Ms Marianne Dee


I am interested in people and older adults in particular, looking at how they experience technologies in modern life. I have extensive experience of working with older adults and enjoy bridging the gap between expert researchers / developers and the potential users of those technologies. My background is in sociology and information science with a focus on making information accessible. I am responsible for developing, organising and managing a large user pool of older adults as representative participants for research studies. Within BESiDE I am interviewing care home workers, visitors, residents and their families about their experiences of care home buildings. The interviews are producing evidence allowing us a greater understanding of how the care home building can enhance or impede the health and well-being of the residents in particular.

Skills: participant recruitment and engagement; communication skills; user centred research; social inclusion.

mdee's picture
Contact Details
Queen Mother Building

University of Dundee
United Kingdom

  • Ecobuild Exhibition & Conference 2017
    Towards Better Environments for Ageing - BESiDE Showcase

    Professional/Trade Conference

    Some researchers from BESiDE were at Ecobuild 2017 showcasing our work and methods.  It's the UK's largest and number one event for specifiers across the built environment.

  • Computing User Centre Group
    Voice of the User - Working with Care Home Residents

    A Talk

    Marianne Dee was invited to give a short presentation to the Computing User Centre Group at the University of Dundee.

    The User Centre Group is based at the Queen Mother building at the University of Dundee. It works alongside the Computing teaching and research staff from the School of Science and Engineering.  It is a friendly and informal computer club for over 60s - a space where older people and technology meet. 

  • Trellis: A smile is worth a thousand words

    Now that BESiDE researchers have completed their work within the project partner care homes, they asked  to help say thank you to the residents.  Trellis provides therapeutic gardening sessions to help people take care of their physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.  In addition gardening can also provide education and training opportunities, not only horticulture skills but life skills, literacy, and numeracy.

  • The British Society of Gerontology 45th Annual Conference
    Researching Design for Wellbeing: Ageing and mobility in the built environment

    A Scientific Meeting (conference, seminar etc.)

    Marianne Dee presented for Prof. Vicki Hanson as part of a Lifelong Health and Wellbeing (LLHW) symposium at the British Society of Gerontology's Annual Conference. Marianne presented BESiDE research findings alongside our LLHW sister projects: Cycle Boom, Mobility, Mood and Place and MyPLACE.  These LLHW projects, including BESiDE, use various methods to investigate how the design of the built environment can facilitate and enable the mobility, physical activity, and connectivity of older people.

  • CHI 2016
    Ethical Encounters in Human Computer Interactions

    A Workshop

    CHI (pronounced kai) is a world leading conference for Human-Computer Interaction:  .  CHI is a place for people to see, discuss and learn about the future of how people interact with technology. It attracts researchers, designers and scientists from academy and industry from around the world.

  • Visitors' experiences of Care Homes

    Visitors have their own unique history and relationship with their resident. They understand the resident’s identity and personality better than anyone and visiting brings a sense of normality adding to the home-like element of care homes. We interviewed 14 care home visitors (11 women and 3 men, aged 65 to 83) about their experience of care home visiting. 8 of the visitors were relatives, 5 were friends and 1 was a volunteer visitor. Overall, they had experience of visiting 30 care homes.

  • Age Scotland National Conference
    Quality Matters - a later life in Scotland

    Professional/Trade Conference

    On Wednesday, 16th March 2016, Marianne Dee and Tracy Smith from the BESiDE team attended Age Scotland's annual national conference for stakeholders and inivited guests to explore the theme of Quality of Life in later life. 

  • Capturing the voice of care home residents

    Residents represent the critical link in our research into the built environment of care homes. We have been working on developing empathetic and novel ways to ensure their voice is captured. Empathy is crucial in order to ensure they can easily relate to the context of a conversation we wish to have with them about the nature of their home.  This means not only lightening up the academic processes as much as possible without threatening research ethics, but also developing a way that encourages them to want to talk to us and stay focused on a discussion about the built environment.

  • Dementia Services Development Centre, University of Stirling
    Meaningful Activity for People with Dementia


    Marianne Dee attended a 2 day learning programme to understand the impact of dementia and the principles of person centred care when facilitating activities. The importance of reducing the number of steps in an activity, the need to understand how the environment acts as a prompt  for an activity, e.g., hairdresser in care home has to 'stage a salon' for person with dementia enabling them to act appropriately.

  • Dundee City Council - Changing for the Future Programme
    Changing for the Future Programme - Communication Strategy Group


    Dundee City Council, in the process of developing a communication strategy as part of their Changing for the Future Programme, wanted input from current research findings as they were particularly looking at the digital expectations of their customers. 

    Marianne Dee as a representative of  BESiDE was asked to join the group to make a contribution following her previous experience with both the SiDE and BESiDE projects on the accessibility, usefulness and usability of digital communication products and services for older adults.

  • Design for wellbeing
    Innovative research methods for understanding older people's everyday mobility

    A Scientific Meeting (conference, seminar etc.)

    There is wide recognition that the design of the environment can contribute to promoting independent mobility, healthy activity and social engagement among an increasingly older population (MRC, 2010, A strategy for collaborative ageing research in the UK). A growing corpus of research is focusing on how design influences older people’s mobility and how this directly and indirectly impacts wellbeing.

  • Mood Boards and Design Development

    A Workshop

    In follow up to their recent ‘Inspired’ co-design workshop (see Inspired wearables for more details) the designers created personalized mood boards to represent a visual flavour of the conversations they had with each of the residents who had shared their inspirations, likes and dislikes. These mood boards were intended to support these same residents to develop and refine a design narrative for a personalized wearable.

  • SiDE User Pool
    Celebration of Contributions to Research

    An Open day

    Around 90 older adults from across Scotland visited the School of Computing at the University of Dundee for a special event to celebrate their work helping researchers to develop more inclusive technologies.

    The Social Inclusion through the Digital Economy (SiDE) User Pool, based in Dundee and including members across Scotland supported 30 academics to complete 50 research activities over the last five years. The User Pool is comprised of individuals who volunteered to help research into the digital exclusion of older adults and people with disabilities. 

  • Digital Economy All Hands Meeting 2014

    A Scientific Meeting (conference, seminar etc.)

    BESiDE contributed to the Digital Economy All Hands Meeting 2014 'The application of Digital Innovation'.

    The Digital Economy All Hands conference brings together the UK's most innovative thinkers and researchers to share ideas on how to impact society across a range of sectors; including, transport, healthcare, financial services, and the creative industries.

  • ACM
    ASSETS 2014

    A Scientific Meeting (conference, seminar etc.)

    BESiDE were at ASSETS 2014, to present our work and hear about cutting edge developments in accessibility research. ASSETS is a significant international conference attracting the experts in accessible computing.

    The BESiDE team were be there as part of the School of Computing’s Social Inclusion team who had an exceptionally high acceptance rate this year. BESiDE's Principal Investigator Prof. Vicki Hanson presented the keynote as a consequence of her Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility.

  • Voice of the Users: Valuing Visitors to Care Homes

    Following interviews with visitors to care homes, we wondered how the people working in care homes view care home visitors.

  • Government Office for Science Foresight project 'Analysing the Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Society'
    Digital Connectivity for Older People: Roundtable Event

    A Workshop

    The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Government Office for Science (GO Science) jointly organised a roundtable event in Westminster on July 16th 2014. The event will form part of and feed into the ongoing Government Office for Science Foresight project on 'Analysing the Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Society'.

  • Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Showcase
    Findings on the built environment of care homes from interviews with visitors to care homes.

    A Scientific Meeting (conference, seminar etc.)

    A graphic visualisation of a visitor's journey through a care home. Visitors are important to care home residents, bringing them news from the outside world and linking back to a resident's previous life and identity. This is recognised as being important to the resident and helpful for the care staff looking after the resident.This presentation illustrates early findings from interviews with care home visitors as they identified areas of the built environment that support their visit and aspects which make them feel uncomfortable.