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24th Annual Human-Computer Interaction Lab Symposium

Tutorials / Workshops - June 1, 2007

CSIC Building, Registration begins at 8:30am in the Lobby
Workshops/Tutorials begin at 9am.



Intro to HCI
An Introduction to Usability Testing
Ethnographic Approaches to HCI


Introduction to HCI - Evan Golub
Contact: for more information

User interface design and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has become increasingly important in recent years, and is the foundation of the activities of the HCIL. We will summarize the design, development, and evaluation of computer user interfaces. The goal is to shift the mindset of developers to thinking that the basic goal of software should be to serve people, and not the other way around.

This tutorial is suitable for people with no background in design or HCI. The following is a preliminary outline for the day:

  • Introduction to some general questions and thoughts (what does the area of HCI include? are all parts important to all developers?)
  • Understanding users and getting to know their tasks (not every user is the same, but how different are they? how do we determine tasks? do all users have the same tasks? how do we get to know how the users perform tasks?)
  • Designing with the user (there are several levels at which we can involve the user - which to use? when? why?)
  • Designing visual interfaces (how to make something interesting yet still usable)
  • Evaluating interfaces (what are some guidelines that are used? how can this be done rapidly? at a low cost?)

There will be one or two hands-on exercises to help us explore these topics. I think this is a great way to find out about the above topics but also a way to get to meet and talk with others who are interested in HCI. The Symposium and Open House on Thursday is also a great way to see a wide variety of ways in which these and other principles can be applied.


An Introduction to Usability Testing - Bill Killam
Contact: for more information

This is an introductory tutorial on the topic of usability testing. This tutorial is intended for usability practitioners looking to expand their skills, other practitioners (designers, developers, testers, etc.) who may have usability testing interests or responsibilities, and management staff that may be considering incorporating usability into their organization.  In the tutorial we will cover both management issues and practical issues of usability testing and discuss what usability testing is (and isn't). In the module on management issues, we will focus on usability as it related to the organization. We will discuss what makes a product usable, the origins of usability testing, and the relationship of usability testing to the broader area of Human Factors Engineering and other disciplines (e.g., marketing, design, development, and other types of testing). We will discuss product development models that incorporate usability and discuss such topics as the timing of usability testing in the design and development cycle, how to plan for them, and what ROI there is for usability testing. In the practical module, we will focus the mechanics doing usability testing. We will discuss the different types of testing (formative versus summative) as well as different protocols that can be used for usability tests (both user-based and non-user-based). We will discuss how to develop a test including the test tasks, test length, participant selection and recruiting, data collection, and analysis. We will discuss what empirical data can be derived from usability testing and what cannot.  Finally, we will be discussing testing with more advanced issues such as alternate and complimentary forms of usability testing (e.g., use of logs, performance data, and remote testing.


Ethnographic Approaches to HCI - Ken Fleischmann
Contact: for more information

Ethnographic approaches to data collection and analysis provide rich opportunities for HCI researchers to study how users interact with technologies in their everyday lives. Ethnographic research within HCI builds on work within fields such as anthropology, sociology, education, and science and technology studies. This tutorial will examine the range of ways that ethnographic approaches can be applied to HCI as well as the findings that can result from such studies. Topics to be covered in this tutorial will include interviewing, participant observation, contextual inquiry, and ethical aspects of conducting ethnographic HCI research.

This tutorial is designed for HCI researchers interested in learning more about how to incorporate ethnographic methods into their own methodological toolkit as well as social scientists who are interested in learning more about how their research methods can be applied to studying HCI issues. In organizing this tutorial, the organizer will draw on his own multidisciplinary background in computer science, anthropology, and science and technology studies as well as experiences from conducting two NSF-funded ethnographic studies of HCI within the domains of educational software and computational modeling.



Collaborative Sensemaking
Social Network Analysis
Health Informatics in an Aging Population































Collaborative Sensemaking - Yan Qu
Visit or contact for more information

Sensemaking is a ubiquitous activity in our daily life with cognitive and social dimensions. It arises when people face new situations, problems or opportunities. Sensemaking is not always an individual activity, but can involve groups of people. For example, a group of intelligence analysts may work together to unearth a terrorist attack, a family may plan a vacation trip, or scientists in a research field may explore a new research question in collaboration. The design of systems that support collaborative sensemaking is particularly challenging because of the lack of understanding of the dynamic process and the requirement of rich knowledge representations involved.

The Collaborative Sensemaking Workshop, as part of the 24th Annual Human-Computer Interaction Lab (HCIL) Symposium, will discuss design challenges for systems supporting collaborative sensemaking and present cutting edge systems and theories in this field.

Specific topics that we hope to address include (but not restricted to):

  • Collaborative sensemaking behavior
  • Design methodology of systems that support collaborative sensemaking
  • Representation construction in collaborative sensemaking
  • New system or tools that support collaborative sensemaking


Yan Qu, University of Maryland, College Park, USA
Dan Russell, Google, USA
Nikhil Sharma, University of Michigan, USA

Social Network Analysis
- Ben Shneiderman
To apply, please send 1-page statement to: Applicant will be informed of acceptance, maximum 25 attendees.
Visit: for more information.

As research on social networks becomes increasingly popular, developers have focused on designing algorithms, visualizations, and software to aid analysis. Despite all of these advances, exploring social networks is still an extremely difficult task.  This workshop focuses on:

    1) understanding user tasks and how they influence design
    2) identifying interactive, visual methods for understanding networks
    3) discussing ways to evaluate these novel visualization tools.

We will bring together social scientists (to better understand the users), computer scientists (to better understand the algorithms) and user interface experts (to better understand the visual and textual output) for presentations and a lively discussion of what can be achieved.

    Jen Golbeck, Dept of Computer Science, Univ of Maryland
    Alan Neustadtl, Dept of Sociology, Univ of Maryland
    Adam Perer, Dept of Computer Science, Univ of Maryland

    Ben Shneiderman, Dept of Computer Science, Univ of Maryland
    Bruce Hoppe, Connective Associates, Inc. & Boston University

    Health Informatics in an Aging Population - Bo Xie
    Contact: for more information
    Call for participation (Pdf file)
    Schedule (Pdf File)

Information technology (IT) has a profound influence on the health and well-being of aging individuals within an aging society. Yet the older population has lagged behind younger generations in the adoption of IT, including the use of IT for seeking and understanding health and medical information. How can IT be designed to best accommodate the needs and preferences of older adults so that older adults can take full advantage of the rich health and medical information resources available via computers and Internet?


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