Sergio Sayago's home page

Sergio holds a PhD Cum Laude in Computer Science and Digital Communication by Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF, 2009). As of September 1, 2014, he is a visiting tenure-track lecturer (assistant professor) at Universitat de Lleida (UdL). Prior to that, and thanks to being awarded two competitive post-doctoral research fellowships, he was a post-doctoral research fellow at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (Spain, 2012–2014, Alliance 4 Universities Fellowship) and University of Dundee (Scotland, 2010-2012, Beatriu de Pinós Fellowship). Since 2004, he has been conducting research in the field of Human-Computer Interaction research with older people (60+). He has conducted ethnographical and participant observational studies in computer clubhouses and adult educational centres in Barcelona, Dundee & Madrid, over a 5-year period. He has co-supervised two PhD to completion, and is currently co-supervising a PhD student, in the area of HCI with older people and school-aged children. The key results of his research and co-supervision activities have been published in 9 JCRs  (SCI & SSCI) & in 2 conference papers, which won, respectively, the Best Technical and Refereed Paper Award in ACM-W4A (Web for Accessibility) and CIRN Community Informatics. He participated (2004-2010) in 10 EU-partially funded projects on emerging digital technologies (e.g. digital cinema) and coordinated the Work Package of evaluation of 6 of these projects. Sergio coordinated the proposal of an international 2-year project on digital games and older people (WorthPlay), funded with 246.000 euros. He has lectured HCI to graduate and/or undergraduate students at UPF, UC3M and UdL. He has also lectured Data Structures in Java and Software Quality at UdL. With the help of Prof. Josep Blat, he forged the research area of HCI & older people at UPF.

Selected publications

This paper, which presents results of a PhD dissertation I am currently co-supervising about older people, communities and HCI, was awarded the Best Referred Conference Paper in CIRN 2012
These six papers present key results of my PhD dissertation. The first discusses the relative relevance of accessibility barriers in the everyday interactions of older people with the web. It shows that cognition is far more important than vision. It won the Best Paper Award in ACM-W4A 2009. The second presents a change of paradigm in HCI research with older people, and it is featured as one of the most cited papers in IJHCS published since 2010. The third paper is an extended version of the first. The fourth discusses how older people can actually become successful ICT learners over time. It was prompted by well-known age-related declines in fluid intelligence. From this point of view, can older people learn to use ICTs, and, if so, how do they learn? The fourth presents an experimental design focused on selective attention and the task of filling out online forms. The last paper is a step into the future: how does older people's use of CMC tools evolve as their experience of using ICT increases over time? This sheds some light on interaction issues to be faced by the next generation of older people - when most of today's adult people, who are familiar with ICTs, grow older.

This paper presents key results of the research conducted in the WorthPlay project, which was about digital games and older people. I wrote most of the proposal near the end of my post-doc at UoD, and worked on this project during most of my post-doct at UC3M.

These two papers present key results of a PhD dissertation on free-play, school-aged children and wearables I co-supervised.

Full list of publications

Sergio Sayago's profile in Google Scholar

Sergio Sayago's profile in Mendeley



PhD Co-supervision

Righi, Valeria (2016). Re-thinking Human-Computer Interaction Design and Design with a Growing Ageing Population: widening contexts of technology use, changing the subject and object of design. DTIC, UPF. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Josep Blat & Dr. Sergio Sayago. Viva-3-February. Panel: Dr. Siân Lindley (Microsoft Research Cambridge, UK), Dr. Mayo Fuster (UOC), Prof. Dr. Joan Subirats (UAB).

Ferreira, Susan M. (2015). An alternative view of ICTs use by older people in Human-Computer Interaction: similarities, digital content creation, and perceived well-being. DTIC, UPF. Excellent Cum Laude. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Josep Blat & Dr. Sergio Sayago. Viva: 4-September.  Panel: Dr. Paula Forbes (Abertay University, Dundee, Scotland), Dr. Mireia Fernández-Ardèvol (IN3-UOC, Spain), Dr. Jim Ang (University of Kent, UK)
Rosales, Andrea  (2014). Designing wearable and playful accessories to encourage free-play amongst school-aged children: conception, participatory design and evaluation. DTIC, UPF. Excellent Cum Laude. Supervisors: Prof. Dr. Josep Blat & Dr. Sergio Sayago. Viva: 3-September. Panel: Prof. Dai Griffiths (Bolton University, UK), Prof. M. Paloma Díaz (UC3M, Spain) and Dr. Narcís Parés (UPF, Spain)

CV, Research & Teaching statement

PhD, material and projects

Academic positions held

Current - as of Sept 1 2014: Visiting tenure-track lecturer (assistant professor), Universitat de Lleida

2012-2014: Visiting post-doc (Alliance 4 Universities fellowship), Universidad Carlos III de Madrid 2010-2012 Visiting post-doc (Beatriu de Pinós fellowship), University of Dundee (Scotland) 2009-2010 Visiting lecturer, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona


Updated: September 2015