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Department of Informatics People and Computing Lab

Gunnar Harboe, MHCI

Gunnar Harboe
Ph.D. Student
Department of Informatics
University of Zurich
Binzmühlestrasse 14
CH-8050 Zürich
RoomBIN 2.B.10
Tel+41 44 63 56700

Gunnar Harboe worked 2004–2010 as a user experience researcher in Motorola Labs (based in Schaumburg, Illinois outside of Chicago), for some of that time as a colleague of Prof. Huang. His work there involved exploratory user research and designing, developing and testing new experiences in prototype form. He has done extensive research on the social dimension of media use, particularly focusing on the emerging field of social television. His most recent work explored new interactive TV experiences, and communication with elderly family members. The underlying research interest that has drawn him to these topics is in new technologies for everyday use.

Gunnar has a Master's degree in Human–Computer Interaction from Carnegie Mellon University and a BA from reading Computer Science at the University of Cambridge. He recently joined ZPAC as a PhD student.


  • 2004: Master of Human–Computer Interaction (MHCI), Carnegie Mellon University
  • 2003: Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Cambridge (Computer Science Tripos at Trinity College)
  • 1999: Examen Philosophicum (Ex.Phil.), University of Bergen
  • 1999: International Baccalaureate (IB), Nesbru Videregående Skole


  • Harboe (2010) “Introduction to Social TV.” In Marcus et al. (eds.) Mobile TV: Customizing Content and Experience, Springer
  • Harboe et al. (2009) “Getting to Know Social Television: One Team’s Discoveries from Library to Living Room.” In Cesar, Geerts, Chorianopoulos (eds.) Social Interactive Television: Immersive Shared Experiences and Perspectives, Information Science Reference
  • Harboe (2009) “In Search of Social Television.” In Cesar, Geerts, Chorianopoulos (eds.) Social Interactive Television: Immersive Shared Experiences and Perspectives, Information Science Reference
  • Huang, Harboe et al. (2009) “Social Television Comes Home: A Field Study of Communication Choices and Practices in TV-Based Text and Voice Chat.” At CHI 2009 (listed as "Of Social Television Comes Home")
  • Harboe, Basapur (2009) “From Social TV to Structured Communication Formats.” At EuroITV 2009: Workshop on Enhancing Social Communication and Belonging…
  • Massey, Harboe (2009) “Social Television through Iterative Design.” At IEEE CCNC 2009
  • Metcalf, Harboe et al. (2008) “Examining Presence and Lightweight Messaging in a Social Television Experience” In ACM Transactions on Multimedia Computing, Communications, and Applications (TOMCCAP), 2008 Special Issue on Interactive TV Tullio, Harboe, Massey (2008) “Investigating the Use of Voice and Text Chat in a Social Television System.” At EuroITV 2008
  • Harboe et al. (2008) “The Uses of Social Television.” In ACM Computers in Entertainment (2008, 1)
  • Harboe et al. (2008) “Ambient Social TV: Drawing People into a Shared Experience.” At CHI 2008
  • Harboe et al. (2007) “Perceptions of Value: The Uses of Social Television.” At EuroITV 2007 (conference best paper award)
  • Metcalf, Harboe (2006) “Sunday is Family Day.” At the Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference (EPIC) 2006
  • Bentley, Metcalf, Harboe (2006) “Personal vs. Commercial Content: The Similarities Between Consumer Use of Photos and Music.” At CHI 2006
  • Zimmerman, Ayoob, Forlizzi (2005) “Searching for Intrinsic Value in Interaction: Reflections on the Conceptual Designs of Digital Music Players.” At Designing Pleasurable Products and Interfaces 2005 (as contributor of design example FramePlayer)

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