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24th Annual Human-Computer Interaction Lab Symposium

Tutorials / Workshops - May 29, 2009

CSIC Building - Registration starts at 8:30am in the Lobby of CSIC ALL Workshops/Tutorials begin at 9:30am





An Introduction to Usability Testing, Room 1121
Contact: Bill Killam 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 areas 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 ethical issues associated with conducting tests with human subjects. We will discuss what empirical data can be derived from usability testing and what cannot. Finally, we will practice the skills and principles involved in facilitating a user-based test.


Distilling Expertise: The Art of Retrospective Interviewing, Room 3118
Contact: Vibha Sazawal for more information

Have you ever wished you could thoroughly understand how a certain success (or failure) unfolded? Do you have a few superstars in your organization and you'd like to understand how they think? Would you like to distill expertise at low cost?

Retrospective interviewing offers an opportunity to uncover problem solving strategies and document work processes after anomalous events occur. This approach is particularly suited for organizations that cannot accommodate direct field observation, such as the military, defense contractors, emergency response groups, hospitals, and controlled lab environments. In addition, retrospective interviewing can benefit all organizations seeking to better understand decision-making strategies.

This tutorial is designed for beginners with no experience in interviewing. We will begin with historical events that were analyzed using retrospetive interviewing and how the information distilled was used. Then we will review the principles of retrospective interviewing, including what questions to ask, how to ask them, and how to take notes. A very strict process is required to gain an accurate narrative and not an after-the-fact rationalization of events. Participants will then practice their new skills by performing mini retrospective interviews with each other.




The Future of iSchool Doctoral Education, Room 1122
Allison Druin, Paul T. Jaeger, Jen Golbeck, and Ken Fleischmann
Contact: Ken Fleischmann for more information, Call for proposals (pdf)
For full schedule click here

There will be a keynote presented by: Mike Eisenberg, University of Washington (click for info)

Information schools, or iSchools, include faculty and students who conduct research, teach, and learn within the interdisciplinary information field. Because iSchools and their doctoral programs are emerging and rapidly evolving boundary objects, there is a need for discussion of current and future curricular innovations, best practices, and research directions for doctoral education in iSchools. This workshop seeks to bring together experts from a wide range of iSchools to discuss the future of doctoral education and how iSchools can collaborate to create a common vision for doctoral education. This workshop will include dinner and opening keynote talks on the evening of May 28, 2009 following the HCIL Symposium, as well as an all-day session on May 29, 2009.

This workshop will consist of invited keynotes, presentations, posters, brainstorming activities, and discussion of how to shape the future of iSchool doctoral education. The range of topics we hope to cover will include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

• Designing pedagogy, methodologies, and approaches to doctoral education
• Facilitating the sharing of ideas among iSchool doctoral programs
• Ensuring interdisciplinarity while simultaneously creating convergence in the field
• Increasing diversity among students enrolled in iSchool doctoral programs
• Creating more outlets for scholarly discourse about iSchool doctoral education
• Fostering new research and collaborations about iSchool doctoral education
• Creative funding solutions for programs

Abstracts for presentations (no more than 500 words) or posters (no more than 250 words) are invited. Abstracts should describe an innovative approach to iSchool doctoral education that is either currently in place or which could realistically be implemented in the future. Due to time constraints, some presentation abstracts may be accepted as posters. Presentation and poster abstracts will be evaluated based on the following criteria: quality, novelty, and broad applicability.

Please submit your abstract by April 25, 2009 to Ken Fleischmann at Please include author name, affiliation, contact information, title, abstract, and format of presentation (presentation or poster). Authors will be notified of acceptance by May 9, 2009.


Evaluating Visual Analytics, Room 2120
Organizers: Catherine Plaisant, Jean Scholtz, Georges Grinstein

Visual analytics is the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces. Evaluation is difficult in many domains, and for visual analytics the problem is compounded by 2 main factors 1) highly interactive visual analysis systems are not suited for traditional evaluation methods 2) Researchers rarely have access to users (analysts) and their data, and to the type of problems they face. We will discuss the design of an infrastructure needed to facilitate the collection of benchmark data sets and analytics problems, the self assessment of tools by researchers and the management of competitions with services for both automatic accuracy ratings and subjective ratings collection from peers reviewers and analysts.

For more information see

Position papers of no more than 300 words should be submitted to Catherine Plaisant at The number of participants will be limited to 15 to facilitate collaborative work. Acceptance will be announced by May 9th. Please explain your experience with visual analytics tools and how you will contribute to the discussions.  


Designing for People who Learn Differently, Room 3120
Contact: Sarah Wayland and Katharina Boser for more information

Technology can help individuals with learning disabilities function more effectively in school, at work, and at home. Teachers and clinicians can use technology in the classroom and in the clinic not only to help teach missing skills but also give students opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and skills in environments and modalities that highlight their strengths. Often the behaviors of students with cognitive impairments are too subtle or occur too briefly over long periods of time to be clearly identifiable by the human observer. A number of innovative technologies now help us to take data and observe behaviors in children with cognitive impairments in more objective and automated ways.

Designers need to take all these uses and user-perspectives into account – that of the person with the disability, as well as that of their instructors, clinicians, and cohorts. This workshop invites researchers and developers to join us in presenting their perspectives on how to address all the challenges of students with cognitive impairments and learning disabilities.

We will focus on helping those with cognitive disabilities including (but not limited to) autism, dyslexia, memory impairments, ADHD, and speech and language delays. Clinicians, teachers, and people with disabilities will join us so that their individual and unique perspectives can help inform the discussion.

To apply, send a brief description of your background and reasons for interest in the workshop (no more than 300 words) to Sarah Wayland at:

Please include: Author name, Affiliation, Contact information, and Presentation Title. Deadline for submission is April 20th; authors will be notified of acceptance by May 9, 2009.



Collective Intelligence and Collaborative Sensemaking, Room 2107
Organizers: Yan Qu, Daniel Russell and Nikhil Sharma
Contact: Yan Qu for more information

New technologies and systems have expanded the possibility for collective intelligence - a group of people or a community work together to create something or make decisions. For example, a group of intelligence analysts work together to detect potential terrorist attack, scientists in a research field explore a new research question in collaboration, an online community reaches consensus on social norms. In such tasks, knowledge structures which enable action and decision making are often constructed through a collaborative sensemaking process.

This workshop aims to understand the knowledge creation and the sensemaking process in collective intelligence tasks and shed lights on the design of systems supporting collective intelligence. Specific topics that we hope to address include (but not restricted to):

• Categories of collective intelligence tasks
• Knowledge creation and sensemaking in collective intelligence tasks
• Design methodology of systems that support collective intelligence
• New system or tools that support collective intelligence and collaborative sensemaking 

Interested participants please submit a short biography and an abstracts for presentations (no more than 500 words) to Yan Qu



Consumer Health Informatics, Room 2118
Contact: Derek Hansen and Bo Xie for more information

This worksop will examine the use of novel information and communication technologies (ICTs) in healthcare from the perspective of health consumers. Potential topics to be investigated may include (but are not limited to):

• Health2.0 applications
• Mobile and location-based technologies for consumers
• Semantic web health applications
• Public health informatics
• Use of social media by patients and support groups
• Promotion of health literacy and education
• Privacy, confidentiality, and related ethical issues
• Information seeking behavior of health consumers
• Provider-patient communication and relationship
• Consumer use of personal medical records
• Patient created content (e.g., wikis, blogs)
• Personalized medicine • Medical librarianship in the Internet age
• Health data mashups• Dissemination of health information via social networks
• Narrowing health disparities among underprivileged social groups and individuals
• International comparisons of consumer health informatics practice and progress
• Emergency response systems
• Search and recommender system technologies for consumers
• Clinical trail recruitment and retention via the Internet

Abstract of no more than 300 words should be submitted to Dr. Derek Hansen at: or Bo Xie at:
Please also include in the submission: Author name, Affiliation, Contact information, and Title. Authors will be notified of acceptance by May 9, 2009.  



Treemaps: From Classroom to Boardroom…and Beyond
Corporate adoption of enterprise treemapping solutions, Room 2117
Carter Wilson, Dan Struebel from The Hive Group

This workshop examines corporate adoption of treemapping, a technology that originated at the University of Maryland HCIL. Attendees will gain insight into the transformation of treemapping from an innovative interface into a mission important corporate offering. Attendees will learn about the widespread use of treemapping in commercial environments, by government agencies, and across the military. The workshop will showcase several examples of treemap deployments, and will highlight specific methods that lead to successful implementations. Attendees will explore treemap extranets -- externally facing deployments -- that open new realms of possibilities for serving customers and sharing information with suppliers and other business partners. The workshop will expose participants to some of the latest innovations in the world of treemapping including the emergence of “treemap systems” that support interaction and collaboration. The workshop will: 

• Showcase innovative deployments in both private and public sectors
• Explore “best practice” approaches for deploying visualization technologies that “stick”
• Emphasize the importance of action: why treemaps are not just reports anymore
• Examine the shift from stand-alone treemapping to integration with other enterprise technologies
• Explore strategic positioning of treemapping for customers, suppliers, and business partners
• Describe how organizations are building internal systems of related treemaps

This workshop will be led by Carter Wilson and Dan Struebel of The Hive Group. It is suitable for anyone interested in deploying treemaps in an enterprise; and individuals that are interested in technology transfer.  





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