New project on digitising intelligent card-based tools

Dr Lachlan Urquhart is part of a recently awarded Universitas 21 project. Led by the University of Nottingham’s Mixed Reality Lab and partnering with the University of Edinburgh and Shanghai Jiaotong University, the project seeks to digitise intelligent card-based tools.

Card-based methods have become established as valuable tools in the early stages of the system design process. Similar to decks of playing cards, their physical nature allows designers to engage in a tactile way with contextual information, helping to drive and democratise design efforts for multiple users and across multiple disciplines.

The project builds on the work of the Cardographer project, which involves a mobile app for digitally tracking decks of cards covering topics including design, cultural heritage, ethics, policy-making, and data protection. The decks are integrated with the Cardographer platform that captures and digitises their usage and produces data-driven visualisations and analytics.

Dr Urquhart will lead on one of the three online user studies strands, based on the Moral-IT card decks he developed as part of research at the Horizon Digital Economy Research Institute, which were created to enable structured reflection on legal, ethical, technical and social implications of new information technologies.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been the impetus for the extension of the project, as the use of such card decks have been part of physical workshops not currently feasible in the current global situation. The ultimate goal will be to develop accessible and agile digital versions of the Cardographer card tools to be distributed and used by participants regardless of where they are in the world.