James Nicholson

james.nicholson@ncl.ac.uk | Visiting Researcher

James Nicholson

James Nicholson is currently involved on NINEtoFIVE, an online anonymous platform that supports employee coordinated action and voice.

In past Open Lab work, James has carried out extensive work evaluating the Panopticon parallel video overview system in a variety of contexts, including eLearning, surveillance monitoring, and using headmounted technology. He has also explored factors that contribute to engagement and accuracy of crowdsourced viewers when watching surveillance video to the internet and methods of improving the composition of passwords for users in terms of both memorability and entropy.


James’ work has focused on improving user authentication, both by repurposing existing graphical authentication systems and by evaluating novel ones. James is also interested in user privacy and how groups of users (children, parents, older adults) experience location tracking technologies, as well as how CCTV video can be crowdsourced to de-centralise the surveillance landscape. More recently, James have developed tools and methodologies for uncovering and understanding employees’ mental models of security threats with the aim of improving training programmes and/or organisational policies, as well as practical means for improving users’ protection against these security threats (e.g. phishing).

James obtained his PhD in Human-Computer Interaction from Northumbria University in 2013. He has a BSc (Information Systems) from Newcastle University and a Masters of Research in Psychology from Northumbria University.



Simple nudges for better password creation
Nicholson J, Vlachokyriakos V, Coventry L, Briggs P, Olivier P, Proceedings of the 32nd International BCS Human Computer Interaction Conference (HCI 2018)1-15


Everyday surveillance
Briggs P, Churchill E, Levine M, Nicholson J, Pritchard GW, Olivier P, 2016 CHI Conference Extended Abstracts in Human Factors in Computing System CHI EA '163566-3573


Captchat: A Messaging Tool to Frustrate Ubiquitous Surveillance
Dunphy P, Schoning J, Nicholson J, Olivier P, 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2015)639-646
Crowdsourcing and CCTV: the Effect of Interface, Financial Bonus and Video Type
Dunphy P, Nicholson J, Vlachokyriakos V, Briggs P, Olivier P, School of Computing Science Technical Report Series22
Using IMUs to identify supervisors on touch devices.
Kharrufa A, Nicholson J, Dunphy P, Hodges S, Briggs P, Olivier P, Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015565-583


Panopticon as an eLearning support search tool
Nicholson J, Huber M, Jackson D, Olivier P, CHI '14 Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems1221-1224
Occupancy Monitoring using Environmental & Context Sensors and a Hierarchical Analysis Framework
Khan A, Nicholson J, Mellor S, Jackson D, Ladha K, Ladha C, Hand J, Clarke J, Olivier P, Ploetz T, BuildSys '14 Proceedings of the 1st ACM Conference on Embedded Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings90-99


Faces and Pictures: Understanding age differences in two types of graphical authentications
Nicholson J, Coventry L, Briggs P, International Journal of Human-Computer Studies958-966
Age-Related Performance Issues for PIN and Face-Based Authentication Systems
Nicholson J, Coventry L, Briggs P, Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI 2013)323-332


Invisible Design: Exploring Insights and Ideas through Ambiguous Film Scenarios
Briggs P, Blythe M, Vines J, Lindsay S, Dunphy P, Nicholson J, Green D, Kitson J, Monk A, Olivier P, Designing Interactive Systems (DIS)534-543
A Security Assessment of Tiles: A New Portfolio-Based Graphical Authentication System
Nicholson J, Dunphy P, Coventry L, Briggs P, Olivier P, SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI)1967-1972


Multi-touch authentication on tabletops
Kim D, Dunphy P, Briggs P, Hook J, Nicholson JW, Nicholson J, Olivier P, CHI 2010: Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems1093-1102


Securing Passfaces for Description
Dunphy P, Nicholson J, Olivier P, Proceedings of the Fourth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS)24-35

Associated Projects

  • Panopticon: A Parallel Video Overview System
    Panopticon is a video surrogate system that displays multiple sub-sequences in parallel to present a rapid overview of the entire sequence to the user. A novel, precisely animated arrangement slides thumbnails to provide a consistent spatiotemporal...
    August 30, 2011
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