T4: Empirical Research Methods for Human-Computer Interaction

Full day tutorial on Monday, October 27, 2014
Scott MacKenzie, York University, Canada

Participants in this tutorial will learn how to conduct empirical research in human-computer interaction (HCI). As most attendees at HCI conferences will agree, a “user study” is the hallmark of good research in human-computer interaction. But, what constitutes a user study? By and large, a user study is an experiment conforming to the norms for empirical inquiry and the scientific method. It is founded on observation, measurement, and posing and answering testable research questions.

Attendees will learn about independent variables, dependent variables, within- and between-subjects conditions, counterbalancing, internal validity, external validity, etc. The tutorial will also include an introduction to the most common statistical tool used for hypothesis testing in HCI: the analysis of variance. No prior experience or statistical knowledge is necessary. An ANOVA tool, written by the presenter in Java, will be provided to attendees through the tutorial’s web site (URL to follow). In short, this course delivers an A-to-Z tutorial on conducting an empirical experiment (aka user study) in human-computer interaction.