usability, design, interaction design, information, web usability, user interface design, usability engineering,user testing, usability inspection, heuristic evaluation, webdesign, UI, GUI, HCI, user-centered design,human-computer interaction, mensch computer interaktion,universität konstanz, usability test, benutzerfreundlichkeit, mensch-maschine-interaktion, mensch-computer-interaktion, human-computer-interaction, usable, website usability, ergonomie, ergonomisch, psychologie, gestalt principles, scenario, information visualization,informationsvisualisierung, User Interface Evaluation, Usability testing, Human Factors, Erogonomic, Ergonomics, User Interfaces, User Interface, Interfaces, informations visualisierung, visual information seeking system, visual search interface, Mensch & Computer 2012Harald Reiterer


Experiments in Human-Computer Interaction


Ulrike Pfeil








04.05., 18.05., 29.06. - 09:00 - 17:00


“Experiments in HCI” is a seminar designed for students (Bachelor, Master, PhD) in the domain of Human-Computer Interaction. Goal of the seminar is to guide students in conducting experimental user studies as part of their thesis. The seminar covers the whys and hows of conducting good experiments in HCI covering both quantitative and qualitative practices. Students will learn how to build on existing work in formulating their research questions and devising hypotheses. In addition, the seminar addresses how to perform the data collection and select analysis methods that provide evidence for conclusions. Also, students learn how to narrate findings and deal with alternative explanations for results. Based on a carefully selected reading list comprised of theoretical information about experiments, best-practice material, and good examples, students present their own experiments and get detailed feedback on it. Additionally, we will summarize the lessons learned to generate hands-on take-home messages. Students will be provided a reading plan sSeveral weeks before the presence dates.
The seminar consists of three presence dates:
Session 1 (full day): Introduction – Theoretical part: quantitative experiments,
Session 2 (full day): Theretical part: qualitative experiments – Selection of study
Session 3 (full day): Presentation of Study and Feedback – Wrap-up: Lessons learned

Before the first presence date:
Provide reading list consisting of:

  • Theoretical information about experiments (planning experiments, conducting experiments, analyzing data, pitfalls to avoid)
  • Examples of good experiments
  • Collection of useful material (standardized questionnaires, examples for informed consent, application for ethical approval etc.)
Session 1 (full day):
  1. Lecture: Introduction - Why do we need experiments?
  2. Theoretical part: Quantitative experiments. This includes but is not limited to:
    1. Defining research questions and formulating useful hypotheses
    2. Designing quantitative experiments
    3. Conducting quantitative experiments
    4. Reporting quantitative experiments
Session 2 (full day):
  1. Theoretical part: Qualitative experiments. This includes but is not limited to:
    1. Designing qualitative experiments
    2. Conducting qualitative experiments
    3. Analysing qualitative data
    4. Reporting qualitative experiments
  2. Select an experiment (ideally, students bring their own ideas for experiments as part of their thesis – if not, we will provide examples that they can choose from)
  3. Homework: Submission of short written summary before next session, preparation of presentation
Session 3 (full day):
  1. Students’ presentation of planned experiment
  2. Discussion and feedback to student (as we will have a short written summary about their user study beforehand, we can prepare additional reading material)
  3. Wrap-up of ‘hot topics’ to provide practical take-home messages
At the end of this seminar, students will know to develop and define research questions and hypotheses in HCI
...the crucial components of successful study designs to run experiments
...the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative and quantitative data acquisition to analyse quantitative and qualitative data
...pitfalls and tips for successful report writing
At the end of this seminar, students will be able define a clear research goal for their Bachelor/Master thesis
...choose applicable tasks, metrics and measurements for their experiment
...set up a study setting and conduct the experiment
...successfully analyse and report the results






To take part on all three days and to present a study setting for your own research questions (e.g. BA-, MA-, or PhD-Thesis).