PhD Student in User Experience Applied to the Design of Business Information Systems Integrating Flow Theory (M/F)

Reference : ITIS-2020-024

Type: PhD Student
Contract type: Fixed term contract
Duration: 14 months (+ 22 months + potentially 12 months extension)
Place: Belval



The concept of Flow was first explained by Csikszentmihalyi (1975). Described as an “optimal experience”, the author noted that artists were entirely caught up in their projects, working feverishly to finish them and then lose all interest in their work after completion. The incentive lies in the act of creativity itself. The person feels optimally challenged while totally immersed in the activity. At the heart of flow research is the motivational aspect of this experience. Flow motivates people to carry out certain activities repeatedly, seeking a challenge in the act and looking to improve their skills and abilities.

In a book dedicated to the advances in Flow research, Engeser (2014) underlines the area of human–computer interaction as a current topic and concern. The main objective of this area is to understand when interaction with a computer runs smoothly and the user is highly concentrated on the task.
In another word, Flow (Flow at work and Flow applied to the field of Human-Computer Interaction) should allow the a succession of short periods of optimal experiences characterized by:

  • absorption (immersion)
  • pleasure in work
  • an intrinsic motivation in the work

This research will be carried out in cooperation with a major Luxembourg administration, which will co-finance the PhD project and will serve as a field study.

The selected PhD student will be enrolled in the Doctoral School in Sociétés, Langages, Temps, Connaissances (SLTC) of the University of Lorraine and will develop the research project at LIST’s facilities.




The main objective of the PhD project is to promote immersion and flow theories among employees in companies during the use of business information systems. At the end of his/her research work, the PhD student will have to propose interface design recommendations which take into account the flow theory, in order to:

  • Maintain employee motivation, commitment and performance in disengaging tasks, particularly with the advent of task automation and the reduction of the need for expertise
  • Understand the employees' perception of engagement in their work
  • Determine the criteria that would generate sustainable business applications that maintain user engagement

We offer:

  • A fixed term employment contract for the duration of the PhD project
  • Outstanding work environment at LIST
  • Scientific visits and cooperation work with University of Lorraine
  • Interdisciplinary and challenging research topic (Psychology, Computer Sciences, Ergonomics, User Experience)

The LIST is committed with equality of opportunities and gender balance.





  • Master degree in psychology, ergonomics, or any discipline in Humanities and Social Sciences relating to the field of user experience

Required seniority

  • First experience in research area (publication, communication in scientific conferences, participation in research project, etc.) will be considered as an asset


  • Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative analysis
  • Knowledge of the main methods in user experience (interview, questionnaire, user testing, etc.)
  • Basic knowledge in prototyping
  • Self-motivated by passion for science and research
  • Ability to work in a team with team-spirit mandatory


  • French is the work language
  • Very good knowledge of English mandatory (written and spoken)


Deadline for application: 19 February 2020


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Dr Guillaume GRONIER
Dr Guillaume GRONIER


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