“Qualitative methods in HCI” in Malaysia

I am going to iUSER 2014, Shah Alam, Malaysia, 2nd-5nd Sep 2014. There, I will be giving a workshop on “Qualitative methods in HCI.”

About the workshop

Over several decades, HCI has grown from a sub-field drawing heavily from the quantitative tradition of cognitive science, to an independent research area encapsulating very diverse research methodologies. Today, the human side of HCI is an exciting blend of communication theory, social sciences, cognitive psychology, anthropology, etc. Therefore, a range of qualitative methods have been borrowed and adopted to study human interactions with machines. Understanding qualitative methods is therefore very valuable in HCI research, as we are increasingly interested in complex socio-technical contexts where technologies are used.

Unlike the social sciences, qualitative research in HCI often aims to uncover issues which will hopefully lead to practical designs and implementations. Hence, a lot of the standard social sciences qualitative methods textbooks or learning materials might not be directly useful. In this workshop, we will look into qualitative methods in the context of HCI research. Specifically, the learning outcomes of the workshop are:

  • to understand and appreciate the advantages and disadvantages of qualitative methods in HCI
  • to be able to read, interpret and synthesis qualitative research results published in HCI journals and conferences
  • to be able to design and conduct qualitative research for a specific design project
  • to gain skills in systematic analysis of qualitative data, and inform design with the research outcomes

The topics covered by the workshop:

  • Introduction to qualitative methods in HCI
  • Case studies of the use of qualitative methods in HCI research
  • Data collection techniques, including query-based methods and online data collection
  • Data analysis methods, focusing mainly on thematic analysis and content analysis

The workshop is broken down into two sessions:

  • One hour of lecture and interactive discussion
  • One hour of hands-on analysis of qualitative data about  family carers