On 23rd April 2024, two Working Groups of IFIP Technical Committee 13 (Human Computer Interaction) came together to run a free online one day course for PhD students and new researchers working in the area of human computer interaction (HCI).

The Chairs of WG13.3 (Human Computer Interaction, Disability and Aging) and WG13.9 (Interaction Design and Children), Helen Petrie and Gavin Sim, joined forces to lead the course, which introduced a range of HCI research methods including expert evaluations, experiments, think aloud protocols, questionnaires and Delphi studies. The aim was to provide relatively brief introductions to the range of methods, but also foster some discussion about the practical use of the methods starting from the leaders’ experiences in conducting many HCI studies.

There was great interest in the course, with over 200 people from all over the world registering. In the end, approximately 75 people participated (and for those who had signed up but could not be accommodated, further instances of the course will be held).  The program was very lively, with many excellent and stimulating questions from the participants.  Feedback after the course was also very positive, with 70 per cent of participants rating it “extremely useful” or “very useful”.  Feedback from the day included:

 “Getting an overview of the variety of methods that can be used.”

“Each presenter broke down the methods bit by bit in a clear and informative manner. The examples provided now help me understand how different research methods have been applied and the impact that they can have on a study.”

“Telling us about your experience, the introduction of methods outside of the well-known.”

“I think this was the first time I heard about HCI from a scientific perspective, not industry one (research not helping business to earn more). The methods were explained very well.”

This course will be followed up with two further one day courses, also aimed at PhD students and new researchers working in the area of human computer interaction. The next course will focus on undertaking research with specific user groups, particularly children, people with disabilities and older participants.  The following course will provide an introduction to statistical analysis of data in human computer interaction research.

The course on specific user groups will be on 18th June. Anyone interested can register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-challenges-of-working-with-specific-populations-tickets-877227620427?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=ebdsshcopyurl 

The course on statistics and a further instance of the introduction to research methods course will be held later in 2024.  Anyone interested should contact Helen Petrie (helen.petrie@york.ac.uk) or Gavin Sim (GRSim@uclan.ac.uk).