markel vigo

A picture of myself at the Chinese Great Wall

I'm interested in how individuals interact with complex and critical information artefacts such as ontologies and data-intensive applications. Little is known about how to make these interfaces easy to use, principally because the activities users carry out are not well understood. Ideating and applying empirical methods to better understand the difficulties of the users, identifying the strategies employed to overcome these problems and discovering the activity patterns is the focus of my research.

I'm a Research Associate in the Interaction Analysis and Modelling Lab at the University of Manchester working on the EPSRC funded "What if..." project, where we are exploring how ontology authors overcome the difficulties encountered in the ontology development process. To do so, we are applying data-driven methods in order to identify the activity patterns of the authoring process. The ultimate goal of the whatif project is to provide ontology authors with tools that adjust to their needs based on observed behaviours.

In the COPE project, we are investigating the similarities between edge-interaction cases undergone by able-bodied users and the coping situations faced by visually disabled users. We have found evidence suggesting there is an overlap between the problems and strategies employed by these two populations.

I received a PhD in Computer Science at the University of the Basque Country on web accessibility assessment, evaluation and measurement. I keep active in the field and publish papers about defining web accessibility, the limitations of web accessibility evaluation tools, the perception of web accessibility by proffessionals and the role of expectations on user tests.

I am a member of the W4A Conference steering committee and the W3C RDWG. The W3C Research Report on Web Accessibility Metrics is one of our latest efforts in disseminating scientific evidence into standardisation bodies.


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markel . vigo at manchester . ac . uk


+44 (0) 161 275 7821

LF1 Kilburn Building

School of Computer Science

M13 9PL, Manchester (UK)


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LATEST PAPERSSee all publications

Constructing Conceptual Knowledge Artefacts: Activity Patterns in the Ontology Authoring Process

Markel Vigo, Caroline Jay and Robert Stevens

CHI 2015

We identify common activity patterns through analysis of eye-tracking data and the event logs of the popular authoring tool, Protégé. Informed by the activity patterns discovered, we propose design guidelines for bulk editing, efficient reasoning and increased situational awareness. Methodological implications go beyond the remit of knowledge artefacts: we establish a method for studying the usability of software designed for highly specialised complex domains.

Overcoming the pitfalls of ontology authoring: strategies and implications for tool design

Markel Vigo, Samantha Bail, Caroline Jay and Robert Stevens

International Journal of Human Computer Studies

The process of authoring ontologies is fragmented across several tools and workarounds, and there exists no well accepted framework for common authoring tasks. We present insights from an interview-based study with 15 ontology experts: we uncover the tensions that may emerge between ontology authors and identify the problems and the strategies the authors employ to solve them.