Dr Nicholas (Nic) Vanderschantz

Senior Lecturer (Computer Science)

Qualifications: BCGD(Hons) MCGD Wanganui/Waikato PhD Waikato

Contact Details

Room: G.G.15
Phone: +64 7 838 4652
Extension: 4652

About Nicholas (Nic)

Previous to moving to the University of Waikato, I taught at Wanganui School of Design. I hold a Masters in Computer Graphic Design as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science.

I have worked at the university since 2005 and have had the privilege to be involved in developing the previous Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design (Hons) and the Masters of Computer Graphic Design qualifications as well as the current Bachelor of Design and Master of Design qualifications.

I am working at the crossroads of Design and Computer Science and my research and teaching experience allows me to work in and lead interdisciplinary teams with colleagues and students in Design, Computer Science, Education, Library Science, Engineering and Health.

Research Interests

My teaching and research approach information search and HCI from a visual and user experience perspective. I work with students in both Design & Computer Science at undergraduate and postgraduate levels investigating user-centred design solutions for the presentation and visualisation of information in a range of contexts. I have developed a recent focus on information design for mobile and on the go situations.

My research focuses on information search & use by adults, teens, and children. My work develops user-centred interface & experience design solutions to Human-Computer Interaction, Digital Library, and Information Search, Seeking, and Browsing problems. I have investigated individual and collaborative use of pBooks, eBooks, libraries, mobile and desktop apps, and the Internet. Typographic, wayfinding, navigation, orientation, and visual presentation considerations have been central in my work to date.

I have also had the privilege to work on a number of multicultural projects and have in recent years worked with students and colleagues to investigate bilingual information systems and interfaces. We have considered the linguistic landscape of dual language picturebooks, typographic presentation of indigenous languages, as well as the development of mobile apps, to support and encourage indigenous language revitalization and cultural knowledge retention.

I strive to combine my background as a design practitioner and researcher with my experience as a computer science researcher. This mix informs and motivates my investigations into visual design, user interface design, and user experience design for information search and use. Given this background, I regularly lead and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams at the University of Waikato and further afield.

Research Supervised

I welcome inquiries from Masters and PhD students wishing to complete research concerning the design of systems and interfaces for information search and use.

Recent Publications

  • Timpany, C., Vanderschantz, N., & Turner, E. (2021). Wash, soak, rinse, spin: Adaptivity and evolution in a WIL programme. In Work-Integrated Learning New Zealand (WILNZ) Annual Conference: Work Integrated Learning on the Rise (pp. 17). Online.

  • San, V., Vanderschantz, N., & Daly, N. (2021). The effect of language order on reader perceptions in bilingual Māori-English picturebooks. In Language & Society Conference 2020 (pp. 42). Online.

  • Vanderschantz, N., & Hinze, A. (2021). Children's internet search behaviour in an educational context. In IR for Children 2000-2020: Where Are We Now? Workshop, co-located with the 44th International ACM SIGIR Conference on Research and Development in Information Retrieval (pp. 5 pages).

  • Nesset, V., Bible, J. B., & Vanderschantz, N. (2020). The evolution of bonded design: from elementary school to higher education. In A. Sundqvist, G. Berget, J. Nolin, & K. I. Skjerdingstad (Eds.), Proc 15th International Conference on Sustainable Digital Communities (iConference 2020) Vol. LNCS 12051 (pp. 892-900). Boras, Sweden: Springer, Cham. doi:10.1007/978-3-030-43687-2_75 Open Access version:

Find more research publications by Nicholas (Nic) Vanderschantz