ACM SIGCHI Symposium on
Engineering Interactive Computing Systems 

Pisa, Italy - June 13-16, 2011   


The Measurability of User Experience: Meaningfulness, Validity and Usefulness of UX Measures

Dr. Effie Lai-Chong Law
University of Leicester
Department of Computer Science
University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK

User Experience (UX) is a catchy as well as tricky research topic, given its broad applications in a diversity of interactive systems and its deep root in various conceptual frameworks. Amongst others, a salient controversy about UX is its measurability, which is grounded in the age-old debate of reductionism versus holism. Is it theoretically justifiable and empirically practical to operationalise user experience by reducing it to quantifiable constructs? Apparently, different stances on this issue lead to difference choices of approaches to designing for and evaluating user experience. Those in the holistic camp defy the measurability of UX, resorting to qualitative approaches such as interaction criticism rooted in literary theory. Their counterparts in the reductionist camp embrace the modeling approaches to understanding the notion of UX, including both measurement models and structural models. We need models, theories, reductions to capture and communicate ideas about designing for and evaluating UX, but they are neither the reality nor are they unbiased. Being aware of this is crucial. Irrespective of whether strict formal measurement paradigms are brought to bear on traditional HCI phenomena like usability or emerging ones like user experience, it is the persuasiveness of empirical evidence that is ultimately the test of its worth. Furthermore, one may argue that basically everything can be measured, but some things may be more “measurable” than the others; how to estimate the threshold of measurability remains unclear. Above all, measures need to be meaningful, valid and useful. This talk will further explore the ongoing issue of measurability of UX with reference to the recent research work on definitions, models, evaluation methods, and theoretical roots of UX.

The slides of the keynote are available in as PDF

Towards Engineering Interactive Ubiquitous Computing Systems

Dr. Albrecht Schmidt
University of Stuttgart

Over the last 20 years computer scientists have made real progress in engineering interactive software for desktop computers. However, as ubiquitous computing is becoming reality, using mobile phones, operating household appliances, watching television, and driving a car have essentially become human-computer interaction tasks. Developing interactive applications for ubiquitous computing environments raises many engineering challenges again, that we regard as solved for traditional systems. When engineering interactive ubiquitous computing applications, we have to fundamentally re-think all steps in the design and development process – from requirements engineering, to concepts for iterative design, implementation, and deployment. In the talk, the factors and technology trends that enable a new generation of pervasive interactive systems will be discussed. Furthermore, ideas will be shared that look at how engineering interactive computing systems can be achieved and what problems occur. Specifically examples of user interfaces from mobile systems, public display networks, and from in-car user interfaces will be discussed to outline ways towards engineering novel interactive systems. One further question addressed is how the wealth of information from end-users that becomes accessible through monitoring system usage and from interaction in social networks can be exploited in the engineering process of interactive ubiquitous computing systems. The talk concludes with an outlook of upcoming modalities and user interface concepts, such as physiological user interfaces or crowd interaction, and the related challenges emerging from these for user interface engineering.

The slides of the keynote are available in as PDF

Last update: May 31, 2011