markel vigo

A picture of myself at the Chinese Great Wall

I build computational models of human behaviour on the Web. I focus on the strategies that users adopt when they face challenging situations that occur either because they are dealing with large logical Web artefacts (ie ontologies) or because they are constrained by their abilities, skills or the situation.

In the "What if..." EPSRC project we are exploring the difficulties encountered by ontology authors in the ontology building process, where building indicates (not only) reusing, merging, modifying, evaluating and reasoning with ontologies. The final 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 injecting research outcomes into standardisation bodies.

Research Associate

Web Ergonomics Lab

Information Management Group

University of Manchester


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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)





a cat

LATEST PAPERS — See all publications

Protégé4US: Harvesting Ontology Authoring Data with Protégé [Best paper award]

Markel Vigo, Caroline Jay and Robert Stevens

Workshop on Human-Semantic Web Interaction, HSWI 2014

We propose an instrument that allows harvesting of ontology authoring events and interaction events. A study with 15 users carrying out ontology authoring tasks suggests that Protégé4US has an enormous potential to expand our knowledge about the ontology authoring process, identify its pitfalls, propose design guidelines and develop intelligent authoring tools that anticipate user actions.

Are Users the Gold Standard for Accessibility Evaluation?

Amaia Aizpurua, Myriam Arrue, Simon Harper and Markel Vigo

11th Web for All Conference

Our study suggests that involving blind users for web accessibility evaluation poses some challenges that should be controlled in order to get reliable results. We discuss limitations and practical implications of user testing with blind users for web accessibility evaluation.

A snapshot of the first encounters of visually disabled users with the Web

Markel Vigo and Simon Harper

Computers in Human Behavior

We provide insights on the adaptation process of novice visually disabled users: last resort tactics are replaced by more sophisticated exploration tactics over time, which suggests that users not only become more skilled, but also more independent and autonomous. Users incorporate coping tactics to their repertoire through practice. Consequently, at later stages, tasks are more effectively accomplished at the expenses of reduced efficiency as users are more prone to misuse tactics from a larger repertoire.

Design Insights for the Next Wave Ontology Authoring Tools

Markel Vigo, Caroline Jay and Robert Stevens

ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014

We provide a systematic attempt to understand what users really require to build successful ontologies. To do so, we present the insights from an interview study with 15 ontology authors in which we identify the problems reported by authors, and the strategies they employ to solve them. We map the data to a set of design recommendations, which describe how tools can support ontology authoring going forward.