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Evolution of Evaluation in HCI Joseph Jofish Kaye Microsoft Research, Cambridge Cornell University, Ithaca, NY cornell.edu HCI Seminar Series.

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution of Evaluation in HCI Joseph Jofish Kaye Microsoft Research, Cambridge Cornell University, Ithaca, NY cornell.edu HCI Seminar Series."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution of Evaluation in HCI Joseph Jofish Kaye Microsoft Research, Cambridge Cornell University, Ithaca, NY cornell.edu HCI Seminar Series York 20 November 2006

2 What is evaluation? Something you do at the end of a project to show it works… … so you can publish it. Part of the design-build- evaluate iterative design cycle A way of defining a field A way a discipline validates the knowledge it creates. A reason papers get rejected

3 HCI Evaluation: Validity Methods for establishing validity vary depending on the nature of the contribution. They may involve empirical work in the laboratory or the field, the description of rationales for design decisions and approaches, applications of analytical techniques, or proof of concept system implementations CHI 2007 Website

4 So… How did we get to where we are today? Why did we end up with the system(s) we use today? How can our current approaches to evaluation deal with novel concepts of HCI, such as experience-focused (rather than task focused) HCI? And in particular…

5 Evaluation of the VIO A device for couples in long distance relationships to communicate intimacy Its about the experience; its not about the task Kaye, Levitt, Nevins, Golden & Schmidt. Communicating Intimacy One Bit at a Time. Ext. Abs. CHI Kaye. I just clicked to say I love you. alt.chi, Ext. Abs. CHI 2006.

6 A Brief History and plan for the talk 1.Evaluation by Engineers 2.Evaluation by Computer Scientists 3.Evaluation by Experimental Psychologists & Cognitive Scientists 4.Evaluation by HCI Professionals 5.Evaluation in CSCW 6.Evaluation for Experience

7 A Brief History and plan for the talk 1.Evaluation by Engineers 2.Evaluation by Computer Scientists 3.Evaluation by Experimental Psychologists & Cognitive Scientists a.Case study: Evaluation of Text Editors 4.Evaluation by HCI Professionals a)Case Study: The Damaged Merchandise Debate 5.Evaluation in CSCW 6.Evaluation for Experience

8 3 Questions to ask about an era Who are the users? Who are the evaluators? What are the limiting factors?

9 Evaluation by Engineers Users are engineers & mathematicians Evaluators are engineers The limiting factor is reliability

10 Evaluation by Computer Scientists Users are programmers Evaluators are programmers The speed of the machine is the limiting factor

11 Evaluation by Experimental Psychologists & Cognitive Scientists Users are users: the computer is a tool, not an end result Evaluators are cognitive scientists and experimental psychologists: theyre used to measuring things through experiment The limiting factor is what the human can do

12 Perceptual issues such as print legibility and motor issues arose in designing displays, keyboards and other input devices… [new interface developments] created opportunities for cognitive psychologists to contribute in such areas as motor learning, concept formation, semantic memory and action. In a sense, this marks the emergence of the distinct discipline of human- computer interaction. (Grudin 2006) Evaluation by Experimental Psychologists & Cognitive Scientists

13 Case Study of Evaluation: Text Editors Roberts & Moran, 1982, Their methodology for evaluating text editors had three criteria: objectivity thoroughness ease-of-use

14 Case Study: Text Editors objectivity implies that the methodology not be biased in favor of any particular editors conceptual structure thoroughness implies that multiple aspects of editor use be considered ease-of-use (of the method, not the editor itself) the methodology should be usable by editor designers, managers of word processing centers, or other nonpsychologists who need this kind of evaluative information but who have limited time and equipment resources

15 Case Study: Text Editors objectivity implies that the methodology not be biased in favor of any particular editors conceptual structure thoroughness implies that multiple aspects of editor use be considered. ease-of-use (of the method (not the editor itself), the methodology should be usable by editor designers, managers of word processing centers, or other nonpsychologists who need this kind of evaluative information but who have limited time and equipment resources.

16 Case Study: Text Editors Text editors are the white rats of HCI Thomas Green, 1984, in Grudin, 1990.

17 Evaluation by HCI Professionals Usability professionals They believe in expertise (e.g. Nielsen 1984) Theyve made a decision to decide to focus on better results, regardless of whether they were experimentally provable or not.

18 Case Study: The Damaged Merchandise Debate

19 Damaged Merchandise Setup Early eighties: usability evaluation methods (UEMs) - heuristics (Nielsen) - cognitive walkthrough - GOMS - …

20 Damaged Merchandise Comparison Studies Jefferies, Miller, Wharton and Uyeda (1991) Karat, Campbell and Fiegel (1992) Nielsen (1992) Desuirve, Kondziela, and Atwood (1992) Nielsen and Phillips (1993)

21 Damaged Merchandise Panel Wayne D. Gray, Panel at CHI95 Discount or Disservice? Discount Usability Analysis at a Bargain Price or Simply Damaged Merchandise

22 Damaged Merchandise Paper Wayne D. Gray & Marilyn Salzman Special issue of HCI: Experimental Comparisons of Usability Evaluation Methods

23 Damaged Merchandise Response Commentary on Damaged Merchandise Karat: experiment in context Jefferies & Miller: real-world Lund & McClelland: practical John: case studies Monk: broad questions Oviatt: field-wide science MacKay: triangulate Newman: simulation & modelling

24 Damaged Merchandise Whats going on? Gray & Salzman, p19 There is a tradition in the human factors literature of providing advice to practitioners on issues related to, but not investigated in, an experiment. This tradition includes the clear and explicit separation of experiment- based claims from experience-based advice. Our complaint is not against experimenters who attempt to offer good advice… the advice may be understood as research findings rather than the researchers opinion.

25 Damaged Merchandise Whats going on? Gray & Salzman, p19 There is a tradition in the human factors literature of providing advice to practitioners on issues related to, but not investigated in, an experiment. This tradition includes the clear and explicit separation of experiment- based claims from experience-based advice. Our complaint is not against experimenters who attempt to offer good advice… the advice may be understood as research findings rather than the researchers opinion.

26 Damaged Merchandise Clash of Paradigms Experimental Psychologists & Cognitive Scientists (who believe in experimentation) vs. HCI Professionals (who believe in experience and expertise, even if unprovable) (and who were trying to present their work in the terms of the dominant paradigm of the field.)

27 CSCW Briefly… CSCW vs. HCI Not just groups instead of users, but philosophy & approach (ideology?) Posits that work is member- created, dynamic, and explictly not cognitive, modelable Follows failure of workplace studies to characterize work

28 Evaluation in CSCW Ramage, The Learning Way (Ph.D, Lancaster 1999) –No single right or wrong –Identify why evaluate here –Determine stakeholders –Observe & analyze –Learn Note the differences between this kind of approach and more traditional HCI user testing. Fundamentally different from HCI: so much so they became a new field.

29 Experience Focused HCI A possibly emerging sub-field, drawing from traditions and disciplines outside the field Emphasis on the experience, not [just] the task But how to evaluate?

30 Experience focused HCI Isbister et. al.: open-ended affective evaluations that leverage realtime individual interpretations. Isbister, Höök, Sharp, Laaksolahti. The Sensual Evaluation Instrument: Developing an Affective Evaluation Tool. Proc. CHI06

31 Experience focused HCI Gaver et. al.: cultural commentators with expertise in their own fields provide multi-layered assessment. Gaver, W. Cultural Commentators for Polyphonic Assessment. To appear in IJHCI.

32 Experience focused HCI Kaye et. al. Cultural probes to provide user-interpreted thick descriptions of use experience Kaye, Levitt, Nevins, Golden & Schmidt. Communicating Intimacy One Bit at a Time. Ext. Abs. CHI 2005.

33 Epistemology How does a field know what it knows? How does a field know that it knows it? Science: experiment… But literature? Anthropology? Sociology? Therapy? Art? Theatre? Design? These disciplines have ways to talk about experience lacking in an experimental paradigm.

34 Formally… The aim of this work is to recognize the ways in which multiple epistemologies, not just the experimental paradigm of science, must inform the hybrid discipline of human-computer interaction if we wish to build systems that support users increasingly rich interactions with technology.

35 An evolving discussion Thanks to Mark Blythe & Darren Reed Louise Barkhuus & Barry Brown, University of Glasgow Alex Taylor & MS Research Phoebe Sengers & CEmCom Cornell S&TS Department Maria Håkansson & the IT University Göteborg Andy Warr & The Oxford E-Research Center


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