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Nicole Meng-Schneider


I am a 4th year PhD student in the CDT in NLP. My research focuses on privacy implications of sharing smart voice assistants such as Amazon Echo or Google Home in shared spaces.

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

Research Interests:

  • Usable Security and Privacy

  • Human-Computer Interaction

  • Smart Voice Assistants

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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

In Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI EA '23). 2023.

POSTER: Owning and Sharing: Privacy Perceptions of Smart Speaker Users

Nicole Meng, Dilara Keküllüoglu, Kami Vaniea

SOUPS '22: Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security

Owning and Sharing: Privacy Perceptions of Smart Speaker Users

Nicole Meng, Dilara Keküllüoglu, Kami Vaniea

In Proceedings of the ACM Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing. 2021.

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

Kholoud Althobaiti, Nicole Meng, Kami Vaniea

In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI21). 2021.




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 privacy. I am looking at voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home in shared spaces (e.g. kitchen, living room) and their impact on our privacy and security.

UKRI CDT in NLP Award (Funding until 2024)

Supervisor: Dr Kami Vaniea

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

2018 - 2019

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

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 -


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


since 2019/2020


since 2019/2020

Teaching Assistant

since 2020/2021

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

Design Informatics Project

2019 -2021





March 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.

March 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.

Nov 2019

Oberlander Prize

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

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.

Mar 2019

Keynote Speaker at Hoppers International Women's Day

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

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.

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.

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.

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