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Portrait of Nicole Meng-Schneider

Nicole Meng-Schneider


I am a final year PhD student in the CDT in NLP. My research focuses on privacy implications of sharing smart speakers such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. I enjoy being creative with my methods and work directly with participants. While the subject of my current research are voice assistants, I am mainly interested in the human involvement in technology.

I am part of the Technology Usability Lab in Privacy and Security (TULiPS) and RAD lab.

Research Interests:

  • Human-Computer Interaction (including User Experience and Mental Models)

  • Usable Security and Privacy

  • Smart Homes

  • Creative and Innovative Research

  • googleschoalr
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Multi-User Smart Speakers - A Narrative Review of Concerns and Problematic Interactions

Nicole Meng-Schneider, Rabia Yasa Kostas, Kami Vaniea, and Maria K Wolters. 2023. Multi-User Smart Speakers - A Narrative Review of Concerns and Problematic Interactions. In Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '23). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 213, 1–7.

Poster: Owning and Sharing: Privacy Perceptions Of Smart Speaker Users

Based on: Nicole Meng, Dilara Keküllüoğlu, and Kami Vaniea. 2021. Owning and Sharing: Privacy Perceptions of Smart Speaker Users. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 5, CSCW1, Article 45 (April 2021), 29 pages.

Presented at: SOUPS '22: Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security 

Owning and Sharing: Privacy Perceptions Of Smart Speaker Users

Nicole Meng, Dilara Keküllüoğlu, and Kami Vaniea. 2021. Owning and Sharing: Privacy Perceptions of Smart Speaker Users. Proc. ACM Hum.-Comput. Interact. 5, CSCW1, Article 45 (April 2021), 29 pages.

I Don’t Need an Expert! Making URL Phishing Features Human Comprehensible

Kholoud Althobaiti, Nicole Meng, and Kami Vaniea. 2021. I Don’t Need an Expert! Making URL Phishing Features Human Comprehensible. In Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI '21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, Article 695, 1–17.




In the CleverCogs project, we explored click and user data of the CleverCogs tablet application, which provides entertainment to users with disabilities. The data set was collected over 10 months from 92 users and provided to the team by researchers of the university and representatives from CleverCogs. The project result gives high lever insights on the users as well as how the system is used.

The Friendship Explorer

The Friendship Explorer is an educational tablet game for children with Autism. It offers a safe space to practise social interactions and understand social conventions. The design is based on relevant literature, participatory design studies and expert feedback. It was evaluated in three studies and shows that the proof-of-concept project is suitable for autistic children.

Do you trust me now?

Exploring the concept of gender bias in voice assistants, this project collects data on the effect of the pitch of a voice on trust. The technology probe utilises a Wizard of Oz technique to mimic an interaction with an Amazon Echo that has different pitched voices.

Phishing Report

We created a report, which presents various features of a URL and aids the user in judging the safety of a URL. Features include the domain, search results, unexpected characters and many more. They are presented in way to allow even lay users to understand whether a URL is safe to click on or not.

Meet Alex, the Trainee

This project aims to open up a space for discussion on the future of smart speaker services and critically investigates interactions and services with smart assistance. We created Amazon’s brand-new, fictional service “Alex, the Trainee”, which allows users to teach and shape their personal assistant. We explored the kinds of scenarios this service may produce, how current problems are resolved, and which kinds of new issues are introduced.


SenseBreak offers a calming escape from the busy world and noise of the Edinburgh Fringe. Visitors can immersive themselves in the relaxing environment of the tent, where they can interact with modified versions of typical irritating sounds of the festival. Changing projections and a semi-confined space offer for an immersive experience.

Alexa('s) Mirror

Alexa’s Mirror is a smart mirror that encourages self-love through positive reinforcement. In order to turn on the lights around the mirror to see oneself better, one has to compliment themselves. The light will shine brightly only for strong appreciation like ‘I am beautiful’, encouraging self-affirmation.



2019 - 2024 (ongoing)

University of Edinburgh

PhD with Integrated Study

As part of the CDT in Natural Language Processing, I am working on smart speakers and their implications for users' privacy. I am looking at voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home in shared spaces (e.g. kitchen, living room), especially when shared with cohabitants or guests.

UKRI CDT in NLP Award (Funding until 2024)

2018 - 2019

University of Edinburgh

MSc Design Informatics

Following my Human-Computer Interaction interest, I deepened my knowledge of design and design research by engaging in various projects during the one-year programme. 

with Distinction

Oberlander Prize in Design Informatics (MSc) - Best Dissertation

2015 - 2018

University of Edinburgh

BSc Computer Science

After studing the basics of Computer Science, I discovered my passion for Human-Computer Interaction. My thesis was on educational games for children with Autism.

First Class with Honours

Supervisor: Dr Helen Pain



Professional Work Experience

Aug 2019

DI Pavilion Invigilator

Edinburgh College of Arts

As part of my role, I opened and closed the exhibition, encouraged visitors to come in, and explained the projects. I also ensured respectful interactions with artwork and helped with trouble shooting if devices malfunctioned.

Jun 2018 -

Aug 2018

Research Intern

LFCS, School of Informatics, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh

Supervised by Sam Lindley and Daniel Hillerström, I developed an application in the functional research programming language Links. I have shown that React's event handler be recreated with a specific feature in Links.

Jun 2017 -

Aug 2017

Technology Intern

Deutsche Bank, London

I divided my time between two projects. The first one introduced the agile methodology throughout the bank, which included design thinking workshops and branding work. For the second project, I developed components for an internal dashboard application.

Jun 2016 -

Sep 2016

Software Engineering Intern (Producto AG), Berlin

I have implemented a filterable keyword search based on Elasticsearch using Java and SQL with a fully functioning Angular JS test client.

Feb 2016 -

Dec 2020

Personal Tutor via WhatsApp

Duden Learnattack GmbH, Remote

I am offering support for German pupils in English and Maths via WhatsApp, including help with homework and revision.

Teaching Support


Human-Computer Interaction

Position / Year





Teaching Assistant


The Human Factor: Working with Users

since 2019/2020


since 2018/2019

Case Studies in Design Informatics 1




Usable Security and Privacy

2018 - 2020, 2022/2023

Unofficial TA


Design Informatics Project

2019 -2021




Jul 2023

Poster @ CDT Conference Sheffield

Presenting my poster to 'Multi-User Smart Speakers - A Narrative Review of Concerns and Problematic Interactions'

Mar 2023

Panelist at Hoppers International Women's Day

Participating in a panel with Kate Ho, Dr Liita Cairney, Dr Stuart Anderson, and Laurie Burchell on difficulties of being a minority in Informatics.

Mar 2023

Talk at CDT Industry Day

Presenting an overview of research on smart homes and smart speakers for industry partners and students in the Centre for Doctorial Training in Natual Language Processing.

Feb 2020

Poster Making Workshop

The Hoppers workshop contained not only hands-on advice on designing a poster, but also presenting it in a poster session and giving an elevator pitch. In collaborationw ith Dr Kami Vaniea.

Nov 2019

Oberlander Prize

I won the Oberlander Prize in Design Informatics for the best dissertation. The topic was a learning smart speaker.

Sep 2019 - Sep 2020

Programme Representative

As the first rep of this CDT, I represented the interests of my fellow students from the CDT in monthly meetings with the management team.

Apr 2019 - Oct 2020

Head of Big Events

I was leading the team organising larger events to inspire students and celebrate the achievements of gender minorities in Informatics. It included making contact with speakers and sponsors, managing a team and seeing the event through.

Mar 2019

Keynote Speaker at Hoppers International Women's Day

I spoke about the achievements of Ada Lovelace, Grace Murray Hopper, Susan Wojcicki and Marissa Mayer.

November 2019

Poster @ DemoFest 2019

Presenting the poster to 'I Don’t Need an Expert! Making URL Phishing Features Human Comprehensible'

Sep 2018 - Sep 2019

Programme Representative

I representated my class mates in weekly rep meetings, bringing forward issues and working with the management team to solve them.

Jan 2018 - Apr 2019

Technical Secretary

I have organised bi-weekly tech workshops/talks with companies and academics to give members the opportunity to learn new skills.


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