Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Gabriella Cannon 

MSc Cyberpsychology

My name is Gabriella (Gabi) Cannon (she/her), and I have just completed my MSc in Cyberpsychology at IADT. After working in the tech industry for nearly seven years, I pursued this course to deepen my understanding of the psychological impact of technology and ethical considerations. I specialize in digital accessibility and life-centred design, with a strong frontend development and product design background. In my future career, I aim to apply my skills and knowledge to create inclusive digital spaces for diverse communities.

Design’s Deep Questions: Qualitative Insights from Technology Designers and Researchers on Existential HCI

This thesis investigates how UI/UX practitioners integrate Existential Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) Design principles into their work. Through interviews with seven practitioners, the study identifies three main themes: professional experiences, values and beliefs, and engagement with technology. These themes explore the roles of practitioners, their values in technology design, and their interactions with technologies like social media and artificial intelligence. Using Activity Theory as a theoretical lens, the study examines the dynamic relationship between designers' actions, their tools, and the broader organisational and societal context. This approach helps us understand how existential design can be more effectively incorporated into technology design and research. Despite its insights, the study acknowledges limitations due to its recruitment methods and small sample size, suggesting potential biases. Future research should include diverse methodologies and longitudinal studies within technology organisations to assess the effectiveness of reflective design approaches. Overall, this thesis contributes to the discourse on existential HCI by highlighting the practical challenges and potential for integrating existential design principles in technology design and research.