Systems Design Engineering

FurbyCayley MacArthur, BKI (Knowledge Integration, Waterloo), MA (English & Systems Design Engineering, Waterloo), is a PhD candidate in Systems Design Engineering. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction and she is a member of the Touchlab and WaterlooHCI groups. Cayley is a seasoned Game Jam captain and has been involved with advocacy groups such as the Women in Engineering committee, and served on conference committees for a number of HCI conferences, where she has worked primarily to improve access and inclusion.

Sample Projects

Tunnel Divisions

Tunnel Divisions is a sound installation/music composition by Stephen Trothen and Cayley MacArthur, the result of a critical making exercise beginning in Transmedia Narrative and Design (ENGL 799) where we explored the theme 'city as platform'. The recording was made March 28, 2014 in an underground tunnel connecting South Campus Hall to Arts Lecture Hall at the University of Waterloo between 12:00pm and 4:00pm. The piece is designed with reference to themes of presence, mundanity, 'non-places', and rhythmanalysis among others; it follows a review of the HCI literary discussion surrounding interactivity in public spaces. We confront the popular definitions of what it means to interact with technology in public spaces and to be a part of one's urban environment, where that should occur, and through what modalities. 


Game Changer

An exhibit designed by a team of Knowledge Integration students for the Ontario Science Centre visited by over 200,000 people. "Game Changer" explores the topic of gaming, the emerging field of crowdsourcing in citizen science, and the forms of social impact presently available to gamers. Using digital and other interactive media, visitors are asked to solve puzzles and encounter different data visualizations in order to understand numerous (gamification) techniques used by video games to engage users. Visitors will be trained to spot how some games can turn them into everyday heroes and how others are used to tackle real world problems. The communication strategy for this project was optimized to a grade 6 level to ensure a diverse group would benefit.


Sample Publications and Presentations

Gendered or Neutral? Considering the Language of HCI

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2015

In this paper, we present a Mechanical Turk study that explores how the most common words that have been used to refer to people in recent HCI literature are received by non-experts. The top five CHI 2014 people words are: user, participant, person, designer, and researcher. Our results show that while generally our participants did perceive most of these words as predominately male, there were two notable exceptions. Women appear to perceive the terms “person” and “participant” as gender neutral. That is, they were just as likely to draw a person or a participant as male or female. We offer an increased understanding of the perception of HCI’s people words and discuss the challenges this poses to our community in striving toward gender inclusiveness.

  • Adam Bradley
  • Cayley MacArthur
  • Mark Hancock
  • Sheelagh Carpendale​


University of Waterloo