My colleague Dr. Chris Simons and I surveyed and interviewed underwater photographers to investigate the user experience with post processing tools. The resulting paper was published in the Springer Journal Quality and User Experience.
Within the worldwide diving community, underwater photography is becoming increasingly popular. However, the marine environment presents certain challenges for image capture, with resulting imagery often suffering from colour distortions, low contrast and blurring. As a result, image enhancement software is used not only to enhance the imagery aesthetically, but also to address these degradations. Although feature-rich image enhancement software products are available, little is known about the user experience of underwater photographers when interacting with such tools. To address this gap, we conducted an online questionnaire to better understand what software tools are being used, and face-to-face interviews to investigate the characteristics of the image enhancement user experience for underwater photographers. We analysed the interview transcripts using the pragmatic and hedonic categories from the frameworks of Hassenzahl (Funology, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, pp 31–42, 2003; Funology 2, Springer, pp 301–313, 2018) for positive and negative user experience. Our results reveal a moderately negative experience overall for both pragmatic and hedonic categories. We draw some insights from the findings and make recommendations for improving the user experience for underwater photographers using image enhancement tools.