- Dr Ben Kraal
- Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Creative Industries Faculty,
School of Design Office,
- Discipline *
- Design Practice and Management, Information Systems
- +61 7 3138 4263
- View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
PhD (University of Canberra), Bachelorof Information Technology Honours Class 1 (University of Queensland)
Ben Kraal is a Research Fellow in the School of Design at the QUT.
During the last four years he has made significant contributions to the fields of usability and interface design research. Dr Kraal’s approach adapts rich sociological techniques to investigate the complex interplay between people, the tools they use and the environment in which they work, allowing the identification of the essential elements of the work practice in question, making it clear where technology and design interventions are able to achieve the greatest positive impact.
In his PhD, Ben Kraal developed new approaches to investigating how technologies are used in the workplace which are informed by the sociology of Actor-Network Theory. This approach can be applied to study situations where a technology of interest is currently used and it can be applied to situations where a future technology may be introduced. These twin strengths can be applied to design novel future technologies that are more likely to be successfully applied in use. A further strength of his approach is that it can be used to analyse fieldwork to understand which aspects of a situation are most amenable to research intervention. This can support a more rapid move from field work to analysis by showing where to target research data collection.
At QUT Dr Kraal has conducted research on nursing expertise in compression therapy for venous leg ulcers, a project which is supported by a QUT Strategic Collaborative grant. In this research he has worked with academics from other disciplines, notably Nursing and Health, and with practicing nurses and their patients in clinical settings.
The findings of this research will contribute to nursing practice by showing how nurses apply their expertise to apply compression effectively. This finding will have a significant impact on training and assessment of competency. The findings will also make a significant contribution to research on how experts in all fields work by applying and extending existing theories of expertise.
Broad area of research: Design
Main areas of research
Ben Kraal has developed and adapted research methods for investigating the use of complex devices in complex social settings. Beginning in the area of Human-Computer Interaction and now in Human-Centred Design, his research focuses on they ways in which the tools and technologies people use in their lives influence they way they interact with the world.
Working with Professor Vesna Popovic, Dr Kraal has conducted research in the areas of
- Human-centred research and interaction with complex devices
- Expertise and user research.
Awards and recognitions
- 2002 – 2005: Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship
- 2005: University of Canberra Pro-Vice Chancellor Information Management Prize.
Ben Kraal’s teaching concentration areas are interaction design and industrial design research. Dr Kraal regularly gives guest lectures on interaction design for undergraduate students, and acts as a tutor and consultant to students completing the Graduate Diploma in Industrial Design.
Interests and community service
- Member OZCHI committee 2008: Communications
- Member OZCHI committee 2006: Short papers co-chair
- Reviewer for OZCHI conferences.
For publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.