Employees CS

T.M. van der Geest, Dr., Thea

Associate professor

Building: Cubicus, room C 223
Telephone: +31 (0)53 – 489 6132, +31 (0)53 – 489 3299 (secretary)
Mobile: +31 (0)613501263
Fax: +31 (0)53 – 489 4259
e-mail: t.m.vandergeest@utwente.nl


Together with my colleagues in the Center for e-Government Studies (CfES), I study the problems and benefits of e-Government systems from a user perspective. My focus is on the factors that predict and explain the accessibility, acceptance, use, and effectiveness of face-to-face, print and online services and information. My research often takes place in close cooperation with cities, government agencies or major companies who need to communicate with a very diverse audience in a personal, service-oriented way.

I have a special interest in the accessibility of information, services and communication for people who have special communication needs, like persons with a physical or social-cognitive disability. Through my empirical qualitative or quantitative research I want to contribute to personalised, adaptive systems and content (designs) that provide a good user experience (UX) to clients, customers and citizens. On the basis of my research I advise our research partners about requirements, design and evaluation of their systems and their offline, online, mobile and social media channel strategies.

Selection of courses I am teaching

  • Human-Centered Design for New Media, code 201000113
  • Communication of Service Organisations, code 192405110
  • New Media and Communication, code 192431300
  • E-government and Public Communication
  • Professional Master Program e-Government/Public Management, code 200900001

Selection of graduate thesis projects I have supervised

  • Bron- en kanaalkeuze bij het beantwoorden van overheidsvragen (Jordy Gierveld, fall 2014)
  • Antecedents of adoption and implementation of accessibility standards in municipal websites (Inge Nahuis, summer 2013)
  • Factors predicting citizens’ channel choices and satisfaction with local government services (Julia Lange, summer 2013)
  • Factors predicting adoption and mobile channel choice for personalized insurance services portal (Rob Kerver, summer 2013)
  • The effectiveness of trust cues in high-credence web services (Erik de Zeeuw, 2012; awarded Gerrit van der Veerprijs for best HCI thesis 2012)

Selection of current research projects

  1. De kanalen van Amsterdam (The channels of Amsterdam) 2015: The City of Amsterdam is re-designing and updating its public service processes. The rapid changes in service channel choices and mobile internet access require a new vision on how, where and when services will be available for the Amsterdammers. My study has identified the factors that influence channel choice, service UX, satisfaction and participation of citizens.
  2. Google Glass for persons with visual disabilities (2015-2017): What do new, wearable communication devices like Google Glass mean for people with visual impairments? Glass offers many of the possibilities of a smartphone with GPS, camera and internet connectivity. At the same time, users can keep their hands free for their white cane, their guide dog, or whatever they want to do. In a R&D project that is granted by ZON-MW I investigate the possibilities and limitations of Glass.
  3. Measuring the ROI of accessibility: How do you measure in a valid, reliable and feasible way whether information and services are accessible for people with disabilities? And what are the investments and returns (ROI) for organisations that implement accessibility standards in their communication systems? In this line of work – executed with students and colleagues from all over Europe – we develop the accessibility evaluation methodology and include the user perspective and experiences in the methods and instruments.


  • Associate professor Communication Studies/ Media and Communication in Organisations
  • Senior/Principal Investigator the Center for e-Government Studies
  • Initiator and Leader of Research Convenant Accessibility of new media
  • Chair Examination Board Communication Studies
  • Supervisor of PhD candidates from The Netherlands, Indonesia, etc.
  • Curriculum developer Twente Eduational Model, module Communication Channels and Media Strategies (BA 1.3)

Selection of current publications

Geest, Thea van der (2014). De kanalen van Amsterdam. Rapport Universiteit Twente Center for e-Government Studies. Enschede. (Dutch).

Velsen, Lex van, Thea van der Geest, Lidwien van de Wijngaert, Stéphanie van den Berg, & Michaël Steehouder (to appear). Personalization has a price, controllability is the currency. Predictors for the intention to use personalized eGovernment websites. Journal of Organizational Computing.

Geest, Thea van der, & Velleman, Eric (2014). Easy-to-read meets accessible web in the e-government context. Procedia Computer Science 27 ( 2014 ) 327 – 333.

Van der Geest, Ramey, Rosenbaum & Van Velsen (2013) Designing a Better User Experience for Self-Service Systems. Guest editor of special issue of IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, 56 (2).To appear in June 2013.

Van der Geest, Van der Meij & Van Puffelen (2013). Self-assessed and actual Internet skills of people with visual impairments. Universal Access to the Information Society, 12 (3). To appear in September 2013.

Beldad, A., Van Der Geest, T., De Jong, M., & Steehouder, M. (2012). Shall I tell you where I live and who I am? Factors influencing the behavioral intention to disclose personal information for online government transactions. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 28(3), 163-177. DOI:10.1080/10447318.2011.572331

Beldad, A., Van Der Geest, T., De Jong, M., & Steehouder, M. (2012). A cue or two and I'll trust you: Determinants of trust in government organizations in terms of their processing and usage of citizens' personal information disclosed online. Government Information Quarterly, 29(1), 41-49