I’ve been involved in dozens of research projects over the years in different capacities. Most frequently, I took part in the conception and planning stages of new research project ideas or helped out at certain stages of a project, e.g. project management, data collection or data analyses. These projects are not all listed here as they are part of my general tasks as a research assistant.

I actively worked in some research projects over a longer period of time. These include third party funded projects and internal research projects.

Research and Project Interests

  • User Experience of Interactive Media
  • Media Psychology and Media Effect Studies
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Data Visualization and Usability
  • Agile Project Management
  • User-Centered Design and Designsprint Prototyping
  • Experimental Psychology and Communication Research

Current research

  • Effects of Body Image Manipulation in Virtual Reality Environments on Self Image and Ideal Self
  • Measuring the Presence live during a media experience episode through the Breaks in Presence Paradigm using psychophysiological measurements (ECG, GSR, Pupil Dialation, Blinking Behaviour)

Research Projects I actively worked in

  • 2019-2020

    Project Coordinator, Proposal DFG Collaborative Research Centre Hybrid Societies, Chair “Applied Geropsychology and Cognition”, Chemnitz University of Technology.

  • 2016-2017

    Scientific  Coordinator, BMWi EXIST project AirOps,  Chair “Visual Computing”, Chemnitz University of Technology.

  • 2016-2016

    Project Coordinator (Parental Leave Replacement), BMBF project MACeLot, Chemnitz University of Technology.

  • 2012-2015

    PhD Student/Postdoc, DFG Research Training Group “Crossworlds”, Chemnitz University of Technology

  • 2010-2012

    Project Staff, Industry Project “Evaluation System for Customer Satisfaction and Experience”, Brunel GmbH, Bremen, GE with Chair “Media Psychology”, Chemnitz University of Technology

  • 2008-2010

    Research Assistant, internal Research Project “EVE – Exploring Virtual Environments”, Chair “Media Psychology”, Chemnitz University of Technology

  • 2007-2008

    Student Assistant, DFG Project “Hypermedia”, Chair “Media Psychology”, Chemnitz University of Technology

Spatial Mapping in Virtual Enviroments

Dissertation Project, 2014

In my dissertation project, I studied virtual environments and the user experience (UX) of doing specific tasks within these environments. This included a study of how relevant specific spatial cues are for a satisfactory UX and for a high performance in doing these tasks, such as different navigation tasks. The environment has to be adequately designed for the task (no unnecessary spatial cues!), otherwise both UX and performance are lacking. This includes working and learning virtual enviroment, but also video games.

Previous research in games, film or HCI primarily concentrated on direct effects of stereoscopic representation without considering interaction processes between input and output modalities. Recent studies in games found no evidence of enhanced experiences resulting from stereoscopic presentation. They suggest that the percentage of the whole experience that is determined by the stereoscopic presentation is insignificant or very small at best.

I argue that, more specific, UX should only be enriched, if the virtual environments (VE) enable users to meaningfully map mental representations of input space, task/content and output space. Based on the process model of spatial presence formation, mental models (more precisely: spatial situation models; SSM) are constructed during the reception process. The quality of a user’s SSM determines the resulting UX in forms of spatial presence experiences.

The thesis concentrates on mapping of input and output spaces in VE and the tasks that are adequate for this setup to profit in terms of enjoyment, spatial presence, and performance. To explore this, I conducted several experiments with stereoscopic interactive media (computer games and VR simulators) with varying degrees of tasks, task adequacy and naturalness of the user interface to validate a theoretical path model of spatial mapping effects.

Third Party Research Funding

In the past years, I worked on over 20 research proposals for different funding sources in different capacities. This includes projects of all sizes and small to large volumes. The list below shows the successful proposals I worked on which resulted in research grants.

DFG (German Research Foundation)

  • Collaborative Research Centre Hybrid Societies: Humans Interacting with Embodied Technologies #1410/1 (Proposal 2019)
  • Research Training Group Crossworlds #1780/1 (Proposal 2011)

BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research)

  • StayCentered – Methodenbasis eines Assistenzsystems für Centerlotsen (MACeLoT) #16SV7260 (Proposal 2014)

BMWi (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy)

  • Nutzerzentrierte Software für effizientes Airline-Operation-Management (AirOps) EXIST programme #03EGSSN184 (Proposal 2015)

SAB/ESF (Sächsische Aufbaubank-Förderbank/ European Social Fonds)

  • Dynamisches Navigationssystem für körperlich beeinträchtigte Menschen in Komplexgebäuden (DYNAMIK) Junior Research Group #100382183 (Proposal 2019)
  • VisVantage Technologiegründerstipendium for Startup company Acceleration in Saxony (Proposal 2017)

Curriculum Vitae

Research Areas

  • Media and Communication Studies
  • Media Psychology
  • Human Computer Interaction

Research Focus

  • User Experience of Interactive Media
  • Media Effect Studies
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • User-Centered Design and Designsprint Prototyping

Freelance Work

In 2017, I co-founded a startup company. With a team of experts in software and DevOps engineering, I bring my skills to the table in industry projects with Vireso GmbH. Here’s our services in short:

  • Agile software development of desktop, mobile, and server applications
  • Consulting on agile development, process digitization, and continuous integration/deployment of software
  • User-centered visualization of complex process data

Education and Qualifications

  • 2018

    Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Project Management Institute (PMI)

  • 2014

    Graduation doctor philosophiae “Media Psychology”, Chemnitz University of Technology.
    Grade: summa cum laude

  • 2008

    Master of Arts “Media and Communication Studies”, Chemnitz University of Technology
    Grade: 1,0

  • 2006

    Bachelor of Arts “Media and Communication Studies”, Chemnitz University of Technology.
    Grade: 1,3

Memberships in Organizations

  • ICA – International Communication Association (Divisions: Communication and Technology, Game Studies)
  • ECREA – European Communication Research and Education Association (Sections: Audience and Reception Studies, Television Studies, Interpersonal Communication and Social Interaction, Digital Games Research)
  • DGPS – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Psychologie (German Society for Psychology) (Section: Media Psychology)
  • ISPR – International Society for Presence Research
  • PMI – Project Management Institute, association for international project management

Awards and Honors

  • Best Paper Award, International Conference on Advances in Computer-Human Interactions, 2017
  • Top Paper Award, International Communication Association Annual Meeting, Game Studies Division, 2017
  • Best Paper Award, 7th International Conference on Virtual, Augmented and Mixed Reality, 2015
  • Reviewer of the Year 2014 (Journal of Media Psychology)
  • Faculty of Humanities Dissertation award 2014

Reviewer Assignments

Academic journals and conferences I reviewed for
  • Editorial Board of Journal of Media Psychology (JMP)
  • International Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations (IJGCMS)
  • Journal of Communication (JOC)
  • Medien & Kommunikationswissenschaft (M&K)
  • Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
  • Learning and Instruction, The Journal of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI)
  • Imagination, Cognition and Personality (ICR)
  • Journal of Mobile Media & Communication (MMC)
  • Convergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies (CONVERGENCE)
  • International Communication Association Annual Conference (Divisions CAT, IS, GS)
  • Conference of the Media Psychology Division (DGPs)
  • European Communication Research and Education Association Conference (ECREA)
  • Athens Journal of Education (AJE)

Academic Events

Academic events I chaired/co-organized
  • Fachgruppentagung “11th Conference of the Media Psychology Division of the German Society of Psychlogy”, Head of Conference Organization Committee, September 2019, Chemnitz, GE
  • ICA Game Studies Preconference “Games Everywhere, Gaming Everywhere” Head of Conference Organization Committee, May 24, 2018, Prague, CZ
  • ICA Game Studies Preconference “Gaming Bodies”, Member of Conference Organization Committee, May 2015, San Juan, PR, US
  • “Crossworlds: Theory, Development & Evaluation of Social Technology”, Member of Conference Organization Committee, June 30-July 1st, 2014, Chemnitz, GE

© Daniel Pietschmann. All rights reserved.