Design Lecture: Public Service Innovation via Social-Mobile Computing: Tiramisu as Research Platform by John Zimmerman, Carnegie Mellon University

Due to an overwhelming response, registration has been closed. Standby seating will be offered but a seat cannot be guaranteed without a reservation. If you would like to reserve the standby seating, please contact us by email from your PolyU email account. Thanks for your attention.


We developed Tiramisu, a mobile transit information service, during a project investigating how social-mobile computing might support the co-design of public services by the citizens that use these services. Released publically in 2011, this service allows transit riders to co-produce a real-time arrival information service by sharing location traces from their smart phones. The service is used by thousands of commuters each month, and over the last several years it has become an unexpected platform for research in the real world. Our team has used the service to probe on user contribution; we analyzed logs to assess the impact of new features; data mining to discover information that both helps transit planners and has aided is in envisioning many new smart services. In this talk I will share the story of Tiramisu’s design, how it has become a research platform, and lessoned learned from trying to keep a deployed research prototype running.

This lecture is open to the PolyU community only. Because of limited seats, priorities will be given to staff, students and alumni of SD when registrations for this lecture exceed its capacity.

About John Zimmerman

PolyU Design Lecture John Zimmerman, Carnegie Mellon University

John Zimmerman an interaction designer and design researcher, working as an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s HCI Institute. In addition to teaching classes on interaction design and mobile service innovation, John conducts research in four areas: (i) the application of product attachment theory in the practice of user experience design; (ii) public service innovation via co-design with mobile/social computing; (iii) interaction with intelligent systems; and (iv) the use of design inquiry in academic research. Before joining Carnegie Mellon, John worked as a senior researcher at Philips Electronics where he collaborated with technologists on future interactive television systems and smart products for the home.