. I am particularly interested in how to empower people through new technology and in giving them the opportunity to better participate in collective initiatives. I am also interested in persuasive computing applications that can improve the users' experience of their daily activities, and propel positive changes in people's behavior. My research interests include: ubiquitous and mobile computing, user modeling, and multimedia systems.


12.2011 − I gave an invited talk at EPFL on conducting user studies in the industry, or the tradeoff between ecological validity and "getting your work done".

09.2011 − I presented our work on contextual applications for smartphones at MobileHCI in Stockholm. The slides of the presentation are available here.

05.2010 − I presented our work on using social networks as delivery networks at Northwestern University, Sonic Lab and at NetSci'10 in Boston. The slides of the talk are available here.

09.2008 − My thesis is now available on the EPFL library.