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Usable Image

School of Computing, University of Dundee, UK

Catriona Macaulay Catriona Macaulay is co-investigator and research manager for the Usable Image project. She has a BA in Communication Studies, an MSc in Information Systems and a PhD in Computing. Between her BA and MSc studies Catriona worked outside academe - in broadcast news analysis, community work of various kinds, and international emergency relief work. All of that got her very interested in how information systems can help or hinder work. By trade she is what is known as a 'design ethnographer' - i.e. she conducts field studies and other forms of detailed investigation of real world work practices to inform the design of information systems. Catriona led the set up of the Interactive Media Design degree programme at Dundee University - an innovative undergraduate programme that crosses the Schools of Design and Computing. She is also a director of the Interaction Design Lab, a £220,000 inter-disciplinary research facility founded in 2005. Catriona's specialism is design ethnography. As the mother of 2 small boys Catriona can't remember what 'spare time' is but she thinks she used to like photography, writing and sailing around Scotland's beautiful coast.

Past OME Collaborators at Usable Image

Scott Loynton — Scott has moved to work on OMERO for the Swedlow Lab.

Paula Forbes Paula Forbes became interested in biological imaging during her PhD at the University of Edinburgh. Imaging comprised a large component of her research into the effect of changing climate on plant/fungal root interactions. She has been working part-time at the Applied Computing Department at Dundee University for the past 2 1/2 years, initially on a project looking at how to improve computing for older people. This prompted an interest in Human Computer Interaction which lead to her undertaking an MSc in Applied Computing part-time whilst still working within the department. This has been very time consuming but she is almost there. More recently she has become involved in the Usable Image project, which has enabled her to combine her interests of computing and biology. She is hoping to write up a part of this work as the research thesis of her Applied Computing MSc. She originally studied Applied Biology at the University of Hull, followed by an MSc at the University of Aberdeen. In her free time she enjoys skiing, also painting and drawing and growing things she can eat in her garden and polytunnel. She also spends quite a few weekends in cold muddy fields either watching her son compete at motocross or her daughter riding.

Xinyi Jiang As the Usable Image team's design ethnographer, Xinyi Jiang explores qualitative socio-cultural approaches in bioscience and software developing environments. Xinyi came from an interdisciplinary background of the humanities, cultural studies and social sciences. She holds a BA Hons (Nanjing University) and MA (Fudan University) in English literature and PhD in media and cultural studies (Cardiff University). Previously she was a researcher with the Health Protection Agency (London), Cardiff University, Nottingham Trent University, and a lecturer with Fudan University (Shanghai), where she delved into discourse analysis of literature and media as well as qualitative informed studies especially on gender, risk, migration, identity, community and health. She wishes she could read, write and travel more, draw and cook better, and speak fluent French.

David Sloan David Sloan is the Interaction Designer for the Usable Image Project. He is also project lead of the Digital Media Access Group, a research and consultancy unit based in the University of Dundee's School of Computing, and specialising in providing advice on accessibility and inclusive web and software design to commercial clients. He currently co-ordinates the University of Dundee Web Accessibility service, and completed his PhD in 2006, investigating web accessibility evaluation and education techniques. David originally trained as a cartographer, graduating BSc (Hons) in Topographic Science at Glasgow University. He worked as a database cartographer for 4 years with mapmakers Bartholomew (HarperCollins Cartographic) before coming to Dundee, initially to complete an MSc in Applied Computing, and then joining the Disability and Information Systems in Higher Education (DISinHE) project. Outside of work, David feeds his addiction to maps through the sport of orienteering, and was chairman of the local club Tayside Orienteers from 2002 to 2006; he also enjoys football and curling. Other interests including spending time with his family, cooking, listening to music and drinking nice wine, ideally all at the same time.


Development of Usable Image is supported by the EPSRC (Grant EP/D050014/1)

Further Information

The Usable Image project had its own web site located at

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