Dr Anne Ozdowska

Ph.D., GCTechMan, BCompSc
Research Fellow
ANU College of Engineering, Computing and Cybernetics

Areas of expertise

  • Human Centred Computing 4608
  • Accessible Computing 460801
  • Computing Education 460804
  • Human Computer Interaction 460806
  • Information Visualisation 460807
  • Mixed Initiative And Human In The Loop 460808
  • Fairness, Accountability, Transparency, Trust And Ethics Of Computer Systems 460805
  • Information Systems 4609
  • Data Management And Data Science 4605


Dr Anne Ozdowska is a Research Fellow in the School of Computing at the ANU. Anne completed her PhD in Human Computer Interaction at QUT in 2019. Her doctoral work explores the application of game design and Universal Design to promote the development of inclusive, accessible and gameful technologies. The proof-of-concept software that was developed during her PhD has since been commercialised. Anne’s current research focuses on the development and use of heuristics as litmus tests for understanding the risks and opportunities of new designs. She is interested in the way expert heuristic evaluations can be used to provide an early understanding of design limitations in order to scaffold and focus emerging requirements to improve human-computer interactions.  

Available student projects

Exploration of GameFlow as an observational tool

This project seeks to evaluate the outcomes of using the GameFlow heuristics as an observational tool for an RTS game. The GameFlow heuristics have been used extensively as a tool to examine and evaluate enjoyment in games however most applications of GameFlow have been conducted by expert reviewers. This project seeks to compare the outcomes from previous research (see paper list) with observational data collected in this study. There could be a variety of ways to approach collecting data for this project. Suggestions could be to use video recording of participants playing an RTS game and then applying a coding technique to the footage or by using physiological measurement devices.     

The goal of this project is twofold. Firstly, to further refine the understanding of experience and enjoyment in video games from an observational lens. Secondly, to apply the GameFlow heuristics in a novel way to compare the outcomes of expert review with observational outcomes. This project would suit students with passion for video games and an interest in HCI and user research. Experience with game design and qualitative data analysis would be beneficial.

If you would like to participate in this project, please send me 1-2 paragraphs outlining your proposal. 

The following papers provide context for the project.

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D., & Wyeth, P. (2012). Revisiting the GameFlow Model with Detailed Heuristics. In Journal of Creative Technologies (Vol. 2012, Issue 3). http://journal.colab.org.nz/article/21

Sweetser, P., Johnson, D., & Kyburz, J. (2020, February 4). Evaluating GameFlow in a Multiplayer Online Strategy Game under Development. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. https://doi.org/10.1145/3373017.3373068

Sweetser, P., & Johnson, D. (2019, December 2). GameFlow and Player Experience Measures An Initial Comparison of Conceptual Constructs.

Penelope Sweetser, Daniel Johnson, Peta Wyeth, & Anne Ozdowska. (2012, July 21). GameFlow Heuristics for Designing and Evaluating Real-Time Strategy Games. The 8th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment.


Exploration of comfort on video game experience

Comfort during videogame play is integral to the overall experience and enjoyment of the game. While comfort playing VR games is often identified by reviewers, comments mainly relate to factors of discomfort, for example, the headset was heavy.

This project seeks to examine the effect of comfort on enjoyment when playing video games. Comfort can be interpreted in your proposal however some suggestions are that it could refer to comfort of the input devices (keyboard with very loud keys or a tiny/super large/left handed mouse), environment (open noisy space or quiet calm space)

In this research the game is the constant and comfort factors/distractors are introduced to evaluate their potential impact on enjoyment in game play. Methods to evaluate enjoyment could include heuristic evaluations, surveys and/or biometrics.

The goal of this research is to further develop understanding of the impact that comfort has on experience and enjoyment in games. It is expected that a contribution to theory will be made around the development or refinement of evaluation tools for measuring and understanding the impact that comfort has on player experience.

This project would suit students with passion for video games and an interest in HCI and user research.

If you would like to participate in this project, please send me 1-2 paragraphs outlining your proposal.

Sweetser, P., & Rogalewicz, Z. (2020). Affording Enjoyment in VR Games: Possibilities, Pitfalls, and Perfection. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 55–64. https://doi.org/10.1145/3441000.3441050


Augmentation of everyday objects into tangible embodied interfaces

Tangible embodied interfaces (TEI) use physical form to represent and manipulate digital information. TEIs could be viewed as augmented/smart objects that are interactive and responsive.

In this project you will design and develop an interface for a physical object. This interface will involve developing new software and augmenting an object with technology (may include sensors, fabrics or other electronics). 

Zuckerman, O., Gal, T., Keren-Capelovitch, T., Karsovsky, T., Gal-Oz, A., & Weiss, P. L. (2016). DataSpoon: Overcoming design challenges in tangible and embedded assistive technologies. TEI 2016 - Proceedings of the 10th Anniversary Conference on Tangible Embedded and Embodied Interaction, 30–37. https://doi.org/10.1145/2839462.2839505

McDonald, D. Q., Mahajan, S., Vallett, R., Dion, G., Shokoufandeh, A., & Solovey, E. (2022). Interaction with Touch-Sensitive Knitted Fabrics: User Perceptions and Everyday Use Experiments. 1–20. https://doi.org/10.1145/3491102.3502077

GameFlow and GameFail : Assessment of a novel game designed to violate every GameFlow heuristic

The GameFlow model has been used extensively in both academic and industry settings to evaluate enjoyment in video games. Use of the GameFlow model aims to highlight areas where games perform well and areas that need improvement. The GameFlow model has not yet been tested on a game that is designed to fail every GameFlow criteria.

In this exploratory project you will design a game that embodies everything that a game should not. Participants in this research project will use the GameFlow model to evaluate the “game fail” game. The goal of examining a game that is designed to fail is to evaluate what the critical points of failure in games are and to evaluate the perceived importance of the heuristics. It is anticipated that an order of importance may emerge within the GameFlow criteria.

Sweetser, P., & Wyeth, P. (2005). GameFlow: A Model for Evaluating Player Enjoyment in Games. In ACM Computers in Entertainment (Vol. 3, Issue 3).

Sim, G. (2012). Designing the anti-heuristic game: A game which violates heuristics. IDC 2012, June 12–15, 308. https://doi.org/10.1145/2307096.2307153

Ponnada, A., & Kannan, A. (2013). Evaluation of mobile games using playability heuristics. Conference: Proceedings of the International Conference on Advances in Computing, Communications and Informatics, 244–247. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-02958-0_25

Return to top

Updated:  30 May 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers