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Workshop @ Mensch & Computer 2013

Title: Methodological Approaches to HCI

The design and the evaluation of human-machine interaction (HMI) are increasingly addressed by interdisciplinary research groups and by applied sciences such as information science. This development is a necessary consequence of the fact that technologies for advanced applications require advanced knowledge about the users and the specific interaction processes. The asset of such interdisciplinary approaches is their ability to combine the knowledge as well as the practical expertise of researchers of different disciplines. At the same time, however, these approaches require the interdisciplinary research groups to at least sensitize their members to the often conflicting theoretical frameworks, definitions, and vocabulary (for a possible approach see Bischof et al., 2013). ?One major problem lies in the development, correct selection and discussion of adequate methods that are required to assess and evaluate HMI and its design.

First, unreflected adoptions of validated instruments from social sciences by researches from different disciplines may lead to misapplications or misinterpretations of gathered data. This problem is often caused by a less intense review of literature on social-scientific methods. However, a thorough review is necessary in order to understand a method’s suitability for specific research scenarios. Especially, the implicitly embedded meta-theoretical premises of different methodologies (e.g. positivism and constructivism) already entail possibilities and limitations, but are often not reflected appropriately.

Second, the application of validated methods does not automatically guarantee successful research. For example, disciplines such as psychology and sociology should reconsider the applicability of their methodology according to the specific scenarios in HMI research. For example, the blindfolded use of questionnaires for many research questions related to the design and the assessment of communication technology should be reconsidered. But also methods, such as camera-aided observations, can only contribute to the research success, if we know which levels of analysis are adequate for the specific research interest.

The aim of the workshop is not to tighten the manifold methods of the heterogeneous disciplines that contribute to the research in HMI towards a single paradigm, but to sensitize researchers to the fact that different technologies and their related research questions require different methodological approaches to HMI.


The one-day workshop at Mensch & Computer 2013 is organized by doctoral students of the DFG-graduate program CrossWorlds. We aim to address different methodological aspects of HMI-research that are part of the submitted papers reflecting work in progress. Depending on the number of submissions we plan to discuss six to eight contributions. The selection of papers will be carried out as a double-blind peer review.
When submitting your work, please consider that contributors, if accepted, are required to give a short presentation of their work and then have the opportunity to discuss their methodological issues with other participants. Therefore, the workshop aims at graduate and postgraduate students who have to deal with methodological issues in interdisciplinary research in HMI. If, however, you are in a postdoc or practitioner position and the workshop description fits your current work, please feel free to submit or take part in our workshop. The number of participants is limited to 25 persons.

Conference Location & Fees

Mensch & Computer 2013 will be held in Bremen, Germany, 8-11 September 2013. Our workshop is scheduled for 8 September, so that workshop participants can still visit the conference panels. Participating in the workshop requires the payment of the M&C conference fee. Note that early bird registration for reduced fees is possible until 15 July.

Submission Guidelines

• Please summarize your current work and discuss the methodological challenges or issues your research group is facing. Please elaborate on the strategies you apply.
• 5000-8000 characters including spaces
• Accepted papers will be published in the M&C workshop proceedings. Submission should therefore confer to the M&C submission guidelines.
• We would like to encourage you to submit your paper in English.
• Please submit your paper via E-Mail to one of the two workshop organizers.

Submission Deadlines

• 24 June: paper submission deadline
24 June31 June: notification about acceptance
6 July: submission of camera-ready papers
9 September: Workshop


11.00 – 13.00 – Session 1
Welcome and Introduction by the organizers

    “Towards Metric-based Usability Evaluation of Online Web Interfaces” (Speicher, Both, Gaedke)
    “User Requirements Analysis in the Context of Multimodal Applications for Blind Users” (Miao, Weber)

13.00 – 14.00 – lunch break
14.00 – 15.30 – Session 2

    “Reconstructing Coding Practice – Towards a Methodology for Source-Code” (Heidt)
    “Designing a Multitouch Table for the Museum“ (Kanellopoulos, Storz)

15.30 – 16.00 – Conclusion
Summary and discussion of open questions


Bischof, A., Obländer, V., Heidt, M., Kanellopoulos, K., Küszter, V., Liebold, B., Martin, K.-U., Pietschmann, D., Storz, M., Tallig, A., Teichmann, M. & Wuttke, M. (2013): Interdisziplinäre Impulse für den Begriff “Interaktion”. In: Hobohm, H.-C. (Hrsg.). Informationswissenschaft zwischen virtueller Infrastruktur und materiellen Lebenswelten. Tagungsband des 13. Internationalen Symposiums für Informationswissenschaft (ISI 2013), Potsdam, 19.-22.03.2013. Glücksstadt: Hülsbusch, 448-453.


For further questions please contact one of the workshop organizers:
Andreas Bischof: andreas.bischof@phil.tu-chemnitz.de
Benny Liebold: benny.liebold@phil.tu-chemnitz.de